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This page hopes to unlock the mysteries surrounding the Queensland wetlands-themed datasets available from

morb_au is currently playing around with them.


The provenance of the wetlands datasets is the State of Queensland, Department of Environment and Resource Management (formerly known as the Environmental Protection Agency).

The dataset is quite large (in the order of 1GB when converted to PostGIS, and believe me when you wait 30 seconds for a rendering from the native ESRI shapefile, you will beg to know how to convert it to PostGIS). In order to understand the attributes of the dataset, you should first peruse the documentation available from the EPA/DERM website:


Wetland Mapping and Classification Methodology

Wetland Mapping and Classification Methodology, Overall Framework, A Method to Provide Baseline Mapping and Classification for Wetlands in Queensland, Version 1.2

Wetland Mapping and Classification (Fact Sheet)

"The Queensland Mapping and Classiication project will deliver comprehensive maps of Queensland’s wetlands—at a scale and level of detail that will help wetland managers to make accurate decisions about the protection and care of wetlands. It is also part of a larger project involving the development of a wetlands inventory database."

Queensland Wetlands Programme, (FAQ)

Queensland Wetlands Programme, Frequently Asked Questions about wetland mapping in Queensland

Regional Ecosystem Description Database

"The Regional Ecosystem Description Database (REDD) can be downloaded for your use. It is provided in two formats, MS Access and HTML."

Reference Rendering

The EPA/DERM have a set of pre-rendered wetlands maps available as PDF from its website ( You can use these maps as a reference rendering, in order to compare your own renderer's output to that of EPA/DERM.

Here's an example that has a little of most wetland types, from Deception Bay through to Lake Wivenhoe: (5.7MB)

Available CC-BY Layers

Queensland Wetlands Data – Wetlands

Original dataset home page:

Mapping of water bodies and wetland regional ecosystems at 1:100,000 scale across Queensland.

Metadata reference:

The metadata for this dataset does not appear to explain what the feature codes mean. morb_au has discovered the classification page at which may be of assistance.

Feature Classes

Essentially this dataset appears to be the union of several feature classes, therefore only a subset of attributes having meaning for a given feature class, the remainder appearing to be null or blank.

The feature classes appear to be:

  • Drainage Basins
  • Floodplains
  • Wetland Regional Ecosystems
  • Waterbodies

Each feature class seems to override the presence of one before it, e.g. a waterbody is in a drainage basin, but if you click on a waterbody in a GIS (like QGIS), the waterbody area is excised from the drainage basin area. You don't get details returned for both.


The following is an attempted reconstruction of what each attribute means.

For casual mappers, the legend attribute appears to be the most useful one (along with the feature geometry, of course).

Attribute Applies to Class Presumed Description Source Source Section
wetland_id Wetland Wetland primary key n/a n/a
wetland_ar Wetland TBA TBA TBA
wetclass Wetland Wetland Class:






FAQ page 9
wetclass_l " Long (or Lookup-Table) version of the above " "
hydromod TBA Hydrological Modification:

H1=Natural wetland (no modifications observed)

H2M1=Dams or weirs within Riverine channels

H2M2=Lakes or swamps where size and/or hydrology altered, e.g. by construction of levee banks or deepening

H2M2p=Lakes or swamps dominated by exotic pasture species where size and/or hydrology altered by construction of levee banks (usually from estuarine to freshwater)

H2M3=Lakes or swamps where salinity classification changed by banks or bunding from estuarine/marine to freshwater

H2M3p=Ponded pastures (hydrology changed from estuarine to freshwater, dominated by exotic pasture species)

H2M4=Modified springs - damaged

H2M4a=Modified springs - dormant

H2M5=Wetlands damaged by mechanical disturbance, e.g. cropping

H2M6=Wetlands completely converted to a ring tank or other controlled storage

H2M7=Riverine or Estuarine water bodies mostly converted to constructed waterways such as canals or irrigation channels, usually by earthworks to bed and/or banks

H3C1=Artificial stand-alone water storage not in a natural water body or channel

H3C2=Artificial channel (drain/canal)

H3C3=Modified floodplain water bodies)

FAQ pages 9-10
hydromod_l " Long (or Lookup-Table) version of the above " "
salinmod TBA Salinity Modifier:




FAQ page 9
salinmod_l " Long (or Lookup-Table) version of the above " "
floodplain Floodplain TBA TBA TBA
floodpla_1 TBA TBA TBA TBA
wetrepct TBA TBA TBA TBA
wtrregime TBA TBA TBA TBA
wtrregime_ TBA TBA TBA TBA
remcover TBA TBA TBA TBA
xre_percen TBA TBA TBA TBA
xre_class TBA TBA TBA TBA
drainagedi TBA TBA TBA TBA
catchment TBA TBA TBA TBA
habitat_id TBA TBA TBA TBA
habitat_ar TBA TBA TBA TBA
legend TBA

01-50_RE = ?

51-80_RE = ?

E_RE = Estuarine Regional Ecosystem

E_WB = Estuarine Waterbody

L_RE = Lacustrine Regional Ecosystem

L_WB = Lacustrine Waterbody

M_WB = Marine Waterbody

P_RE = Palustrine Regional Ecosystem

P_WB = Palustrine Waterbody

R_RE = Riverine Regional Ecosystem

R_WB = Riverine Waterbody

shape_area TBA TBA TBA TBA
shape_len TBA TBA TBA TBA
shape_ar_1 TBA TBA TBA TBA
shape_le_1 TBA TBA TBA TBA
shape_fid TBA TBA TBA TBA


For reference, here is an example schema that is produced if you use ogr2ogr to convert from shapefile to PostgreSQL:

CREATE TABLE qld_wetlands
  ogc_fid serial NOT NULL,
  wkb_geometry geometry,
  wetland_id numeric(10),
  wetland_ar numeric(19,8),
  wetclass character(12),
  wetclassid numeric(1),
  hydromod character(12),
  salinmod character(12),
  wetre character(80),
  floodplain character(2),
  wetrepct character(40),
  wtrregime character(4),
  source character(8),
  remcover character(4),
  wetsub character(12),
  xre character(50),
  xre_percen character(14),
  xre_class character(32),
  drainagedi character(20),
  catchment character(24),
  habitat_id numeric(10),
  habitat_ar numeric(19,8),
  legend character(12),
  wetclass_l character(16),
  hydromod_l character(64),
  salinmod_l character(16),
  floodpla_1 character(40),
  wtrregime_ character(40),
  shape_area numeric(19,11),
  shape_len numeric(19,11),
  shape_ar_1 numeric(19,11),
  shape_le_1 numeric(19,11),
  shape_fid numeric(9),
  CONSTRAINT enforce_geotype_wkb_geometry 
    CHECK (geometrytype(wkb_geometry) = 'POLYGON'::text 
       OR wkb_geometry IS NULL),
  CONSTRAINT enforce_srid_wkb_geometry 
    CHECK (srid(wkb_geometry) = 4283)

Queensland Wetlands Mapping – Streams

Original dataset home page: or

This dataset provides mapping of water bodies and wetland regional ecosystems at 1:100,000 scale across Queensland.

NOTE: As of 10 October 2009, this dataset download appears to be defective. There is no shapefile in the Zip archive.