What are layers in Alloy?

Alloy layers cover just about anything in your network you might want to see overlaid on the map and provide a way to declutter data that is presented on the map.

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The structure of layers in your project can be as simple or complex as you want it to be and the Layer panel provides an easy way to select, hide, and change the appearance of data on your map. When working with a complex project, it is a challenge to keep track of all your items, where small items get hidden under larger items, and selecting items becomes difficult.

There are three types of layers:

  • Network - special layers that you can create to display network related items and are always placed immediately on top of the basemap.

  • Standard - these are layers that are included either as part of the core installation, for example, defect or job status layers, or module layers, such as Street Lighting, Waste, Budgets, etc.

  • Custom - these are layers that you can create in addition to system layers. There are no limitations on the use of custom layers or how many you can create. Custom layers are those that you and other users with permission can manage using the layer panel.

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When a layer is active, it is overlaid on the map, and toggled on, in the layer panel. Select the individual items within the layer to view the item’s components, history, and much more.

All the layer types can be updated at any time by you, or other users with permissions. When a layer is active, notifications may pop up to let you know about updates. For example, you will see a notification if another user creates a street light while you have the street lighting layer active.

Layer styles

Layers require layer styles, which define the data that is displayed on the map. A style acts as a database query that is configured to extract and display only the data that you need to see. You can turn data such as inspection results into an infographic. Compare different sets of data visually to get more context when making decisions. Each layer must have at least one style to display any data when it is active.

Layers, item clusters and zoom levels

Where a layer contains many items that are close together, for example street lights or waste bins, when the map is zoomed out the system clusters items to avoid cluttering up the map.


Point based items are not clustered on network layers, items with line geometry are reduced in density, see Selecting items from the map.

As you zoom in, layers become more detailed. Rather than appearing as individual items, they begin to look like separate items represented by icons. You can select an item’s icon to view its details. Or in the case of a carriageway, the layer remains a solid line, but you can select it to view the details of a given section.

Depending on your zoom level and active layers, you may see item icons replaced by numbers.

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This happens when multiple items of the same style are located close together. It also happens when multiple layers include data referenced against the same asset.