What are layers in Alloy?

Alloy layers cover just about anything in your network you might want to see overlaid on the map. When working with a complex project, it is a challenge to keep track of all your items. Small items get hidden under larger items, and selecting items becomes difficult. Layers 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.

Layers require layer styles, which define which data is displayed on the map. Each style acts as a database query that is configured to extract and display only the data that you need to see. Turn data such as inspection results into an infographic. Compare different sets of data visually to get more context when making decisions.

Layers can include multiple layer styles that act like sub-layers within a layer and can be used to visualise different subsets of the data found in the layer. The example below illustrates a layer (bounded in red) that contains 3 styles, which can be switched on and off to display data within a layer.

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System layers and user layers

Alloy has two different types of layers with different permissions:

System layers

System layers are associated with Alloy modules, such as Street Lighting, Waste, Budgets, etc. These layers include a set of preconfigured styles that allow you to quickly view data on your map. These layers can be customised by the addition of styles.


System layers, that are associated with modules can only be deleted by System Administrators and Layer Managers. Users can only delete user layers providing they have the permissions to do so.

Custom layers

You can create custom layers 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.

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.

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

You can choose to refresh the layer right away, or dismiss the notification and refresh later.

Layers, item clusters and zoom levels

When the map is zoomed out, layers and networks appear as solid lines that you cannot select.

As you zoom in, layers become more detailed. Rather than appearing as solid lines, 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.