Colorado's Conservation Data Explorer (CODEX) User Guide

This guide is meant to be a quick introduction to functionality of the Conservation Data Explorer (CODEX). Additional documentation can be found by clicking on the links embedded below that either lead to more detailed information regarding the specific topic or lead to the feature on CODEX. Video tutorials will be added soon!

  • Project Reports provide detailed conservation data in PDF and CSV format. Information includes: known occurrences and potential occurrences for regulatory and other species of concern from CNHP, CPW, and our partners, protected lands and land management status from COMaP, special areas information, wetlands data, maps and more for an area of interest.
  • Return on Investment Reports provide maps and the estimated annual benefit in dollars of conserved ecosystem services by ecosystem type within the project area in PDF format.
  • If you are new to CODEX, click on Create new account and register to log in.  This will allow you to create projects,receive reports, and to see all public data layers and features on the map.
  • If you have forgotten your password, Request a new password.
  • To update your account settings, including Password, edit My Account.
  • See below for instructions on how to submit a data request and use the map..
  • If you receive layer loading errors, it may help to clear your internet browsing cache/cookies and try again.

Familiarize Yourself with Map Navigation

  1. Click the Map menu to navigate to the map.
  2. Use the Find address or place tool to find a location.
  3. Use the Zoom to Coordinates or Scale tool (third button from the left in the upper right hand corner of the map) to find a location.
  4. Add a Spatial Bookmark to quickly return to a saved location. NOTE: persistent bookmarks require a CODEX account.
  5. Add a Saved Map Saved Maps to save and restore maps with the zoom center and scale, base map, and layers configuration all stored so that you can return to roughly the same view as before. NOTE: A CODEX account is required and user uploaded layers are not currently supported.
  6. Zoom to the Default, Previous, and Next Extents of the map. Holding shift and dragging the mouse allows for quick zooming into a targeted area.
  7. Perform a Feature Search to identify features in a layer, including those added to the Map via the Add Resources tool, according to criteria specified by a query. NOTE: The Feature Search option is not available for cached map services published from ArcGIS Online because such services do not support all of the capabilities of those published through ArcGIS Server.
  8. Use the Identify Tool  to display the details of the geographic feature(s) or place(s) selected in the Map. NOTE: The Identify tool cannot be used with cached map services published from ArcGIS Online because such services do not support all of the capabilities of those published through ArcGIS Server.
  9. Use the Measure Tool  to determine the size of a designated area, the distance of a digitized line, and the coordinates of a specific location.
  10. Use the Snapping Settings tool  to draw features that connect to each other for more accurate edits and for measuring between features in the layers, such as the distance between parcels of protected lands in COMaP. Snapping is useful with many editing operations, such as creating polygons that do not overlap or have gaps between them, drawing lines that connect to each other, or placing a point exactly along an existing line.

Alter the Content of the Map

  1. Switch Basemap to Imagery to see an aerial view.
  2. Work with the Layers to make them visible/invisible, view their symbology, alter the layer transparency, view layer information/meta data, and change layer order.
  3. Use the Add Resources tool to add and name data layers by entering a map service’s URL or upload a zipped ArcGIS shapefile, geodatabase, or Google Earth file (KMZ/KML).
  4. Special note on map services errors when adding a resource to the map: If the map service does not successfully add to the map (i.e. the spinner spins endlessly and the map service is not added to the map viewer or a Register Layer Failed: RequestTimeout error is received on the screen (see example error popup image below)), the error may be related to the GIS service you are connecting to being down at the externally linked server hosting the service. For more information consult the Test Map/Feature Service help topic.
GIS Service Loading Error
  1. Make a Map The Make a Map tab within the map enables the addition of annotation (graphics and text) to the map. These annotations can also be used to create projects.
  2. Print the map if desired.

Use the Create Project or ROI Project Buttons to Submit Areas of Interest for Reports

  • Project Reports are generated with the Create Project Report button   on the map page, and will offer an option to add the ROI Report on the final project submission screen.
  • Return on Investment Reports can also be run independently via the ROI Project Report button  on the map page.

Create a Project Area to be Analyzed by CODEX

  1. After clicking on one of the project report buttons to start a request, there are multiple methods for creating a project area which are detailed below.
  2. The Draw tool on the map page allows a project footprint to be digitized using either the default drawing tool, which utilizes vertices, or a freehand tool.. The drawing feature requires the user to be zoomed in at fine enough scale for the system to accept the boundary, user prompts will guide to the correct zoom level. You can use the example you identified by the Feature Search performed in Step 7 above to help reference the project footprint to be drawn if you wish.
  3. Use the Upload Shapes tool to define a project area with your spatial data. Uploaded project footprints must be a zip, kml or kmz file. If using a zip file, it must contain at the root level either: A.) File Geodatabase: named <name> and containing a single ESRI file geodatabase (gdb). The geodatabase must have <11 (projected) feature layers and be <10 MB in size; or, B.) Shapefile: be <10 MB in size containing all the components of a single ESRI shapefile, including the .prj file. In both cases, the projection utilized must be a standard ESRI projection. If using a Google Earth kml or kmz file, it must also be less than 10 MB in size.
  4. Click on the Additional Mapping Options Button Additional Mapping Optionsto outline a project area in one of three additional ways:
  • Map Layers can be used to outline a project area based on selected features of CODEX layers or a resource/layer you have added. Along with uploading a footprint shapefile, this is a powerful way to create a project for actions that could take place across entire resource management parcels larger than a hand-drawn parcel will allow. In order to use a layer to outline the project area:
    • After activating Map Layer, from the Resource dropdown menu that appears, select the map resource from which to copy the shape(s) to outline the search area. The options depend on the layers available within the Layers section of the outline the project. NOTE: If the chosen Resource is comprised of multiple layers, an additional Layer dropdown list will be displayed from which to select the given layer to copy the shape(s).
    • Click the Select from Resource button and then left click to select or de-select features, hold CTRL to drag and select multiple ones.
    • The Details dialog of the selected feature(s) will be displayed. To remove a feature from the selection, from the Tasks menu, select Remove from Include List. Once removed, the option to Add to Include List becomes available in the Tasks menu.
    • The number of features selected will be displayed to the right of the Select From Resource button along with a View button, which allows the user access to the Details dialog again if they need to remove additional features from the selection. Alternatively, create a new selection by clicking the Select from Resource button again.
    • To further modify the selected features, click Modify or Next to use the features as they exist.
    • In the Draw/Edit toolbar click Accept unless further edits are needed.
  • Make a Map select features drawn by the user with the Make a Map Feature to define the search area.
  • Coordinates - Enter Latitude/Longitude to define the search area.

Submit the Project to be Analyzed by CODEX

  1. Once you have outlined an area of interest using one of the methods above, click Submit to submit the project for review. 
  2. Fill out required details on the Create Project Form screen (required fields are denoted by a red asterisk *).
  3. Choose any desired add on report using the Other Report Types boxes at the bottom of the form: Return on Investment Report (free report to determine the potential annual dollar value of ecological services provided by the parcel) and Conservation Planning Report (free planning report to be added in the future).
  4. Once submitted the request will take a few minutes to process and the user will receive an email notification to the registered account address when results are ready.
  5. The My Projects tab provides a user space where you can see all of your projects submitted and check their processing status. After receiving the notification email a project is ready, visit the here to download and review the various project reports you have requested, and optionally you may also download a Boundary Shapefile, Boundary Google Earth KMZ file, and CSV tabular output of the Project Review Report.
  6. Log out to close your session if needed.

Please see the image below for an illustrated key to the various ways of making project requests on CODEX:

CODEX Project Creation Overview