I am sure that almost any geomatics professional would agree that a major part of any GIS are the data sets involved. The data can be in the form of vectors, rasters, aerial photography or statistical tabular data and most often the data component can be very costly or labor intensive. But it doesn’t always have to be that way, as there are plenty of great resources available that offer free open Canadian data that you can use with your geomatics projects to generate geospatial products. In fact more and more are popping up all over the web and some cities like Ottawa are even having contests to help promote the use of their data.
Over the past few years CanadianGIS.com has been highlighting and promoting various cities and provinces in Canada that have done a great job providing Open Geospatial Data and applications to the public. During that time there has been plenty of great praise, feedback and emails regarding these efforts in helping to promote Canadian geospatial data and ensuring that everybody in the geomatics community knows where to find data for their projects.
I created this page a few years ago to collaborate links of all the open geospatial data info (sites that offer data downloads at no cost and without restrictions), fee based geospatial data, online web mapping applications and other great sources of geospatial information (including National, Provincial and Regional levels). I am sure that this comprehensive list of open geospatial data, fee based geospatial data, web mapping applications and cartographic products will be valuable to many of us (as I get hundreds of emails and requests regarding “Where can I find data for …?”) so I will continue to update it when I learn of new information.
If you know of any other sites offering Canadian data (freely available or fee based) that may help others in geomatics and it is not listed here then let me know and I will update the list. In the mean time start using some of these great resources that we have available in Canada to generate geospatial products.
[page last updated August 2015]
GeoGratis by Natural Resources Canada offers geospatial data including satellite imagery, tabular and vector Data in a wide range of formats. They have also recently added a few APIs to their collection and completely revamped the web site – Note: GeoGratis has a new and improved web site released in 2013
A federal, provincial and territorial government initiative created by the Canadian Council on Geomatics, user registration is required for downloading data but there are no costs. Note: Although Natural Resources Canada is a major contributor to Geobase the data sets found here are not always the same as on GeoGratis so it is a good idea to check both sites when doing your data searches.
The GeoConnections Discovery Portal is a metadata catalogue that enables GIS users, developers and data suppliers to locate online location based Canadian geospatial information, including maps and satellite images focused in public health, public safety and security, the environment and sustainable development, Aboriginal matters, and geomatics technology development. Data from this site varies and includes thematic data, topographic data, satellite imagery, air photos and much more.
– http://geoconnections.nrcan.gc.ca (GeoConnections program information and resources)
Atlas of Canada
The Atlas of Canada has been around for more then 100 years but has changed significantly since its early days (http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/history.html). The majority of content on this site consist of pre-made geographic map products at a national level that you can order or download for free & print on your own. Note: The website is changing again, to match the way maps are retrieved and displayed to comply with the Government of Canada’s web content accessibility guidelines.
Government of Canada Open Data Portal
This is the Government of Canada’s commitment to open government that aims to drive innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians. It was developed mainly as a central location for making government data freely available in industry standard recognized formats. Lots of data found here from several different Canadian Government Departments as well as links to Provincial and Municipal open government geospatial sites.
http://www.data.gc.ca & http://open.canada.ca
More Canadian Data Sources
Free Georeferenced Topographic Map Sheets – http://canadiangis.com/free-georeferenced-topographic-map-sheets.php
3D Canadian Buildings & Landmarks to your GIS projects – http://canadiangis.com/3d-canadian-buildings-landmarks-to-your-gis-projects.php
Trans Canada Trail – http://canadiangis.com/trans-canada-trail-interactive-web-map.php
UTM zones & rows map – With this world map you can easily find out what UTM zone you are working from.
Various environmental data collections from Environment Canada; in many disciplines including wildlife, biodiversity, water, air, soil, climate, pollution, environmental prediction and environmental technologies.
Water and Environmental Hub (WEHUB) – A project with a cloud based open data platform to help make it easier for individuals and organizations to find, access, and share water and environmental data. http://waterandenvironmentalhub.ca/
Provincial & Regional Canadian Data
ALberta Open Data Portal The portal makes data the provincial government collects on behalf of citizens publicly available in machine readable formats with an open licence. http://data.alberta.ca/
Alberta Geological Survey AGS has a large selection of maps for different areas of Alberta showing surficial and bedrock geology, drift thickness, groundwater/hydrogeology, and mineral resources. Their recent maps include PDF maps and GIS shape files and their interactive geological maps let you browse, query and download GIS data.
AltaLIS Alberta data available through a partnership with the Alberta Government and Spatial Data Warehouse, it has been the main supplier of Alberta Base Mapping Data to the private sector since 1998. AltaLIS offers digital mapping products categorized into three main groups: Property, Base, and Terrain. Note: Most data at this site is not free but they do offer updated imagery products for almost 40% of the province.
GeoDiscover Alberta – GeoDiscover Alberta provides access to maps, and geospatial data for the Province of Alberta.
Alberta Historical Orthophotos – georeferenced orthophoto maps consisting of aerial photography mainly from 1949 to 1951 with coverage for the whole province
Calgary, Alberta – Open Data Catalogue – https://cityonline.calgary.ca/Pages/Category.aspx?cat=CITYonlineDefault&category=PublicData
Calgary Region Data – http://calgaryregionopendata.ca/
Calgary CITYonline Map Viewer – https://cityonline.calgary.ca/gismap/mainmap.aspx
City of Airdrie Data – https://opener.dobt.co/calgary-regional-partnership/browse/2939
Grande Prairie, Alberta – http://www.countygp.ab.ca/EN/main/community/maps-gis/open-data/data.html
Edmonton, Alberta – https://data.edmonton.ca
Medicine Hat, Alberta – http://data.medicinehat.ca
Red Deer, Alberta – http://data.reddeer.ca
Southwestern Alberta (ORRSC planning region) http://www.orrsc.com/members-page
Open Data Society of BC – http://www.opendatabc.ca/data
Community Mapping Network http://www.cmnbc.ca/
Langley, British Columbia – http://www.tol.ca/Services-Contact/Open-Data
North Okanagan, British Columbia – http://www.rdno.ca/index.php/maps/digital-data
Nanaimo, British Columbia – http://data.nanaimo.ca
North Vancouver, British Columbia – http://www.geoweb.dnv.org/data/
Prince George, British Columbia – http://princegeorge.ca/cityservices/online/odc/Pages/default.aspx
Saanich, British Columbia – http://www.saanich.ca/data/index.html
Surrey, British Columbia – http://www.surrey.ca/city-services/658.aspx
Vancouver, British Columbia – http://vancouver.ca/your-government/open-data-catalogue.aspx
VanGuide – a social web map using Vancouver open data – http://vanguide.cloudapp.net
GeoCommons – an interactive Vancouver Reference Map – http://geocommons.com/maps/8146
Manitoba Land Initiative – Great source for geo-spatial information from the Government of Manitoba, intended for both the GIS expert and the decision maker allowing on-line access to the MLI corporate land data warehouse. Users must be registered but it is free to register https://mli2.gov.mb.ca/
Surficial Geology Compilation Map Series (SGCMS) http://www.manitoba.ca/iem/mrd/geo/gis/surfgeomap.html
Brandon, Manitoba – http://opengov.brandon.ca/open-government.aspx
Winnipeg, Manitoba – http://winnipegelection.ca/open_data_2010
Winnipeg OpenData portal – https://data.winnipeg.ca/
GeoNB by Service New Brunswick provides Geographic Data & Maps for the province of New Brunswick including topographic layers, property data, orthophotomaps and much more. http://www.snb.ca/geonb1/
Fredericton, New Brunswick – http://www.fredericton.ca/en/citygovernment/DataMain.asp
New Brunswick Wind Atlas – http://canadiangis.com/new-brunswick-wind-atlas.php
Newfoundland and Labrador
Open Data Newfoundland and Labrador – http://opendata.gov.nl.ca/
Community Accounts Map Centre – http://nl.communityaccounts.ca/maps.asp?_=vb7En4WVgbOxz7Zj (collection of pre-made maps)
Community Infrastructure Mapping System – A community information shared program via google maps
GeoNOVA – The Province of Nova Scotia’s gateway to geographic information about Nova Scotia. Includes free maps but mostly licensed data sets and imagery – http://gov.ns.ca/geonova/home/
Halifax Regional Municipality Open data Portal – https://www.halifaxopendata.ca/
Mineral Resources Branch Digital Products – http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/pubs/pubs3.asp
Ortho Imagery for Central Nova Scotia – http://canadiangis.com/ortho-imagery-for-central-nova-scotia.php
NWT Centre for Geomatics http://geomatics.gov.nt.ca
ATLAS (The Administration of the Territorial Land Acts System) http://gis.maca.gov.nt.ca/Website/index.asp
Nunavut Geoscience – http://nunavutgeoscience.ca/mirage/index_e.php (no much data but there are pre made maps)
Nunavut Minerals database (NUMIN) http://nunavutgeoscience.ca/numin_e.html
Province of Ontario open data portal –http://www.ontario.ca/government/government-ontario-open-data
Ontario Topographic Data: http://canadiangis.com/how-to-get-ontario-topographic-data-for-your-gis.php
Ministry of Natural Resources – http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/STEL02_168321.html
Ontario Ministry of the Environment http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/en/resources/collection/data_downloads/index.htm
GLIN (Great Lakes Information Network) http://gis.glin.net/
LIO (Land Information Ontario) http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/LIO/
Ontario Basic Mapping (OBM) site by the Geography Network http://www.geographynetwork.ca/website/obm/viewer.htm
Burlington, Ontario – http://cms.burlington.ca/Page7429.aspx
Grand River Information Network (GRIN) – data for the Grand River watershed http://grims.grandriver.ca/imf/imf.jsp?site=grca_datadis&ddsid=52244c
Guelph, Ontario – http://guelph.ca/services.cfm?itemid=78870&smocid=1550
Halton, Ontario – http://openhalton.ca
London, Ontario – http://www.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/Open_Data/Data_Catalogue.htm
Open London http://www.opendatalondon.ca/
Mississauga, Ontario – http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/residents/mississaugadata
Niagara Falls, Ontario – http://www.niagarafalls.ca/services/open
Niagara Region, Ontario – http://www.niagararegion.ca/government/opendata/
Peel Region, Ontario – http://opendata.peelregion.ca/
Toronto, Ontario – http://www.toronto.ca/open
Waterloo, Ontario – http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/regionalgovernment/OpenDataHome.asp
Open Data Waterloo Region http://www.opendatawr.ca/2011/03/open-data-codefest/ –
Waterloo Region open-data group – http://www.opendatawr.ca/open-data-groups/
Windsor, Ontario – http://www.citywindsor.ca/opendata/Pages/Open-Data-Catalogue.aspx
Prince Edward Island
http://www.gov.pe.ca/maps/index.php3 (air photos available for the whole Province with many historic sets as well) – http://canadiangis.com/prince-edward-island-aerial-photograph-interactive-map-tool.php
PEI GIS Data Catalog – http://www.gov.pe.ca/gis/
Gatineau – http://www.gatineau.ca/donneesouvertes/donnees_ouvertes_fr.aspx
Open Gatineau – http://gatineauouverte.org
Information Services Corporation of Saskatchewan offers real-time, graphical data that assists in searching for plans of surveys, parcels and titles. ISC also provides services such as custom mapping, acquisition of satellite images and aerial photography. – http://www.isc.ca/MapsandPhotos/GISData/Pages/default.aspx
Regina, Saskatchewan – http://openregina.cloudapp.net
Geomatics Yukon http://www.geomaticsyukon.ca/
Yukon Planning Atlas by the Yukon Land Use Planning Council http://188.8.131.52:8080/atlas.php
[This is a dynamic page that changes all the time and was originally published March, 2008]
Disclaimer: Although I do test all links that I publish on CanadianGIS.com, those links and sites are not under my control and therefore are provided here solely for your information and convenience. Neither CanadianGIS.com nor myself are responsible for the accuracy or reliability of the content and or information found on these sites through these links. Also note that sites can change from time without notice. If anyone discovers dead links or has new information then by all means let me know and I will update this page.