This handy color shaded relief map of the world including oceans was created from the NOAA ETOPO1 data set and was intended to be used with handheld Garmin GPS units, but can also make a nice colorful back ground image to use in Google Earth. Find out how to download this free resource …
Since starting our Open Data Resources list in 2010, we have received thousands of requests to help people find various Canadian data to use with their geospatial projects. And in that time have started an unofficial list of places where LiDAR data that is available for the public to use.
Today we are making our list available to our readers in the hopes that more people can make use if this data and that the geospatial community might help add more sources to it.
Satellite Image Analysis and Terrain Modelling is a practical manual for natural resource management, disaster risk and development planning using free geospatial data and software. Find out how to download this manual and the free GIs software used in it …
GRASS GIS 7.4.0 provides more than 480 stability fixes and improvements compared to the previous stable version 7.2. An overview of the new features in the 7.4 release series is available at New Features in GRASS GIS 7.4.
Recently Nova Scotia joined the growing number of Canadian Provinces and Municipalities that offer open data, when it officially launched the Nova Scotia open data portal providing public access to more than 135 different data sets
Open Data is about drawing on the collective knowledge and innovation of Nova Scotians to help grow our economy and improve the lives of those around us
Geomatics Yukon GIS Data and Yukon Lands Viewer
Geomatics Yukon is the online portal location where you will find GIS open data and imagery for the Yukon Territory. It hosts and distributes a wide range of web mapping applications and spatial data for several Yukon Government departments and partners that allow people to search their growing collection of available data sets.
Although most data from Geomatics Yukon is freely distributed and available to the public including Imagery; some of the satellite imagery that they have is licensed only to the Yukon Government so is only available to project partners and First Nations governments on request, though the website and requires an Imagery Use Agreement to be completed first.
Geomatics Yukon offers an online web mapping through the Energy, Mines and Resources Yukon Lands Viewer. It is built upon an Esri server with Geocortex by Latitude Geographics providing powerful well-rounded mapping tools and innovative features for a wide range of experienced and not so experienced end users.
The Yukon Lands Viewer like many other Esri based web served applications provides many useful tools and applications from searching data sets to customizing your own map. They provide the ability to incorporate your own data from shape files or CSV data as well as the ability to draw and edit features and then print or export your results. A pretty detailed instruction manual can help those that run into troubles with the map viewer.
Geomatics Yukon aims to provide a central source for distributing Yukon government spatial data and imagery and although some what limited it is off to a good start in becoming an opendata portal.
Yukon GIS Data Web links:
[originally published Sept 22, 2013]
Grass GIS Software
GRASS GIS, commonly referred to as Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, is an open source GIS software that is commonly used for geospatial data analysis, data management, image processing, cartography, spatial modeling, and data visualization. It was originally was developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and is a founding member of the Open Source Geospatial (OSGeo) Foundation.
GRASS GIS contains over 350 modules to render maps and images on monitor and paper; manipulate raster, and vector data including vector networks; process multispectral image data; and create, manage, and store spatial data.
It offers both an intuitive graphical user interface as well as command line syntax for ease of operations. It can interface with printers, plotters, digitizers, and databases to develop new data as well as manage existing data.
The latest stable version available is version 7. GRASS GIS v7 provides support for large data , has an improved topological vector engine and improved vector network analysis tools. Click here to download it for yourself and give it a try.
Bathymetry of Lake Ontario
Bathymetry is used to measure water depths to help model physical underwater terrain found beneath large bodies of water. Similar to the same way that LiDAR models are represent 3D features (or relief) of land terrain, bathymetric maps illustrate the terrain or land that is located under large bodies of water. Color ramps created from depth contours or isobaths help make the variations in relief easier to see.
“High-resolution digital bathymetry makes possible meaningful quantitative estimates of available habitats for fish and other living organisms. In other lakes these estimates have been used to formulate regulations intended to prevent overfishing. Conversely, Great Lakes bathymetry is much in demand by anglers as an aid in locating the most promising areas for fishing.”
The Bathymetry of Lake Ontario was the third poster map released by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) depicting highly detailed bathymetry data ( at 2 meter contour interval) of the Great Lakes. Click here for more details on the Bathymetry of Lake Ontario data set and use the links below to download the pre-made maps and GIS data:
- Download Bathymetry Contours in Shapefile Format
- Download ARC ASCII Grid data
- Download Wall Size Poster Map (PDF)
- Low res Image of Poster
Download Canadian LandSat Data
The Landsat program is the longest running series of acquisition imagery based satellites, originally launched in 1972 as the Earth Resources Technology Satellite, it was later renamed to Landsat. Recently a new Landsat satellite was launched (Landsat 8), to help obtain further valuable imagery to be used in geomatics, agriculture, forestry, research, education, and many other industries.
Landsat satellites provide us with images created from reflected and emitted energy in a variety of different wavelengths from the electromagnetic spectrum.
The electromagnetic spectrum (shown in the image to the right) contains includes all radiated energy from gamma rays to radio waves, however the human eye is sensitive and can only view the visible portion of the spectrum (reflected light portion, ranging from violet to red).
Unlike earlier versions, Landsats 7 and 8 provide images from the visible spectrum as well as near-infrared, mid-infrared, and thermal-infrared bands
Landsat data for Canadian regions are available for free download. Below you will find links to many Canadian LandSat images.
Download Canadian LandSat 7 Images
- LandSat 7 large Full Mosaic of Canada (note: large zip file in GB range)
- Landsat 7 Orthoimages of Canada Images are true color, composed of the 3 visible bands (bands 3, 2 and 1), in geotiff format at 15m resolution and are geometrically corrected with NAD83. Files are cropped to match the Canadian 1:50k National Topographic System (NTS), so you will need to know the map sheet index key to find your desired images.
- LandSat 7 large Full Mosaic of Canadian Arctic Region
- A LANDSAT viewer that you can download from
Looking for Ontario Topographic Data?
Recently, someone contacted me looking for information on where they could find Ontario topographic data for the Thunder Bay area, so I assumed that they must have already checked the Canadian data page and suggested that they check out the Ontario Basic Mapping website (OBM).
The Ontario Basic Mapping (OBM) site by the Geography Network is a great online resource with simplistic interactive interface that provides users tools to create customized map views and the ability to download various topographic base mapping data for the entire Province of Ontario. The site contains GIS layers created from 1:10,000 base maps from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources that people can download including layers for transportation, water, municipal, elevation, parks and conservation areas. The portal created with ArcIMS makes it pretty easy to use and a convenient way to obtain mapping data in a variety of formats for virtually any area of interest in Ontario.
However, that person replied back to me a few days latter telling me that the site was only an online web map viewer and they needed actual data to use in a GIS, and wanted to know if I had any other sources of mapping information for Northern Ontario.
Now, I thought that the e-mail was a little strange since I have used data from the Ontario Basic Mapping web site before while planning various aerial surveys in Northern Ontario, so I decided to go check out the web site to see if the downloading data feature that I had used had been removed. Turns out the site is still the same, it can be used as an online web map viewer to customize and print maps but the downloading option still exists providing the ability to download the map layers in the viewer to use with your own GIS software packages like ArcMap or MapInfo.
It seems like a pretty simple mapping application to me but maybe it is not as obvious as some people need it to be, so I decided to share some of the notes on downloading topographic base data from the OBM site that I provided to them, in case others have trouble figuring how to download the data as well (And summarized in the video at the bottom).
The OBM site is an ArcIMS site with a simplistic look and an interactive interface that provides users with tools to create customized map views and the ability to download the various topographic base mapping data in the map window. If you are not interested in downloading GIS layers but still want to make some maps then like most typical map viewers, they also provide printing options where you can create either paper or digital PDF maps.
When you first open the viewer you are zoomed out to the full extent of the province with mapping tools represented by icons on your left and accessible data layers on the right hand side. Using the AOI icon, you first need to define an area of interest that will zoom the map window into your specific area, populating the map window with more detailed GIS layers and features.
From the list on the right hand side, you then select the visible layers that you wish to download. Next using the FME icon from the tools on the left hand side, a window will open up prompting you to log-in, create a free user name and password (or enter your existing log-in) and then a download options window will appear.
You then need to click a check box to agree with the license terms and click the Download Data button to continue. Finally another window with instructions for acquiring the data in a variety of formats (e.g. SHP, DWG, DXF etc.) and in either Latitude / Longitude or Lambert Conformal Conic coordinate system. Then there will be one final window with a message telling to check your e-mail for a message.
You will then get a machine-generated e-mail from the Geography Network with a custom download link with the Ontario topographic data layers that you specified for your area of interest that you defined. And that is all there is to it, so if you are looking for Ontario topographic GIS data layers to download or just want want to create online maps then the Ontario Basic Mapping (OBM) site could help you out.
If you know of other Ontario data sources that I have not yet added to the Canadian data collections then let me know about it and I will add it to the site.
Canadian GIS Education Programs
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