Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

April 04, 2007 06:00 ET

Natural Resources Canada: Canada's New Government Provides Free Online Access to Digital Mapping Data

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 4, 2007) - Experts and other users of digital topographic data will no longer have to pay to use digital versions of government maps and data. The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced that as of April 1, 2007, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) began making its electronic topographic mapping data available to all users free of charge over the Internet.

"Our Government recognizes the importance of providing Canadians with access to the latest digital mapping information at no cost," said Minister Lunn. "Not only will Canadians now have free access to digital maps, but Canada will be known as an important source for digital mapping data around the world."

Topographic data provide information on the location of landscape features - such as lakes, rivers and elevations - and also roads, railways and administrative boundaries. This information is used for many purposes by governments, academia and the private sector to provide valuable maps for Canadians.

The new no-fee access policy applies to data that is solely owned by NRCan. This policy builds on an earlier initiative (, which in 2003 provided free access to various co-owned federal, provincial and territorial topographic data. As well as waiving access fees, NRCan is lifting all cost and licence restrictions on the redistribution of the data. This will help ensure that accurate and consistent information is available for users.

NRCan has provided the private sector with access to digital topographic data since the early 1990s. With the ongoing rapid growth of the Internet and the resulting drop in distribution costs, it is appropriate to make public information in digital form available without any restrictions on its use or redistribution. The data collections will be made available through the GeoGratis Web portal ( Users will need to have a geographic information system or image analysis system and the graphics applications of editing software to view the data.

The no-fee policy helps advance the Government of Canada's commitment to the development of knowledge, innovation and productivity in the natural resources sectors and elsewhere - giving Canadians the advantage to succeed.


Experts and other users of digital topographic data will no longer have to pay to use digital versions of government maps and data. Natural Resources Canada began providing this data free of charge on April 1, 2007, to help ensure the availability of accurate and consistent information.

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at

Contact Information

  • Media may contact:
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Ghyslain Charron
    Media Relations
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Kathleen Olson
    Acting Director of Communications
    General public may contact
    Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 EST
    Telephone: 613-995-0947
    TTY: teletype for the hearing
    impaired 613-996-4397