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Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Canada

This guide helps you get started learning about GIS and how to find geospatial data.



Base Data

Business & Economics




Land Cover/Land Use

Remote Sensing/Satellite Imagery


National Topographic System (NTS)

Topographic map coverage of Canada is based on the National Topographic System (NTS).

To navigate this series of maps to find the map depicting your area of interest, you must understand how they are organized (i.e., the National Topographic System (NTS) index). It is good to understand this organization, as it can sometimes be easier to find geospatial data for Canada by providing an NTS grid reference instead of a placename, especially in tools, such as GeoGratis.

Take a look at an online interactive map we created that helps you explore and navigate the NTS index (as well as other indexes) to get a better understanding of how it works.