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British Columbia Maps and Geospatial Data

A guide to finding maps and geographic data about the province of British Columbia

Print Maps

UBC holds an extensive collection of thematic maps for Vancouver, Metro Vancouver and the province at large. A number of the maps have been cataloged using a specialized system called Boggs and Lewis. These maps are both general, as well as specialized in the information that they contain. Such as zoning, planning, waterways, and other specific geographic features are present. 

Outside of Koerner library there are several other map collections at UBC that cover British Columbia including:

  • The Geographic Information Centre (GIC) in the department of geography also holds series of thematic maps for the province of BC. For more information on these maps see here
  • Xwi7xwa library holds several series of thematic maps related to First Nations and indigenous mapping initiatives. For more on these collections see here
  • Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) has an extensive collection of early British Columbia maps as well as the Fire Insurance Plan Maps for the province. Another featured collection at RBSC is the Howay-Reid collection of maps that were donated to UBC by the collectors F.W. Howay and Dr. Robie L. Reid. 

Below are links to guides on the Fire Insurance and Howat-Reid collections provided by RBSC

Books from the Catalogue

Canadian Topographic Maps

National Topographic System (NTS)

A series of Topographic maps produced by the federal government in a range of scales (1:50,000, 1:250,000). UBC holds an extensive collection of print copies of these maps for British Columbia and Canada as a whole. This collection is located on the second floor of Koerner library next to reference services

UBC libraries has compiled inventories of these maps that can be browsed below. For a more complete set of inventories see out Maps and Atlases guide here 

BC Topographic Series (TRIM)

In addition to the NTS maps the province of British Columbia also produces it's own series of 1:20,000 scale maps. This maps are often reffered to as TRIM maps (Terrain Resource Information Management). 

You can also get more acquainted with the NTS grid system online with the UBC library grid view of the province here

The provincial government also provides a static view of the TRIM grid system online here

Digital Resources

Aerial Photography

UBC has an extensive collection of over 2.5 million air photos of BC and the Yukon. The air photos are held by the Geographic Information Centre, which is located in the UBC Geography Department, external to UBC Library. Refer to the Air Photo Collection page for information on visiting the collection or ordering air photos.