University of Alberta

Alberta & Canada
Alberta & Canada

Custom Alberta Spatial Database (CASD) from Free Digital Sources

Canada-Wide Datasets

Alberta-Specific Datasets

Other GIS Data "Goodies"

Info on Metadata & Documentation

The following resources emphasize Alberta content and include links to useful data web sites for a variety of vector and raster digital data from online Canadian and Alberta sources for use in creating your own free custom database.

Click to download the outline notes or the online slide show for the CASD workshop. Stay tuned for downloadable instruction sets on how to process the data.

Links to some useful web sites containing downloadable GIS data:



Canada-Wide Datasets

Atlas of Canada cartographic and geographic information on Canada
Geoconnections the Discovery Portal provides access to millions of Canadian geospatial data products, including satellite imagery, topographic data, and aerial photography - essentially a one-stop for Geobase, Geogratis, Atlas of Canada, etc.
GeoBase a common, up-to-date and maintained base of quality geospatial data for all of Canada with access to Administrative Boundaries, Canadian Digital Elevation Data (CDED), Landsat 7 Orthoimages
GeoGratis download FREE Canadian spatial data... everything from Landsat, RADARSAT, Earth Observation Data, Atlas Vectors, National Scale Frameworks, CGIS (Canadian Geographic Information Systems), Vector/Tabular Data...
NLWIS & AAFC Agriculture Canada's National Land and Water Information Service includes data for CLI, generalized landcover, climate, agriculatural census, and watershed boundaries for the Canadian Prairies
CanSIS Agriculture Canada's Canadian Soil Information System
National Ecological Framework GIS datasets for the different layers of the ecological framework
EcoMAP info and download link for The State of Canada's Ecosystems in Maps
NRCan LSD Legal Surveys Division's National Framework Canada Lands Administrative Boundary (CLAB) Level 1
NRCan GSC Geological Survey of Canada's digital copy of the Surficial Materials of Canada
NRCan CFS Climate Natural Resources Canada Canadian Forest Service Great Lakes Forest Centre Regional, National and International Climate Modeling
CCIS Canadian Climate Impacts and Scenarios data and information generated outside of the CCIS Project Gridded Observed Climatologies for 1961-1990
NRCan CFS EOSD Landcover circa 2000-2003 satellite classification of the forested regions of Canada (click here for download access)
Statistics Canada Census 2006 Census of Population Products and Services - includes GIS boundary file and summary tables
Species Biodiversity Mapping online mapping tools for species in Canada (plants and animals)

Alberta-Specific Datasets

AGS Alberta Geological Survey (click here for Digital Datasets)
AGRASID Agricultural Region of Alberta Soil Inventory Database



Alberta Natural Heritage Information Centre's GIS data: NRSR = Natural Regions and Subregions; and ESA = Environmentally Sensitive Areas

TPR Protected Areas Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation's Land Reference manual includes protected areas and Crown Reservations digital data
ESRD Forest Health Environment and Sustainable Resource Development's Insect and Disease Surveys
ESRD Spatial Wildfire Environment and Sustainable Resource Development's Historical Wildfires
AltaLIS Alberta Land Information System's boundary files
ABT Lithoprobe Alberta Basement Transect (ABT) project has data for transect lines, township and range, and other data

Other GIS Data "Goodies"

NTS Indexes GIS vectors of map sheet index grids for the Natural Resources Canada National Topographic System (NRCan NTS)
Content from ESRI ArcGIS-ready content covering the entire world
Landsat WRS and Path/Row index grids for Landsat's Worldwide Reference System and Path/Row
LP DAAC Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center - processing, archiving, and distribution of satellite data
GLCF largest free source of satellite data made available by the University of Maryland's Global Landcover Facility
Grime's File Formats Grime's “File Formats in GIS, 3D & Imagery and What to Treat Them With…” - a list of file formats in GIS and tools to use for processing/viewing

Info on Metadata and Documentation

FGDC Federal Geographic Data Committee standards, community and other online resources
ESRI Profile of the Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata an ESRI technical paper on how to make metadata more accessible and useful on a daily basis when browsing, searching, and managing data
Suggested data citation format Author. Title from series [format]. Edition. Scale. Series, sheet number. Place of publication: publisher, date. (date accessed).

Email Charlene if you know of any other links that should be included here.

Last Modified: 2014-03-06