GIS External Data

Sites offering free mapping data

The current digital data holdings at the GISciences Centre may not meet all of the needs of its users. There are a number of sites that have data that is freely available. Some of the most commonly used include:

Nova Scotia

Halifax Regional Municipality
This site contains many of the datasets that are used by HRM.  It includes things like bus stops, trails and waste collection.  The data from this site comes in a variety of scales but is meant for city mapping.

Nova Scotia Dept. of Natural Resources - Forestry Division downloadable GIS data
This site contains links to a number of forestry related datasets including Forest
Inventory, Hurricane Juan Imagery, Land Capability for Forestry, and Ecological Land Classification.

Nova Scotia Natural Resources Mineral Resources Branch
Contains links to data and maps for Bedrock Geology, Glacial/Surficial Geology, Mineral Deposits, Geochemistry, Geophysics and more.

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations - Geographic Information
Supplies 1:10000 topographic data . The user will need to set up a free account to

New Brunswick

Service New Brunswick - Geographic Information
Supplies 1:10000 topographic data, boundary files (county, electoral etc.),  special themes (military bases, inland fishing zones, First Nations land etc), ortho photos, civic addresses, and digital property maps.

Prince Edward Island

PEI Government - GIS Data Layers
Supplies topographic and boundary data at various scales from 1:1000 to 1:50000.  Layers include : property indices, ambulance fire and school coverages, civic addresses and many more.

Canadian data

Canadian National Topographic Database (NTDB)
This dataset has national coverage on 13 different themes at 1:50000 and 1:250000 scales. Data includes roads, watercourses, urban areas, railways, vegetation, and relief.

National Soils Database (Canada)
This site contains information for the Canada Land Inventory (CLI), Climate Data,
Detailed Soil Surveys, Land Potential Database and Soil Landscapes of Canada (SLC).

Open Data (Government of Canada)
Site to search for Open Data offered by the Canadian Government.  This site is both for spatial and other data.

NRCAN Download Directory
This is an easy to search, easy to use website that has a number of different datasets including Atlas of Canada vectors and some satellite imagery.

Statistics Canada
This site contains the boundary files for census (census tracts, dissemination areas, economic regions to name a few).  It contains boundaries for 2001, 2006, and 2011 census.

Global data

The FGDC Geospatial Data Clearinghouse
The Federal Geospatial Data Clearinghouse is a collection of over 250 spatial data servers that have digital geographic data primarily for use in GIS and Image Processing softwares.

Natural Earth
This site contains basic physical, cultural, and raster data for the world at 3 different scales (1:10 million, 1:50 million, 1:110 million)

National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)

Topography for the world at 30 second resolution.

Bathymetry and topography for the world at 2 minute resolution.