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Open Maps – allowing anyone to customize a map

Open Maps was formally launched this week by Minister Jim Carr as part of Geography Awareness Week, giving all Canadians and people around the world innovative mapping and data analysis capability by providing access to almost 700 geospatial (location-based) datasets from 13 government departments, including NRCan. More datasets are being added to Open Maps each week.

Open Maps is helping the government meet its international commitments, including the Open Government Partnership and the G8 Open Data Charter.

“The Government of Canada has taken a big step this year in the evolution of geomatics and making data accessible with the launch of Open Maps,” said Minister Carr. “Open Maps brings all of the government’s geospatial data together, in one place, making it easier for anyone to create customized maps. Open Maps is fuelled by data from federal scientists, surveyors and satellites, as well as marine and land-based sensors.”

Access to open data is important to the global community. It can help with resource development and can be particularly important to countries that are vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, among many other uses.

Last fall, Canada signed the United Nations' Joint Declaration on Harnessing the Data Revolution for Climate Resilience, which “envision[s] a world in which communities and governments at all levels have access to timely, relevant, and up-to-date information that supports management of climate variability and change.” 

Open Maps is a concrete deliverable that will support the sharing of best practices with the world community.  

Create your own customized maps or use the Open Maps gallery


Using Open Maps you can now:

  • Find data: access economic (e.g., labour force status), social (e.g., total population by age group) and environmental (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions from large facilities) geospatial data in one location and then download this data directly to your desktop
  • Create maps: generate maps for reports or briefings
  • View maps: look at maps to see what others have done and even overlay multiple data layers, including your own local data, to analyze trends, identify data outliers and discover relationships

Get started!

Visit the Open Maps to start finding maps or creating your own to support your work or field of study.

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