Geographic data has never been as available as it is today. The emergence of Internet technologies in the past few years has made it much easier for geographic data publishers to distribute their data to GIS users. One of the best ways to discover this data is through geographic clearinghouses and other geographic data sites on the Web. Below is a collection of links to some of the more useful sites offering data that works with GIS software.

  • GeoNOVA: The GeoNOVA Portal is the Province of Nova Scotia's gateway to geographic information about Nova Scotia.

  • Manitoba Land Initiative: The Manitoba Land Initiative Web site is the source for geo-spatial information from the Government of Manitoba. It is intended for both the GIS expert and the decision maker. This Web site allows on-line access to the MLI corporate land data warehouse.

  • Service New Brunswick: The Geographic Data & Maps section gives access to freely available geographic information of New Brunswick, plus links to other geographic data and maps sites.

  • British Columbia Minsitry of Environment, Lands and Parks: GIS data for British Columbia, Canada. Downloadable data and software, as well as, links to other sites.

  • Canadian Soil Information System: Soils, Landscapes, and related coverages at various scales for Canada

  • GIS Data Depot: The GIS Data Depot and GeoCommunity houses data in support of the GIS industry. The majority of the data provided has been downloaded by our staff from a wide range of GIS Web sites located on the Internet.

  • GeoConnections Discovery Portal: The Discovery Portal is the prime discovery and access component of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure, and is a vast clearinghouse for geospatial products and services. The Discovery Portal is the Canadian node of the International Directory Network (IDN). Under this arrangement, metadata about Canadian databases are made available through an international network of directory systems. In return, descriptions of international databases are made available to Discovery Portal users.

  • GeoGratis: GeoGratis is a web and file transfer protocol (ftp) site that distributes geospatial data of Canada. Data is available for download, without charge. Offers maps, satellite imagery and tabular data of Canada

  • Global Climate Maps: A series of 53 global climate maps. The series prepared by FAO's Environment and Natural Resources Service (SDRN) includes maps indicating rainfall, temperature and sunshine. Data was collected over long periods - in most cases, from 1961 to 1990 - and average monthly values calculated in 1991. Maps showing Biomass Potential - that is, the maximum amount of vegetation that an area can produce - are also available.

  • Global Forest Watch: Global Forest Watch produces various datasets related to the state of forests in Canada, Cameroon, and Gabon, with more countries to follow. Some of these datasets were originally produced by other organizations, and are made available from the Global Forest Watch Data Warehouse. The metadata for individual datasets is made available on the Global Forest Watch website.

  • Global Land Cover Characterization: Land cover data sets and NDVI composites to download.

  • Global Resource Information Database - UNEP: Global GIS datasets, maps and graphics from the United Nations Environmental Programme's Global Resource Information Database. Includes basemaps and data on biodiversity, human population, protected areas, wilderness and geography. Topics range from Acidification to Urban areas. Data is available in formats for ArcView, ArcInfo, Idrisi and MapInfo.

  • Microsoft TerraService: Access the Microsoft TerraServer using ASP, .NET or OpenGIS. The Microsoft TerraServer is an on-line database of high resolution USGS aerial imagery (DOQs) and scanned USGS topographical maps (DRGs).

  • North America Land Cover Characteristics Data Base: Land Cover maps of North America to download. Also available are monthly NDVI composites.

  • Statistics Canada: Free data on aspects of Canada's economy, land, people and government.

  • The International Arctic Environmental Data Directory: Data sets of the Arctic region from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom and U.S.

  • University of Ottawa - Regional and Local Data: Data sets and maps highlighting land cover and use, geology, soils,transportation, environmental and social themes. Coverage is mostly for the Ottawa area, but does include an Ontario base map.

  • World Gazetteer: Current population for cities, towns and regions of all countries.