High quality foundational geospatial layers for Canada: Collected once, used many times; available without restrictions, under an open data licence.

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Learn About GeoBase

What is the GeoBase Initiative?

The GeoBase initiative provides access to consistent, national scale geospatial foundational data for Canada’s land, water, and infrastructure. Foundational geospatial data, when layered or combined with other data, including scientific, socio-economic, or business information, provides location reference and essential geographic context, enabling richer analysis and better-informed decision- making, by governments, private sector companies and individual citizens.

The GeoBase initiative is founded upon federal, provincial, and territorial collaboration. In October 2001, the Canadian Council on Geomatics (CCOG), a partnership of federal, provincial, and territorial government mapping organizations, launched the GeoBase initiative, and created the GeoBase Steering Committee to guide its development. This initiative was the beginning of a new era of cooperation between various federal, provincial, and territorial stakeholders that is still ongoing today.

GeoBase was launched in November 2003 with free and open access to six layers of geospatial data under a common data licence without cost or restrictions on its subsequent use. In the decades since, GeoBase datasets have been downloaded millions of times, new data layers have been added, and national foundational data standards have been defined and adopted by the CCOG.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the CCOG and the GeoBase Steering Committee continuously seek to improve GeoBase data and are keenly aware of the need to evolve the data offerings to meet the changing needs of Canadian geospatial data users.

GeoBase Data Principles

  1. GeoBase data is available at no cost.
  2. GeoBase data is available under Canada’s Open Government Licence – Canada.
  3. GeoBase has no restrictions on its subsequent use, as per the Open Government Licence – Canada.
  4. Where possible, GeoBase data provides national data coverage.
  5. GeoBase data is collected once and used by many.
  6. GeoBase data is collected and maintained by trusted sources.
  7. GeoBase complies with geospatial standards promoted by the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure.

Through users can access the entire GeoBase data collection!

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