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Canada’s government provides free online access to digital mapping data

Ontario, Canada, 04 April 2007: The Canadian Minister of natural Resources, Mr. Gary Lunn announced that Natural Resources Canada began making its electronic topographic mapping data available to all users free of charge over the Internet.

“Our Government recognizes the importance of providing Canadians with access to the latest digital mapping information at no cost,” said Minister Lunn. “Not only will Canadians now have free access to digital maps, but Canada will be known as an important source for digital mapping data around the world.”

The Canadian topographic database provide information on the location of landscape features – such as lakes, rivers and elevations and also roads, railways and administrative boundaries. This information is found valuable among governments, academia and the private sectors.

The new no-fee access policy applies to data that is solely owned by NRCan, a provider of topographic data. This policy builds on an earlier initiative (www.GeoBase.ca), which in 2003 provided free access to various co-owned federal, provincial and territorial topographic data. As well as waiving access fees, NRCan is lifting all cost and licence restrictions on the redistribution of the data. This will help ensure that accurate and consistent information is available for users.

The data collections will be made available through the GeoGratis Web portal (geogratis.gc.ca). Users will need to have a geographic information system or image analysis system and the graphics applications of editing software to view the data.