The basics (PDF, 1.34 MB)
Topographic maps are used for a wide variety of applications, from camping, canoeing, fishing and hiking to urban planning, resource development and surveying. Why? Because they represent the earth's features accurately and to scale, on a two-dimensional surface. This section provides information to facilitate the use of topographic maps, and also how to obtain paper and digital maps.
National Topographic System
National Topographic System (NTS) map sheets offer detailed information on any particular area. They are an excellent planning tool and guide and, at the same time, help make outdoor adventures enjoyable and safe.
Where to obtain a topographic paper map
Where to obtain a digital topographic map
Use the HTML geospatial product index to visualize an inventory of our digital topographic map collections and to download the files. Click on the data type "Raster" under "Data Types", then choose "CanTopo – CanMatrix – Latest Edition 1:50 000" collection in the "Collections" section. Zoom and click on the desired region to select the files. The CanTopo file is always the most recent.
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