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Web Services

The platform offers an application-programming interface (API) that provides developers with the ability to search, discover, assess and access data and information products such as maps, images, photos and documents.

Map Services

Note :

  1. A wide variety of map services is available on the Open Government Portal.
  2. More information on the Geospatial Standards and Operational Policies for Web Map Services (WMS)
  3. Information on the closing and the stopping updates of several Web Map Service (WMS)
Service* Description Protocol Language Description and visualization on Open Government Portal
CBMT3978 / CBCT3978 Canada Base Map – Transportation Service (tiled) / Carte de base du Canada - Transport (tuilé) REST tiled, WMTS English/ French Available Soon
CBMT / CBCT Canada Base Map – Transportation Service (WMS) / Carte de base du Canada - Transport (WMS) WMS English/ French Available Soon
canvec_en / canvec_fr Topographic data of Canada - CanVec Series / Données topographiques du Canada - Série CanVec WMS English/ French View CanVec
railway_en / railway_fr National Railway Network - NRWN - GeoBase Series / Réseau ferroviaire national - RFN - Série GéoBase WMS English/ French View Railway
hydro_network_en / hydro_network_fr National Hydro Network - NHN - GeoBase Series / Réseau hydrographique national - RHN - Série GéoBase WMS English/ French View Hydro
arcticsdi_en Canada Arctic SDI Base Map / Carte de base du Canada Arctic SDI WMS English -
elevation_en / elevation_fr Elevation Data Web Mapping Service – DEM – DSM / Service de cartographie Web pour les données d'élévation - MNE - MNS WMS English/ French View Elevation
CBME_CBCE_HS_RO_3978 The Canada Base Map - Elevation (CBME) (tiled) / Carte de base du Canada – Élévation (CBCE) (tuilé) REST tiled Bilingual  -
coverage_HRDEM_en / coverage_HRDEM_fr Coverage of the high resolution digital elevation model (HRDEM) product - CanElevation Series / Couverture du produit Modèle numérique d'élévation haute résolution (MNEHR) - Série CanElevation REST English/ French View Coverage HRDEM
NTS_SNRC NTS grid / Grille SNRC REST Bilingual Available Soon
UTM UTM grid / Grille UTM REST Bilingual Available Soon
Graticule Grid of longitude and latitude lines / Quadrillage des lignes de longitude et latitude REST Bilingual Available Soon

*Copy link URL in a WMS Client, for example in GIS software and applications.

Open Government API

The Government of Canada aims to publish data in an open format and provide people with easy and reliable access to data, all while reducing barriers to entry, promoting innovation and eliminating unnecessary costs for businesses using the data.

Structured data is usually in the form of text but follows a specific format giving it machine readability. Some more complex formats may be in binary format such as maps and GIS related files. You will find many different formats in the Open Government Portal. More information on Working with Data and Application Programming Interfaces is available on the Open Government Portal.

GeoLocation API

Note: Please note that the service is also available via the https protocol.


The Geolocation service allows end users to get the geographic location of named features. The current service allows the location of following features:

  • Street addresses
  • Street names
  • Streets intersection
  • Place names such as towns, villages, municipalities, parks
  • Natural geographical features such as lakes, islands, rivers, mountains
  • Postal codes (FSA code only - first three characters)
  • Map numbers from the National Topographic System (NTS)

For a complete description and request examples, please see the section Geolocation Service.

Delimitation Service


The service provides access to geometry extents (delimitation) for various type of tessellation of the Canadian landmass. The service currently offers delimitations from the following coverages:

  • Drainage Areas (detailed or generalized geometries)
  • Landsat Footprints
  • Map Sheets from the National Topographic System (NTS)

For a complete description and request examples, please see the section Delimitation Service.

Elevation API

End User Documentation

Elevation API provides information about the relief based on two data source:

Canadian Digital Elevation Model (CDEM)

Canadian Digital Surface Model (CDSM)

For a complete description and request examples, please see the section Elevation API.

Maps for HTML

Users have the ability to easily create their own customizable maps in a web browser. To create a map in your web page using open geospatial data, you simply write an HTML element, as follows:

<!DOCTYPE html>
     <title>My First web Map</title>
     <script src=""></script>
     <link rel="import" href="">
     <map is="web-map" zoom="3" lat="66.9413186" lon="-83.9229196" width="800" height="640" projection="CBMTILE" controls>
       <layer- src="" label="Canada Base map" checked ></layer->

The above HTML code will render a customizable, interactive map in most web browsers:

Web Maps - Canada Base Map

Further information about how to mark up an HTML document to create maps with the custom HTML map element can be found in the Maps for HTML - Tutorial.

Map Markup Language

MapML allows browsers to render and users to interact with maps directly, as illustrated above. Typical web services require specialized client software, but MapML is designed for use in the browser, to be consumed by the custom HTML element at plain web URLs. Several sources are offered for the MapML, in various projections.

MapML services

Discover Map Markup Language (MapML) services listed by projection.

For Further Information

Further information about MapML can be found in the specification. In order to receive community support with using the custom map element and MapML, please consider participating in the Maps for HTML Community Group and contributing via Github.

NapGen (NAP XML Generator)


NapGen generates NAP-conformant XML for a database.

NAP (North American Profile of ISO 19115:2003 — Geographic Information — Metadata) is a National Standard of Canada. It is a recommendation on organizing geographic information. NAP includes a schema which defines placeholders for data and their relationships.

With NapGen, you interactively navigate a tree of placeholders to map them to database data. NapGen then generates a NAP-conformant XML file for each database record and applies schema-based validation to the generated XML.

NapGen includes a tool - NAP File Validator. You can use it to validate an XML file according to the NAP schema.

Operating Environment

NapGen is web-based (served up by Apache running on 32-bit Windows 7 or XP).

You can use it with Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox.

The supported DBMSes are Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and PostgreSQL.


To install NapGen, download the distribution zip, un-zip it, then click on the file aaaReadme.html.

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