British Columbia

Clearinghouses and Portals

Provincial Government

BC Provincial Government Data Catalogue.  Uncheck the box on the right for ‘All File Types’ and click the box next to ‘SHP’ to search for GIS shapefiles.

GeoBC Home
BC Provincial Government Data

Regional Districts

CRD (Capital Regional District) Atlas (Victoria area)
Links to the CRD Web Map Service (WMS) are provided.  Includes base data, orthophotography and natural areas data

Regional District of Central Okanagan (Kelowna area)
GIS Data, including contours and roads


Online map tool and open data website

Open data for the City of Kelowna.

Langley (Township of)
Open Data portal for the township of Langley.

Open data website with properties and infrastructure files

North Vancouver (District of)
Open data website with files covering the physical environment and civic infrastructure

Prince George
Prince George’s open data portal.

Download shapefiles from the city’s open data site.

VanMap Open Data Catalogue (City of Vancouver)
Vancouver’s open data site.  GIS datasets are available for free download, including boundaries, infrastructure, contours, aerial photos and more.


By Subject

UBC indicates that access to the resource is limited to UBC students, faculty and staff


Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) Mapping
ALR boundaries for the province provided by the Agricultural Land Commission.

ALR Property and Map Finder

All ALR pdfs for the province.

Base Data (boundaries, cities, rivers, roads, railroads, etc.)

Administrative Regions (BC Stats)
Download GIS shapefiles for economic regions, regional districts, municipalities, health boundaries, school districts, college regions and provincial electoral districts.

UBC ArcCanada British Columbia 2005 [in Abacus] (requires UBC login)
General basemap data for the province. Positional accuracy ranges from 1:2,000 to 1:50,000.

UBC CanMap RouteLogistics 2010 [in Abacus] (requires UBC login)
This extensive dataset from DMTI Spatial, Inc. includes shapefiles for transportation, points of interest, administrative boundaries, land use, physical features, building footprints, and more.  Datasets also exist for earlier years.

Census Data

Census Data and GIS
See this UBC Library web page for information on how to download and format Canadian census data to be joined to census boundary shapefiles.


BC Stats maintains files for translating various data across administrative regions. These files can be accessed through the BC Stats website directly. Downloadable shape files include Development Regions, Census Divisions, Census Subdivisions, Health Boundaries, School Districts, and College Regions.



Canadian Climate Normals
Average monthly precipitation and temperature, plus other variables, by weather station, for all of Canada.


The BC Economic Atlas (BCEA) is a user friendly, web-based mapping application that integrates and displays economic and natural resource data on a map to support investment opportunity identification, business case analysis and decision-making in British Columbia. A users guide and YouTube webinar are available.


National dataset that includes 20-meter contour geodatabase (<province>_FO.gdb) within the data package.  Search for CanVec products in GeoGratis.

UBC Digital Elevation Models [in Abacus] (requires UBC login)
30- and 90-meter resolution ASCII files (with accompanying .prj files) that can be converted into DEM rasters.  Includes many parts of BC, including the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

UBC TRIM (Terrain Resource Information Mapping) (UBC Library)
Positional files include 20 meter contours, roads, rail lines, water features, and more.  DEM files include an elevation point file and breakline file that can be converted into a TIN or DEM raster.  See a complete list of feature codes on the GIS Reference page of this website.
TRIM files are divided using the BC Geographic System grid.
To obtain files, please provide the BCGS grid codes to Paul Lesack in Koerner Library, or for Faculty of Forestry requests, please contact Jerry Maedel at (Restrictions apply.)

GeoBase Digital Elevation Data
Canadian digital elevation data at a variety of resolutions (in ASCII format)


Ministry of Energy and Mines
Off-shore oil and gas-related shapefiles


Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification Program (BC Forest Service)
Provincial Biogeoclimatic Subzone/Variant mapping

Forest Cover (VRI – Vegetation Resources Inventory)
“A composite table comprising the polygon table attributes joined to the attributes from the non vegetation, non tree, land cover component, tree layer, tree species and tree volume tables.”

VRI Data Download Geospatial forest inventory dataset updated for depletions, such as harvesting, and projected annually for growth. Sample attributes in this dataset include: age, species, volume, height.

Publicly available animal, ecology and plant data available for free download


Digital Geology Data (Ministry of Energy and Mines)
Mineral resource assessment and mineral potential geology compilations in .e00 format (Ministry of Energy and Mines)
Click on Geospatial Data Downloads to access GIS datasets.

Land Use/Land Cover

Baseline Thematic Mapping Land Use (ILMB – via GeoBC)
Includes non-urban land use for British Columbia, such as old-growth and new-growth forest, agriculture, recreation areas, mining, glaciers and estuaries.  Urban is a single land use category.  Click the “download data” button to order the dataset through GeoBC.

UBC CanMap RouteLogistics 2010 [in Abacus] (requires UBC login)
Land use shapefiles are available as part of this dataset.  The accuracy of these datasets isn’t great, but the shapefiles do cover all major built-up areas of the province.  Datasets also available for earlier years.

GeoBase Land Cover
Canada-wide land cover, circa 2000.  Vector data based on original raster data


CRD (Capital Regional District) Atlas (Victoria area)
Links to the CRD Web Map Service (WMS) for viewing orthophotography.

UBC Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley (1995) [in Abacus] (requires UBC login)
Complete 1-meter coverage of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley in GeoTIFF format.  Use the locator map [PDF] to determine which zone you need.

Regional District of Central Okanagan Orthophotos (Kelowna area)
Download 2009 orthophotos for the RDCO area.

VanMap Open Data Catalogue (City of Vancouver)
Orthophotos covering the city of Vancouver in ECW and MrSID formats.
Direct links to MrSID format for 2006, 2008, 2009

Property/Parcels (Cadastral)

Integrated Cadastral Information Society (ICIS) Public Web Map
View (but not download) cadastral data for BC through their online viewer.
To see a description of the types of cadastral data available to UBC students, faculty and researchers, see the ICIS website.
UBC To acquire any of these datasets, please contact Paul Lesack at UBC Library.
Note that there is no assessment or ownership information available via the UBC Library, only property boundaries and basic identification information.

Remote Sensing/Satellite Imagery
(see also Orthophotography)

GeoBase Satellite Imagery
SPOT, Landsat and RADARSAT images for Canada

Global Visualization Viewer (USGS)
View and download worldwide satellite imagery (requires free account setup)
Download landsat data (only some images are free)

Reverb/ECHO (NASA)
New “metadata and service discovery tool” to find remote sensing and earth science data


UBC CanMap Streetfiles 2010 [in Abacus] (requires UBC login)
This extensive dataset from DMTI Spatial, Inc. includes significant roads, minor streets and address range data . Datasets also exist for earlier years.

UBC Census of Canada Road Network File, 2011 [in Abacus] (requires UBC login)
Comprehensive road network for all of Canada.  Includes freeways, highways, major and minor roads with road names and address ranges.

Traffic Data Program (BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Traffic counts for BC highways

UBC TransLink Transit GIS Data, 09 March 2010 [in Abacus] (requires UBC login)
TransLink Bus and Rail routes, including stops, effective on March 9, 2010.