Overview

The goal of this page is to provide some information about various digital "maps" available for Canada. The information is about digital images or DRGs(Digital Raster Graphics), rather than maps created from vector data.

Although most sources of digital maps will have the ability to look at one or more sample images, it is not always easy to compare the samples from different sources. In order to make it easier to judge whether a particular type of map image may be suitable for a particular task, this page uses one area to provide the comparisons. Map products that are not available for the selected area(around Vancouver, B.C.), or for which I do not have sample maps, are not listed.

Products are listed in alphabetical order. Being listed on this page does not imply that I endorse, or use, the map product. In addition to the information on this page, there is some information about the Canadian National Topographic System, Toporama, and the NASA MrSid images on my Maps page. There are some sample map images, and sample Toporama map files available for download, on my DRGMapCal page. There is information about Canadian Landsat-7 satellite images on my Canada Landsat-7 images page.

Comparing products

There are a number of things that may influence your decision about which map product is the best one for your needs. Some of the things to consider are:

Sample Area and Images

All the sample images are from screen captures while the maps were being used in OziExplorer. The map images displayed on this page link to "full sized" PNG images. The area used for the samples is centered on 49°22'30"N 123°15'00"W, which is the center of the Canadian National Topographic System 1:50,000 scale mapsheet 092G06 (North Vancouver). There is a waypoint on all the images that marks this location. The yellow tracklog shown on the images was recorded while driving from the Kitsilano area of Vancouver, over the Burrard Street bridge, through downtown Vancouver, through Stanley Park, over the Lions Gate bridge, and then onto Highway 99 heading through West Vancouver and north towards Whistler. The "Map View" window is a feature of OziExplorer that shows a thumbnail view of the entire map image, as well as a rectangle indicating the part of the map currently shown on the screen.

Etopo 1:50,000

[Etopo 092G06 topo map image] Part of the Etopo Digital Maps 092G06 1:50,000 scale topographic map image. Etopo maps are 150 DPI 256 color PNG images from scans of the paper NTS topographic maps. Available on CDROM from online retailers, and in retail stores.

Fugawi 1:50,000

[Fugawi 092G06 topo map image] Part of the Fugawi 092G06 1:50,000 scale topographic map image. Fugawi maps are 254 DPI BSB format images from scans of the paper NTS topographic maps. Available on CDROM from Fugawi.

QVN 1:50,000

[QVN 092G06 topo map image] Part of the QuoVadis Navigator 092G06 1:50,000 scale topographic map image. QuoVadis Navigator maps are PNG images from scans of the paper NTS topographic maps, and are calibrated for Touratech QV2. Available on CDROM from QVN-Canada, online retailers, and in retail stores.

SoftMap 1:50,000

[SoftMap 092G06 topo map image] Part of the SoftMap GeoTIFF 092G06 1:50,000 scale topographic map image. SoftMap GeoTIFF maps are 254 DPI GeoTIFF images from scans of the paper NTS topographic maps. Available on CDROM from SoftMap.

Spectrum 1:50,000

[Spectrum 092G06 topo map image] Part of the Spectrum Digital Imaging 092G06 1:50,000 scale topographic map image. Spectrum maps are 256 color PNG images from scans of the paper NTS topographic maps. Available on CDROM from Spectrum, online retailers, and in retail stores.

Toporama 1:50,000

[Toporama 092G06 topo map image] Part of the Toporama 092G06 1:50,000 scale topographic map image. These Toporama topographic images correspond to part of the contents of the National Topographic Data Base (NTDB) at the 1:50,000 scale. The NTDB vector data was converted into 256 color GIF images, and geographic names for towns and lakes, and the names of rivers, rapids, falls, and oceans, as well as the main toponyms for relief features and transportation (dams, seaplane bases/anchorages, roads, airfields, etc.), were added. Available for free from the Toporama website, or on CDROM from my Maps page.

Toporama orthoimage

[Toporama 092G06 orthoimage] Part of the Toporama 092G06 1:50,000 scale Landsat-7 orthoimage. A Toporama orthoimage is a low-resolution raster representation of the CanImage product. Toporama orthoimages are satellite images that are a combination of Landsat-7 bands 3 (red), 2 (green), and 1 (blue), in a 256 color GIF image. Available for free from the Toporama website.

Etopo 1:250,000

[Etopo 092G topo map image] Part of the Etopo Digital Maps 092G 1:250,000 scale topographic map image. Etopo maps are 150 DPI 256 color PNG images from scans of the paper NTS topographic maps. Available on CDROM from online retailers, and in retail stores. The white rectangle on the map shows the area covered by the 092G06 1:50,000 scale map.

Fugawi 1:250,000

[Fugawi 092G topo map image] Part of the Fugawi 092G 1:250,000 scale topographic map image. Fugawi maps are 254 DPI BSB format images from scans of the paper NTS topographic maps. Available on CDROM from Fugawi. The white rectangle on the map shows the area covered by the 092G06 1:50,000 scale map.

QVN 1:250,000

[QVN 092G topo map image] Part of the QuoVadis Navigator 092G 1:250,000 scale topographic map image. QuoVadis Navigator maps are PNG images from scans of the paper NTS topographic maps, and are calibrated for Touratech QV2. Available on CDROM from QVN-Canada, online retailers, and in retail stores.. The white rectangle on the map shows the area covered by the 092G06 1:50,000 scale map.

SoftMap 1:250,000

[SoftMap 092G topo map image] Part of the SoftMap GeoTIFF 092G 1:250,000 scale topographic map image. SoftMap GeoTIFF maps are 254 DPI GeoTIFF images from scans of the paper NTS topographic maps. Available on CDROM from SoftMap. The white rectangle on the map shows the area covered by the 092G06 1:50,000 scale map.

Spectrum 1:250,000

[Spectrum 092G topo map image] Part of the Spectrum Digital Imaging 092G 1:250,000 scale topographic map image. Spectrum maps are 256 color PNG images from scans of the paper NTS topographic maps. Available on CDROM from Spectrum, online retailers, and in retail stores. The white rectangle on the map shows the area covered by the 092G06 1:50,000 scale map.

Toporama 1:250,000

[Toporama 092G topo map image] Part of the Toporama 092G 1:250,000 scale topographic map image. These Toporama topographic images correspond to part of the contents of the National Topographic Data Base (NTDB) at the 1:250,000 scale. The NTDB vector data was converted into 256 color GIF images, and geographic names for towns and lakes were added. Available for free from the Toporama website, or on CDROM from my Maps page. The white rectangle on the map shows the area covered by the 092G06 1:50,000 scale map.

NASA MrSid satellite image

[NASA MrSid satellite image] Part of the NASA ESAD MrSid N-10-45 satellite image. The scale is 28.5 meters per pixel. These images are orthorectified Landsat Thematic Mapper mosaics, using Band 7 as red, Band 4 as green, and Band 2 as blue, in a 24-bit color MrSID compressed file. The scenes were captured between 1987 and 1993. Available for free from the NASA website, or on CDROM from my Maps page. The outer two rectangles on the Map View window show the areas covered by the 092G and 092G06 maps.

GeoGratis Landsat-7 composite satellite image

[GeoGratis Landsat-7 composite satellite image] Part of a satellite image from the GeoGratis Landsat-7 Orthorectified Imagery over Canada. This image is for path 46, row 26, and the scene was captured on July 30, 2000. The scale is 30 meters per pixel. These images are cloud-free(less than 10%) orthorectified Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper(ETM+) composite satellite images using Band 7 as red, Band 4 as green, and Band 3 as blue, in a 24-bit color uncompressed GeoTiff file. The scene capture is ongoing, and started in 2000. Available for free from the GeoGratis website. The outer two rectangles on the Map View window show the areas covered by the 092G and 092G06 maps. For more information about these images, see my Canada Landsat-7 images page.

GeoGratis Landsat-7 Band 8 satellite image

[GeoGratis Landsat-7 Band 8 satellite image] Part of a satellite image from the GeoGratis Landsat-7 Orthorectified Imagery over Canada. This image is for path 46, row 26, and the scene was captured on July 30, 2000. The scale is 15 meters per pixel. These images are cloud-free(less than 10%) orthorectified Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper(ETM+) satellite images that use Band 8, in a 256 color GeoTiff file. The scene capture is ongoing, and started in 2000. GeoTiff images are also available for Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 at a scale of 30 meters per pixel, and Band 6(high) and 6(low) at 60 meters per pixel. Available for free from the GeoGratis website. The outer two rectangles on the Map View window show the areas covered by the 092G and 092G06 maps. For more information about these images, see my Canada Landsat-7 images page.

Other comparison pages