Geographic and geospatial statistics

The spatial context of information is critical for data, because where something happens is as important as what happens.

General reference maps

These are the most-requested maps made by the Office of Statistics and Information.

Overview maps (1 page each)

Map series (documents containing individual maps)

Alberta census webmap

See basic demographic parameters in relation to Alberta’s geography with the Census webmap on GeoDiscover Alberta.

The GIS map viewer user guide can help you use the Census webmap.

OSI publication maps

OSI makes these maps:

Boundary files – reference guides and data sets

The OSI uses a number of administrative and census geographic boundaries for its work. The information is licensed under the Open Government Licence – Alberta.

Boundaries are available as zipped shapefile packages (SHP). The shapefile format is a popular geospatial vector data format for geographic information system (GIS) software. Metadata is provided in HTML and XML format.

Boundary files - Statistics Canada reference guides

Census Division (CD) boundaries

A Census Division is a group of neighbouring municipalities joined together for the purposes of regional planning and managing common services like police or ambulance services.

These pages link to zipped shapefile packages (SHP), and metadata in HTML and XML format:

Census Subdivision (CSD) boundaries

A Census Subdivision is the general term for municipalities, as determined by provincial or territorial legislation, or areas treated as municipal equivalents for statistical purposes.

These pages link to zipped shapefile packages (SHP), and metadata in HTML and XML format:

Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and Census Agglomeration (CA) boundaries

These boundaries are formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centred on a population centre, known as the core. A CMA must have a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more must live in the core. A CA must have a core population of at least 10,000.

These pages link to zipped shapefile packages (SHP), and metadata in HTML and XML format::

Census Tract (CT) boundaries

A Census Tract is a small, relatively stable geographic area that usually has a population of less than 10,000 persons. They are located in census metropolitan areas and in census agglomerations that had a core population of 50,000 or more in the previous census.

These pages link to zipped shapefile packages (SHP), and metadata in HTML and XML format:

Dissemination Area (DA) boundaries

A Dissemination Area is the smallest standard geographic unit composed of one or more adjacent dissemination blocks with an average population of 400–700 persons.

These pages link to zipped shapefile packages (SHP), and metadata in HTML and XML format:

Economic Region (ER) boundaries

An Economic Region is a grouping of complete census divisions (CDs) created as a standard geographic unit for analysis of regional economic activity.

These pages link to zipped shapefile packages (SHP), and metadata in HTML and XML format:

Provincial Electoral Division (PED) boundaries

Provincial Electoral Divisions are comprised of all the areas in Alberta established as electoral divisions under the Alberta Electoral Divisions Act, and reflects the legally valid boundaries for provincial general elections and for provincial by-elections.

This page links to a zipped shapefile package (SHP):

Geography standards

Cartographic standards

OSI mapping standards follow the National Topographic System (NTS) Polychrome Map Standards and Specifications; are proprietary, if applicable; and follow conventional and sound cartographic principles.

Metadata standards

All metadata is kept and recorded for every spatial dataset used by the OSI and complies with Alberta’s Geospatial metadata standard of the ISO 19115 North American Profile.

Quality control (QC) standards

Every spatial deliverable in the OSI undergoes rigorous review to ensure accuracy and consistency.

Geographic acronyms

See our list of OSI geographic acronyms.

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Contact

John Statham, Manager, Geospatial Statistics
Office of Statistics and Information

Phone: 780-644-4367
Email: john.statham@gov.ab.ca

General OSI enquiries

Hours: 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Monday to Friday, closed from noon to 1 p.m. and statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-2071 
Toll-free in Alberta: 310-0000 before the phone number
Fax: 780-426-3951
Email:  osi.support@gov.ab.ca