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Types of maps
Alberta offers a wide range of mapping resources to enhance understanding of many diverse subjects and issues. The two major types of maps are reference maps and thematic maps. To the right is a typical thematic precipitation map indicating precipitation across the province. Thematic maps depict information about a specific topic in a geographic area. For more information:
The second major type is a reference map which shows geographic boundaries along with features. Topographic maps are a familiar type of reference map. See Natural Resources Canada for the Topographic map guide.
Static maps of Alberta
A variety of maps and geospatial data are available for download in the GeoDiscover Alberta portal including PDF Maps. Maps available here are subject to copyright of the Province of Alberta. These products are owned by the Government of Alberta and protected by copyright law. Please review the Open Government Licence – Alberta for the usage terms and proper attribution statements.
Provincial Base Map Series
The Provincial Base Map Series are large format maps, available in maps scales of 1:750 000; 1 : 1 000 000; 1 : 2 000 000, these maps are updated annually. The map projection used is custom 10 degree Transverse Mercator projection with the central meridian located at 115 degrees. The underlying horizontal map datum is North American Datum of 1983.
For more detailed provincial map coverage the Provincial Resource Access Map Series provides coverage of Alberta at a scale of 1 to 250 000 and 1 to 50 000. A collection of Historical Maps is also available providing information on a range of land cover inventories. If there are other government map collections you would like to see added to the portal see the contact section to email your request.
Requesting geospatial products
The Government of Alberta provides self-serve access to our products through portals like GeoDiscover and Open Government. To request geospatial products unavailable for self-service due to size or licensing constraints please follow the following instructions from the the order desk indicated in the metadata under “Contact Instructions” heading.
Check to see if your product is available for download by searching GeoDiscover’s data and map collections. Use keywords to search catalogue and the facets on the side panel to narrow down your results. Notice the “Data Links” pull down on each record. To learn more about the record, click the title and read the metadata.
Common questions answered in the metadata searches using CTRL “F” (find):
To find someone to answer dataset question try “Point of Contact”
To find instructions on how to order a dataset try “Distributor” if no distributor is listed use the details in “Contact Instructions”
To find out details on the type of licensing associated with the dataset try “Constraints”
When using a generalized email from the metadata record to request a product be sure to include the following information:
- Name of product(s) and link(s) to the metadata record(s)
- All necessary contact information for your organization including a phone number
- The subject line indicating the ordering instructions
Note: Products are only available in the formats listed in the metadata, many products may require GIS software to view.
You may need to sign a licence agreement before the product is distributed.
Delivery options are dependent on the product’s size.
If the metadata record indicates the product is available from altalis please follow the instructions on their website to complete your order. If you require help see the altalis help desk in contacts.
Connect with the Provincial Geospatial centre and other provincial map resources:
Provincial Geospatial centre
Provincial Geospatial Centre
Environment and Parks
14th Floor, Oxbridge Place
9820 106 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J6
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