This data resource is digital elevation model for much of Canada which is derived from 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 National Topographic Data Base digital files. This data is available by request from the Geospatial Centre. This data is provided by Geobase. For coverage areas, please see the links below.

1:50,000 coverage index from Geobase

1:250,000 coverage index from Geobase

Spatial reference and data type

These data sets are available in United States Geological Survey (USGS) .DEM format. This format requires some manipulation in order to produce a visible surface. Please see the Geospatial Centre's Converting digital elevation models (PDF) guide for a brief outline on how to use this data is ArcView and ArcGIS. Other data formats can be accommodated, as the Geospatial Centre has access to a number of conversion utilities.

Data manipulation

There are public workstations in the Geospatial Centre that provide access to ArcGIS software programs, program extensions and data manipulation utilities. Patrons may use the Geographic Information System (GIS) and image processing software in the library to view and manipulate the data. UWaterloo faculty, students and staff may copy these data to other media (for example: CD, DVD or Zip disc) for use elsewhere.

Data output

This data may be exported from ArcGIS in a choice of bitmapped formats (also known as raster graphics) including JPG, TIFF, GIF, and BMP or in a choice of vector graphics formats including Adobe Illustrator (AI), Encapsulated Postscript (EPS), and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). Yet another option is PDF.

Use restrictions/licensing/copyright

This material is provided for academic, research, teaching, and personal use only. The Ministry of Natural Resources Canada should be acknowledged on any derivative product, such as a map or an image.


Canada digital elevation data. [computer file]. Ottawa, ON: Natural Resources Canada, 1997-1999.

image shows mapsheet 40P7 hillshade of Canada digital elevation data (tin)

Data courtesy of the Ministry of Natural Resources