Data products and surveys

Hydrographic survey results and data, horizontal control data, maritime boundary maps.

Field Surveys

Field Data (Digital)

Modern hydrographic surveys are conducted using the latest satellite positioning technology, advanced multibeam bathymetric data collection systems, and powerful data processing, analysis and portrayal tools.

For information on available digital hydrographic data, please visit the CHS Digital Data Portal.

Field Sheets (Hardcopy)

CHS has an extensive collection of hydrographic survey data in the form of field sheets based on over 100 years of surveying in Canada. Data has been collected using a wide range of methods and systems, from lead-line to modern day multi-transducer and multibeam systems. Positions have been established using the different types of terrestrial systems and methods available over many years - up to the latest advanced satellite positioning systems.

For information on available field sheets, please email us at chsinfo@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

Hydrographic Surveys

CHS hydrographers are actively engaged in surveying and measuring Canada’s inland navigable waterways out to the edge of the continental shelf and beyond, the Great Lakes, and the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Ocean coasts. The data collected by hydrographers is used to produce authoritative nautical charts and publications and to support a broad range of marine activities.

Hydrographic surveys capture water depths, geographical features, hazards to navigation, man-made and natural features that aid navigation, tides, currents and water levels, and sea bottom characteristics. We follow rigorous, internationally-recognized standards and guidelines when we conduct hydrographic surveys.

To learn more about our guidelines and standards:

Bathymetry

NONNA-100 bathymetric data

We offer a complete inventory of bathymetric data free to the general public for non-navigational use. We call them 'NONNA-100' for the 'non-navigational' purpose of the data and spatial resolution of 100 metres.

This data combines all validated bathymetric data we've acquired from multiple sources and combined at a spatial resolution of approximately 100 metres. They're a significant improvement in detail and accuracy over the 500-metre data we formerly had available to the general public. This is apparent in the sample images on this page (orange and red represent shallower depths, while blue indicates deeper waters). 

While CHS NONNA-100 products offer bathymetric data for most of Canada's exclusive economic zone, equivalent products for the High Arctic (68Nº to 83Nº) are still under construction and will be available in the next year or so.

You may access all CHS NONNA-100 bathymetric data on Open Data (available to the public) or on the Federal Geospatial Platform (available to Government of Canada employees).

Saguenay-Saint-Lawrence Marine Park and surrounding area, viewed at a spatial resolution of 500 metres.

Saguenay-Saint-Lawrence Marine Park and surrounding area, viewed at a spatial resolution of 500 metres.

Saguenay-Saint-Lawrence marine Park and surrounding area, viewed at a spatial resolution of 100 metres.

Saguenay-Saint-Lawrence marine Park and surrounding area, viewed at a spatial resolution of 100 metres.

Bathymetric Maps

CHS’s bathymetric maps contain a wealth of detail about the nature of the seafloor and the material beneath it. These maps are generally of interest to users whose prime focus is not navigation. This data is available under a free licence from the following link: http://www.charts.gc.ca/data-gestion/terms-resourcemaps-cartesressources-eng.html.

Magnetic and gravity maps are available from the Geological Survey of Canada.

General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans

CHS actively participates in and contributes bathymetric data to the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), an international group of experts on ocean mapping.

For more information, refer to GEBCO's website.

S-100

Notice of interest for the development of S-102 product display applications/software

The S-100 standard being developed by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) will usher in a new era of marine cartography by introducing dynamic hydrographic product capabilities (charts, water levels, currents, etc.). The Canadian Hydrographic Service wants to get involved and encourage the development of this standard, which you can view online at https://www.iho.int/iho_pubs/standard/S-100/S-100_Info.htm.

A pilot project has been launched to provide products under the S-100 standard over the next year. The first stage in this pilot project is to provide the Canadian marine community with high-definition bathymetry (S-102). The files will be available in BAG format. This format will be used as a starting point until the next iterations of the S-102 standard roll out.

We invite all manufacturers involved in designing ECDISs, ECSs and PPUs to take an interest in this and to develop software that uses this data. The Canadian Hydrographic Service provides "UNOFFICIAL, NOT FOR NAVIGATION" files of these products to support you in developing this software. You will find these S-102 files at the bottom of the page.

We hope that you will take advantage of this project to develop tools to read these S-102 files (in BAG format) and use them to their full potential. Visit the Norwegian website https://s102.no/ to see the potential of some aspects of the S-102 standard. We are really hoping that you will take an interest and partici- pate.

As mentioned previously, we added S-104 (water level) and S-111 (currents) files to make them available for testing. These files are not meant to be used for navigation.

Picture showing a Portable Pilot Unit (PPU)

Picture showing a Portable Pilot Unit (PPU)

Illustration displaying tidal currents from the Vancouver Harbour Model

Illustration displaying tidal currents from the Vancouver Harbour Model

Some of the pilot project's objectives:

  • Implement an innovative bathymetric data service that will prove the value of the S-100 data standards. To do this, we wish to help develop an attractive, robust and viable technology that will be "service-oriented," like Web mapping services (WMS).
  • Show that S-102 files will bring much added value to the entire marine community (including the personalized creation of dynamic safety contours) and that they will be a sure help in planning and safety, and in increasing navigation efficiency.
  • Prove the capabilities of S-102 bathymetry to users and manufacturers to promote the development of ECDIS/ECS/PPU software by potential manufacturers.
  • Introduce a new paradigm, namely, putting bathymetry instead of nautical charts in the forefront. Bathymetric data is presented in the form of cells. For the project, we selected areas of interest throughout Canada.
Firgure 1 Example of an S-102 cell, selected in the Port of Montreal. Note the S-102 cell grid.

Firgure 1 Example of an S-102 cell, selected in the Port of Montreal. Note the S-102 cell grid.

Figure 2 Another example of an S-102 cell, selected in Kitimat Arm.

Figure 2 Another example of an S-102 cell, selected in Kitimat Arm.

For more information, or if you have any questions, contact:

JONATHAN MORIN
Canadian Hydrographic Service Maurice Lamontagne Institute
850 De la Mer, P.O. Box 1000, Mont-Joli QC G5H 3Z4 Telephone: 418-775-0755 | Fax: 418-775-0654
jonathan.morin@dfo-mpo.gc.ca | www.charts.gc.ca

Other

Terms and Conditions for Use of the Canadian Hydrographic Service Digital Data on the CHS Public Website

If you would like to use digital data from the Canadian Hydrographic Service Public Website, please read this Canadian Hydrographic Service Public Website Clickwrap Agreement. If you agree with the terms and conditions of the CHS Public Website Clickwrap Agreement, please click on the "I agree" button.

Notice for your safety: Please note that data obtained from this site is not suitable for navigation. Only official charts issued by or on the authority of the Canadian Hydrographic Service meet the requirements of the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, 1995.

Horizontal Control Point Data

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is the authoritative source for horizontal control data in Canada.

  • Access NRCan’s online database

If you’d like to speak to the Canadian Hydrographic Service about this type of information, please email us at chsinfo@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

Maritime Boundaries

CHS plays a vital role in helping determine Canada's maritime boundaries. CHS's charts delineate the territorial sea of Canada, the contiguous zone of Canada, and the exclusive economic zone of Canada. For information on available maritime boundaries maps, please email us at chsinfo@dfo-mpo.gc.ca or visit our interactive maps.

High-water Line for British Columbia

The CHS Pacific High Water Coastline Dataset is a high resolution vector coastline that represents the Higher High Water Large Tides mark in BC’s tidal waters.

This shapefile format coastline is derived from a compilation of sources including modern satellite imagery and other CHS data products and is designed for GIS users in the non-navigation community.

Download

Sea Floor Classification Data for British Columbia Waters

The CHS Pacific Seafloor Classification Dataset is a continuous surface of statistically derived polygons from over 140000 point samples collected between 1911-2008. This shapefile format seabed characterization is distilled into 36 discrete classes based on CHS Chart No. 1 and a modified Folk classification system.

Download

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