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The Atlas of Canada. Atlas of Canada 6th Edition Gazetteer Service & Find a Place Application. Overview. Background – Who we are? Canada’s Geographical Names (CGNS) Feature Name Tagging Gazetteer Service Find a Place Application Find a Place Next Steps Questions.

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Atlas gc

The Atlas of Canada

Atlas of Canada

6th Edition

Gazetteer Service

& Find a Place Application


  • Background – Who we are?

  • Canada’s Geographical Names (CGNS)

  • Feature Name Tagging

  • Gazetteer Service

  • Find a Place Application

  • Find a Place Next Steps

  • Questions

The atlas of canada mission statement
The Atlas of Canada Mission Statement

  • The Atlas of Canada provides authoritative, current and accessible geographic information products at a national level. Working with partners, the Atlas facilitates the integration and analysis of diverse data in order to increase overall knowledge about Canada.

Canadian geographical names service
Canadian Geographical Names Service

  • A distributed toponymic data service for the CGDI operated by the Geographical Names Section

  • The purpose is to deliver a national view of Canada’s geographical names into the standards and technology framework of the CGDI

  • The Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) is the technology, standards, access systems and protocols necessary to harmonize all of Canada’s geospatial data bases, and make them available on the internet. CGDI is facilitated by GeoConnections

Feature tagging
Feature Tagging

  • 1:7.5million and 1:1million scales

  • Statistical framework: provinces, cities, towns, villages, hamlets, municipalities, Indian reserves

  • Islands and island groupings

  • Hydrology: rivers and lakes

Tagging challenges
Tagging Challenges

  • No control over the structure and content of the names database

  • Hierarchies

  • Relationships between framework layers

  • Duplicate names for the same feature - Pan-Canadian names or cross provincial names

  • Time Stamps

  • Features with fuzzy boundaries – bays, capes

  • Data tagged at more than one scale

Cgdi gazetteer service
CGDI Gazetteer Service

The CGDI Gazetteer Service performs ‘on the fly’ linking of toponymy to feature data.

Find a place application
Find a Place Application

User (human) selects place name

of interest. Clicks on Go.

User enters place feature.

Find a Place

Database (FAPD)



Adding thematic data

Find a place database
Find a Place Database

  • All official names in Canada are stored in the Geographical Names Section of Canada database (CGNDB).

  • Each official name (place or physical feature) is assigned a unique identifier, e.g. Pictou County –CBDUD.This identifer is used to obtain the feature extent from the WFS, based on the official name queried.

  • This unique identifier is the primary key

    that relates the tables in the Find a Place

    Database (FAPD) together.

  • Each table represents a feature type

    (e.g. river, census division) which contains

    the thematic attribute information from

    the Atlas of Canada database. The thematic

    data is derived from Atlas thematic shapefiles.

Find a place next steps
Find a Place Next Steps ...

  • Content Perspective:

    • Add secondary names. Secondary names are non-official names, such as health districts, ecozones, etc.

    • Resolve issues of labelling/symbology.

    • Add more thematic layers, e.g. drainage


    • Eventually, allow users to locate any place/feature on a thematic map.

    • Locate places on different and appropriate scales, such as the 1: 1 million, and possibly topo-maps (1:250 000/1:50 000).

    • Continually add more thematic data to FAPD.

Atlas gc








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