But whither the Government of Canada? Are there any examples of our federal government moving in this direction? Is there an example of a GoC API out there? Some easy-to-use XML feeds? I’m not aware of anything. But then I’m just a lowly digital communicator…
Geospatial data available online at no cost and without restrictions!
GeoGratis is a portal provided by the Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) which provides geospatial data at no cost and without restrictions via your Web browser.
The data will be useful whether you’re a novice who needs a geographic map for a presentation, or an expert who wants to overlay a vector layer of digital data on a classified multiband image, with a digital elevation model as a backdrop.
Looks like there are 81 data collections available, including base maps used for the Atlas of Canada (available in a couple of formats at a range of scales), various sets of topographic data generated from the RADARSAT-1 satellite, and print-ready versions of those classic topo maps. These last ones are seriously awesome — I’ve been using these maps for years when camping and canoeing, but had no idea I could simply download them for free!
Most of what I saw when jumping around was data or images that can be downloaded. Not sure how much of this stuff is available as a feed or via API, so I don’t know how easily this stuff could be re-purposed online on the fly by machines in that modern mashup style. But regardless, GeoGratis cool example of open and freely available Government of Canada data online.