Data products and surveys
Hydrographic survey results and data, horizontal control data, maritime boundary maps.
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 email@example.com.
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:
The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) NONNA bathymetric data
CHS offers a complete inventory of bathymetric data free to the general public for non-navigational use. We call them 'CHS NONNA' for the 'non-navigational' purpose of the data and the product is available in a spatial resolution of 10 metres or 100 metres.
This data represents a consolidation of digital bathymetric sources managed by the CHS. The CHS NONNA-10 products are a ten-fold improvement over its data predecessor, CHS NONNA-100. Both are a significant improvement in detail and accuracy over the 500-metre data we formerly had available to the general public. Images on this page show the difference in the level of detail before the CHS NONNA-100 and CHS NONNA-10.
The CHS NONNA data is accessible free of charge, both to view or download in various formats, to anyone interested in Canada’s marine space. You may access all CHS NONNA bathymetric data on Open Data (available to the public) or on the Federal Geospatial Platform (available to Government of Canada employees).
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.
New S-100 Service
The pilot project has finished and a new S-100 Service has launched. S-102 Bathymetric Surfaces and S-111 Surface Currents are now available to purchase through a subscription service.
For more information on S-100 and the project: S-100 services for safe and optimized e-navigation
S-102 Bathymetric surface user trials
The International Hydrographic Organization’s S-100 universal hydrographic data model introduces dynamic hydrographic product capabilities.
CHS launched a pilot project in collaboration with ECC/PRIMAR and Teledyne CARIS to provide S-100 products to the Canadian marine community under that standard over the next year.
The first stage is to provide the community with high-definition bathymetry files (S-102 datasets). These products would offer a digital elevation model that represents the seafloor in a regular grid. It can be used as a standalone product or as an overlay on a navigation system.
ECC/PRIMAR and Teledyne CARIS developed software to allow uploading, hosting, managing and delivering of S-100 products. Trials are underway in Canada and Norway among marine pilots.
The objectives of the pilot project are to:
- Implement an innovative bathymetric data service that will prove the value of the S-100 data standards
- Demonstrate the increased navigation efficiency available using S-102 datasets
- Prove the capabilities of S-102 bathymetry to users and manufacturers to promote the development of ECDIS/ECS/PPU software
- Encourage the use of high-definition bathymetry over nautical charts
- Determine the cost elements of operating an S-102 data service
- Help in developing a business- and licensing model for S-102 datasets
Notice of interest for the development of S-102 product display applications and software
We invite manufacturers involved in designing Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDISs), Electronic Chart Systems (ECSs) and Portable Pilot Units (PPUs) to take an interest in the new S-102 products, to develop software using this data, and to participate in our user trials.
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.
Visit the Norwegian website S-102 Demonstrator Project to see the potential of some aspects of the S-102 standard. Watch also the video Piloting with S-102 displaying the results from the S-102 project conducted with the Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots.
For more information, or if you have any questions, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Navigation Safety Regulations, 2020.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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