Canada Import Status

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The import of GeoBase and CanVec data is a community effort. We are all part of the OpenStreetMap community. The community expects automated edits and imports do follow community guidelines. One of those guidelines is proper attribution. The imports must be attributed here.

If you have any questions about the process or proceedings, please drop an e-mail at talk-ca.

Agreement Announcement (18 November 2008)

See Geobase/Announcement.


Canada Import Team Members

Below is an (incomplete) list of the team members who are participating on this import, along with what part they are working on. Please add yourself to this list if you feel to.

  • Bob Shand – Importing NRN for PEI.
  • Frank Steggink – GeoBase / Canvec Data import, maintenance of the canvec-to-osm data conversion script, (originally developed by User:Acrosscanadatrails, using python to make it working OS independent.
  • Michel Gilbert – Working on Geobase/OSM mapping features and helping with the import (through FME). He has been a OSM contributor for 2 years and is working for the Centre for Topographic Information (Sherbrooke) involved in Geobase products.
  • Sam Vekemans – Maintenance of the Canada Data Import Chart (see below). Also working with the Land Information Ontario Dataset, the National Protected Area dataset and others. Import coordinator and top-poster on talk-ca.
  • Steven Singer – created the geobase2osm script, imported Alberta & Ontario Road network
  • All the other users are listed on the Canada Data Import chart.
  • Everyone on the talk-ca mailing list. Feel free to join in. All the archives are available, but were all happy to answer any questions you may have. This is a diverse group covering many different backgrounds of expertise. Another point of view is always appreciated, and encouraged.
  • The Imports discussion list: an international group of people who have done imports in the past, and offer assistance where needed. This helps ensure that imports are done to international OSM standards.


Canada Data Import Chart

Because of the large volume of data to be imported, the best route to take is not actually to import the data directly, but to instead make the .osm files available so then local area mappers will be able to download their tile area and only copy over what features that they know of, and simply leave the rest.

We use a Google Docs Chart' where live-editing access is granted just by asking on the discussion list. This chart is organized by Province, and my NTS Tile area, you can use the GeoGratis NRCan website to figure out what tile area you are in.

User:Acrosscandatrails is currently, the self-designated chart manager who is actively ensuring that the chart remains up-to-date, and is happy to answer questions that users you may have.


See shp2osm

With the exception of the GeoBase Roads (see Geobase NRN - OSM Map Feature) where a complete.osm and excluded.osm file is created. This is because of the large volume of data to deal with for existing OSM roads. So using roadmatcher, is preferred. See Geobase2osm.


see shp-to-osm.jar

The other is the java version which can be used on the command line of shp-to-osm.jar where a rules.txt file is created to handle all the variables of the SHP file. This version is used when wanting to simply to a direct conversion of SHP files to .osm,


User:Acrosscanadatrails is maintaining a GoogleDocs Chart which contain thousands of rows, to keeping track of the entire import process. Access to edit that chart is given to anyone who asks on the talk-ca discussion list. The chart is sorted by the NTS Tile Grid, and indicated the status of each import for each area along with the local area mapper, a link to the OSM area, and descriptions and links to where and what the latest status is for each tile.

The GeoBase import (National Road Network) is currently being imported. The CanVec Map Features is currently in the planning stages. Join the discussion on the talk-ca mailing list and join the fun.

National Data

Political Boundaries Complete (Jan 2009)
Road Network In Progress GeoBase - Roads see Geobase Import for progress and geobase2osm for script details
CanVec data Planning in progess see canvec2osm

CanVec - Assorted map features (with omitted above features)

Hydro Network(inland Water) Planning GeoBase - National Hydrography Network - see geobaseNHN2osm

The script to convert the GeoBase NHN data is available (but still in its early BETA stage) a python version is available also. (link needed) created by user:Yan

Aboriginal Lands Planning GeoBase - Aboriginal Lands data -ask on the talk-ca list
NRCan Protected Areas planning - awaiting talk-ca tag approval The script to convert the National Protected areas is also in progress. User:Acrosscanadatrails is working on that.
Web Mapping Service (WMS) available see
Toporama available see
Geodetic Network Not Started
Geographical Names Not Started (included with CanVec data)
Satellite Imagery Not Started (possible use for openaerialmap)
Elevation data Will not be imported

Provincial Data

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) - Land Information Ontario.

  • Includes trails, roads, and other features.
  • User:Acrosscanadatrails is currently analyzing this data, and he will be able to provide more details.

Local Data

Please ask on the talk-ca discussion list for details on how you can help.

City of Nanaimo, BC

  • bike lanes / routes;
  • drainage, etc.;
  • road centerline data.

City of Vancouver, BC

City of Toronto, Ontario:

  • road centerline data;
  • Toronto Transit Commission (TTC - bus stops);
  • administrative / political boundaries;
  • rivers;
  • churches/denomination, etc.

City of Edmonton, Alberta: