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MaDGIC Workshop: Landscape and Settlement Archaeology: NTS - Topographic Maps

This guide reviews collections and services offered by Trent University Library's Maps, Data & Government Information Centre (MaDGIC). The guide has been produced in support of a workshop given to Anthropology 3659H: Landscape and Settlement Archaeology.

National Topograpic Survey (NTS) Maps

Trent Library's Maps, Data & Government Information Centre is a Full Depository Library for maps published under Canada's Map and Chart Depository Program. This means we are entitled to one copy of all paper maps produced for the National Topographic Survey, as well as maps produced in digital format. 

The Canada Map Office, Natural Resources Canada, is responsible for producing topographic map sheets. At this time, the 1:50,000 map series maps are being completed (Northern Canada) and some urban areas are being updated.

The two most popular scales used are 1:50,000 and 1:250,000.

Discontinued series include maps at the scales of 1:25,000, 1:125,000, 1:500,000 and 1:1,000,000 (International Map of the World).

Topographic maps show various natural features of land as well as some cultural features. Categories of information include:

Culture: roads, trails, highways, buildings, urban settlements, boundaries, railways, power transmission lines

Water: lakes, rivers, streams, swamps, rapids, wetlands

Relief: mountains, valleys, slopes, contours, elevation points

Vegetation: wooded and cleared areas, peat

Toponymy: place names, water feature names, highway names

Scale Fraction Relative Size Cartographic Information
1:25,000 Large Scale More Ground Detail Per Meter of Map
1:50,000                       ↑
1:500,000                      ↓
1:1,000,000 Small Scale Less Ground Detail per meter of Map