Web Mapping Services

The Interactive Maps and Web Mapping Services Web Site provides layers and data from several different sources by following the Government of Canada Standards on GeoSpatial Data.

Service Based Delivery

This site provides layers and data through a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Most services are provided over the internet and allow communication with any device able to interpret the Application Programming Interface (API). SOA allows for real-time interoperability and access to data with many different devices.

More often than not, you will not need to familiarize yourself with how the services communicate with your device or application. Instead, simply familiarize yourself with what each service provides and how you can connect your device or application. See the section on Supported Interfaces for detailed descriptions of the different services provided.

Note on Service Reliability

It should be noted that, although we strive to provide reliable service, we cannot guarantee the services will always be available or up-to-date. Please contact CHS-ProdService@DFO-MPO.GC.CA if you experience any problems with the web services provided on this website.

Supported Interfaces

Not all interfaces are available for each map. Some interfaces will provide more functionality than others. It is important to understand the limitations for each interface.

Description of Supported Interfaces
Interface Description Official Documentation
Web Mapping Service (WMS) A WMS allows clients to retrieve images with a geographic component through a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). The WMS conforms to the OpenGIS Web Map Server Interface specification and the Government Of Canada's Standard on Geospatial Data. A WMS service only provides clients with images and does not provide source or vector data.

How to use WMS

Most GIS applications will allow you to add a WMS layer to your view. Often, when you choose to add a WMS layer, your application will prompt you to provide a URL. In this case, you would provide the URL indicated in a Map's profile page. Check your application's documentation to see if it is possible to use a WMS layer. Note that WMS provides clients with an image, however it cannot be spatially analyzed.

Open Geospatial Consortium
Web Feature Service (WFS)

A WFS allows clients to retrieve geographic feature information, allowing for querying, analyzing, and transforming data. The WFS is richer in information than the image-only WMS, providing feature data that can be thought of as source data. A WFS interface may not be available for some services due to the fact that its large datasets may be too large to provide over the internet.

How to use WFS

Most GIS applications will allow you to add a WFS layer to your view, or transform a WFS to a native format. Often, when you choose to add a WFS layer, your application will prompt you to provide a URL. In this case, you would provide the URL indicated in a Map's profile page. Check your application's documentation to see if it is possible to use a WFS layer.

Open Geospatial Consortium
JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a text-based open standard designed for human-readable data interchange. JSON Documentation
KML

KML is an XML language focused on geographic visualization, including annotation of maps and images.

How to get a KML file

The KML interface link available from a map profile will forward you to a page that guides you on generating a KML file. Also note: The KML file generates the proper linkages to communicate with our mapping server; however, it does not contain source data. Performance will be dependent on how your application chooses to communicate with our server.

Open Geospatial Consortium

Help and Contact Information

If you have any questions about the GeoPortal or difficulties operating any of the maps, please contact CHS-ProdService@DFO-MPO.GC.CA.