Release of the 2021 Atlas of Canada World Map

For over a century, the Atlas of Canada has provided Canadians with trusted geographic information about Canada and the world. From the first paper folio edition in 1906 to today’s digital and interactive online maps, the Atlas of Canada has provided insights and information to help everyone understand the world we live in, as well as Canada’s role in our global community. 

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, launched the 2021 Atlas of Canada World Map. Produced by the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO), the 2021 World Map combines the latest scientific and geopolitical data with profound cartographic expertise, resulting in a modern, digital reference that is freely available for anyone to view and download.

The 2021 World Map represents the CCMEO’s commitment to demonstrating the social and economic value of geographic information. Significantly updated, the 2021 World Map features the most recent global geopolitical data, a clean new design and a modern map projection that more accurately captures the perception and location of different continents. The colours and type used throughout the map were inspired by the look of aged paper maps and the printing technology of early Atlas of Canada folios. This version replaces NRCan’s 2005 map of the world.

Canada is no longer depicted in the centre of the World Map, as in earlier versions. This reorientation not only provides a comfortable geometry and a formal symmetry for the map but also emphasizes the role of Canada as a partner and collaborator in the larger global context at a time when environmental and economic challenges require global solutions.

Like previously published world maps, the 2021 World Map continues to show inhabited places by population range and depicts physical features including terrain relief, sea ice extent, glaciers and ice shelves. The sea ice extent shown in the northern circumpolar region represents the median sea ice extent derived by CCMEO scientists from Earth observation data collected by CCMEO over the last 20 years.

The 2021 World Map is fully bilingual (English and French) and is freely available for download through the Government of Canada’s portal for open geographic data and information, Open Maps. Licensed resellers across Canada stock and sell the full-sized wall map.

Associated links

Quick facts

  • The first Atlas of Canada World Map was published in 1915 in the 2nd edition of the Atlas of Canada.
  • The 2021 World Map provides a modern reference map conveying the latest information on world geography from a Government of Canada perspective.
  • CCMEO analyzes the social and economic value of geospatial data through insight, innovation and investment in geospatial capabilities and technologies in Canada.

Author: GISuser

GISuser, founded by Spatial Media (2003), is the leading online technology, news resource for GIS and mapping professionals

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