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  Map Resources

Here are links to what, in my opinion, are the best map sites on the internet for outdoorsy folks. Many of them are instrumental in pre-trip planning and reserach. Enjoy!

MNRF - Make a Map
The MNR Make a Map App is the best place to go for mapping data in Ontario. It includes high-resolution aerial photography, as well as all of the base mapping data you'll need. Slick! You can even mark up and print nice maps to take with you on your trips!
Toporama/Atlas of Canada
Again, if you just want to 'browse' the Toporama NTS data, take a look at my Toporama Maps page. However, the Atlas of Canada also has this data on their site, along with a few additional layers. You can find that here. The Atlas of Canada also has many other intersting maps to check out if you are so inclined!
Algonquin Park Exploration Map
Jeffrey McMurtrie is a gentleman, a scholar and a friend of all paddlers and explorers everywhere. Jeff started off making THE BEST Algonquin map. He's now got maps for Algonquin, Killarney, and Temagami, and they are all best of class. Check them out here, use them for free online, then be a good sport (and support Jeff's awesome work) and buy a wicked waterproof, trip ready copy for your next trip. It really is the best map you can buy for tripping in any of the areas he's mapped!
Explore the Backcountry - Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park Map
If you're planning at trip to QEWII, then This map should be all you ever need. Fantastic!
Crown Land Use Atlas
The Crown Land Use Atlas is another excellent page! If you are just looking to see private/crown land in Ontario, I have set up a quick viewer here. However, the Crown Land Use Planning Atlas (CLUPA) allows you to view the crown-owned land in Ontario as well as some more informtion that is not available on my site. This is fantastic if you plan a camping trip and wish to camp on crown land. You can distinguish between patent land and crown land on this map, to ensure that you're not trespassing on private property. It also shows the Ontario Living Legacy sites, and has links to supporting documents for the sites. It's really a wealth of information for many areas of Ontario. Take a look!
Directory of Federal Real Property
You might ask the same question I did when I discovered this site... "what the heck is DFRP?" Well...DFRP is actually a pretty cool website. It's the Treasury Board of Canada's Directory of Federal Real Property. Sure....whatever eh? Leave it to the government... Anyway, this strange site is actually pretty decent, because it provides vector maps of Canada, not just crappy scanned topos or something. You start off faced with a view of all of Canada, and can then draw a box to zoom in to. The actual purpose of this site (as best I can tell) is to provide an inventory of all the properties that the government owns. However, it's also useful to us people who couldn't care less what the government owns or not. You can search for place based on place names as well, so you aren't limited to just zooming and scrolling around the map. It's pretty neat! Note: Good to see where National Park boundaries are, and perhaps find a treasure in your backyard!
Official Road Map of Ontario Online
This site has the entire Official Road Map of Ontario online. It's the standard map that all Ontario residents are likely familiar with. However, to view it you click on the area you want to see, and you get only that section in a .pdf file. Again, you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) to view it. This is useful for planning road trips, and great for figuring out just how to get to your canoe route. However, it shows only main roads, so topo. maps or something will have to supplement this map to get enough detail.
Nastawgan Temagami Map
This map shows the Temagami area as it was in 1900. Compiled by 'ethno-geographer' Craig Macdonald after 27 of research, it's a historical map which shows campsites, portages, winter trails, and native place names as they were in 1900. It's a fascinating look at this popular canoeing area! Of course, since the information contained in this map is designed to be historical, you should "use this map in conjunction with modern topographic editions and up-to-date canoe-route publications."
Google Maps et al
Google Maps and Google Earth are of course serious players in the map business. With their massive budgets, they have more high resolution satellite and aerial imagery than anyone, and they kindly make it all available to you for free. Don't forget to turn on the 'photos' and other 'public' layers when researching a more 'backwoods' location; you can find some gems that way if some kind paddler georeferenced a photo of a beautiful campsite! Also don't forget to check out Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, and Mapquest. In some rare situations, they actually have better data or imagery for specific areas that Google does. Worth checking, although usually disappointing!
OFSC Trail Map
The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs has a great map showing their trails. While I don't snowmobile, I do find that knowing where their trails are is of great service while wandering the bush. Is the portage on the snowmobile trail? Will you get confused at a junction? Is there an easier way to get to where you are going? Or do you just want to find a spot that is not so easily accessible to motor-heads? Check this site to see where the closest trails are before you head out.
Map Sherpa
Map Sherpa is a great site that lets you browse, annotate and save maps which you can then purchase to print yourself. Even better, you can buy printed versions of the maps, including an option for waterproof paper! This is a great way to get a customized topo map for a trip, especially if your area of interest covers multiple standard map sheets. On Map Sherpa, you can create, mark up and buy one sheet that contains your exact area of interest.
The Map My Ride 'family' of sites (including MapMyRun, MapMyWalk, MapMyTri, MapMyHike, MapMyMountain) let map out your adventures and track your workouts. I use mostly MapMyRide for my cycling adventures, and it's fantastic for sharing ride information with friends, or calculating distances for an unknown route. By far the best site of its type!

  This page was last updated on August 7, 2015 at 01:07 AM