Provincial Networks

To complement the federal infrastructure, Canadian provinces have deployed their own networks to densify the federal fabric. They are also actively involved in maintaining and improving their control networks as technology evolves. Provincial geodetic agencies play an important role in adopting a specific NAD83(CSRS) realization, promoting its use within their jurisdiction, advising professional surveyors on best practices, and supporting municipalities.  If there are any additional questions regarding map projections and transformations for your province, please contact the appropriate provincial geodetic agency.

Alberta

The Government of Alberta (GOA) plays the role of coordinator and facilitator for the implementation of GNSS-based spatial referencing systems in Alberta. Therefore, both private and public agencies deliver GNSS services to the GOA. Of note, municipalities maintain the physical construct of the spatial referencing system within their local survey control network whereas the GOA is responsible for the overall integration and publishing of coordinate and non-coordinate survey control data.

The Alberta Survey Control (ASC) network is the provincial spatial referencing system linked to the CSRS. The network consists of approximately 27,500 survey control points distributed province-wide and marked with a numbered brass cap attached to a steel post. A subset of about 1,000 of these monuments were observed with GPS and form the provincial High Precision Network (HPN). The ASC positional data consists of both horizontal and vertical coordinates along with covariance information from the provincial constrained network readjustment. Coordinates of the survey control markers are published in geographical (latitude and longitude) values and are also available in UTM and/or 3TM mapping plane values.  Vertical coordinate values are referenced to CGVD28.  An interactive map of the ASC network is available at the Spatial Information (SPIN) System website at https://alta.registries.gov.ab.ca/spinii/logon.aspx. More information about the ASC network can be found at http://aep.alberta.ca/land/director-of-surveys/geodetic-control-unit.aspx.

More generally, surveying products and services are available from “Alberta Environment and Parks” in this province that can be reached at http://aep.alberta.ca/ or more specifically at http://aep.alberta.ca/land/director-of-surveys/default.aspx .

British Columbia

GeoBC has the responsibility to create, manage, and provide consultation services on geospatial information and products in British Columbia. The BC Active Control System (BCACS) network consists of 21 GNSS stations distributed strategically to provide coverage across the province. The BCACS data for  post-mission processing is accessible by yearly subscription or on pay-per-download basis. Users can access data via the ftp available at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/data/geographic-data-services/georeferencing/bcacs.

Station distribution can be viewed at the BCACS information page: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/data/geographic-data-services/georeferencing/bcacs/active-control-points.

GeoBC has also developed partnerships with municipalities in Metro Vancouver and Capital Regional District (CRD) to provide real-time GNSS service over these regions. The subscription-based services include meter-level DGPS corrections for GIS applications and centimeter-level RTK streams for surveying and engineering applications. Users can access the GNSS service through annual or monthly subscriptions by consulting http://www.metrovancouver.org/gnss for Metro Vancouver and https://www.crd.bc.ca/about/data/geospatial-data for the CRD for the CRD.

In addition to federal and provincial active networks, the RTK GNSS providers in the private sector also offer their service for real-time applications in BC. The providers are Cansel Cannet, Leica Smartnet and Brandt Brandtnet.

In addition to the active stations, the passive geodetic network in this province consists of over 50,000 points, established mainly for mapping control surveys over the past century. During the 1960's, through a partnership between the provincial government and local governments, the physical control system was extended to developing areas. MASCOT (Management of Survey Control Operations and Tasks) is the database system that contains the survey records for the geodetic control network and provides published coordinates, elevations and related data for public access and use. The MASCOT website, available at http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/mascotw/, provides a free of charge access to the final coordinates of the monuments. A Google Earth kml file providing a graphical access of the network can be downloaded from http://openmaps.gov.bc.ca/kml/BCGov_Geodetic_Survey_wms.kml. An interactive map of the geodetic network of this province can be found at http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/mascot/.

More generally, surveying products and services are available from the “Geospatial Reference Section” of the “Ministry of Forests, Lands Natural Resource Operations” of British Columbia at  http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/data/geographic-data-services.

Manitoba

Manitoba maintains a high precision control survey network known as the Manitoba Spatial Reference Network (MSRN) which is integrated into the national Canadian Base Network (CBN) and forms an integral part of the Canadian Spatial Reference System (CSRS). The MSRN consists of 244 GPS derived 3D geodetic survey points referenced to NAD83 (CSRS) epoch 2010.0. A subset of the MSRN known as the Manitoba SuperNet consists of approximately 6500 monuments whose positions were determined by static GNSS survey methods and referenced to NAD83 (CSRS) epoch 2010.0. A legacy network of approximately 4200 monuments whose positions were determined by various terrestrial and early satellite survey methods exists, but is no longer supported by the province and has a current reference of NAD83 (NMIP94).  A legacy third-order spirit levelling network of approximately 3400 monuments exists in the southern portion of the province with sparse availability in the north.  Elevations are available in both the CGVD28 and CGVD2013 vertical datums of Canada. More information on the spatial referencing program in Manitoba is available at https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/research-data-and-maps/geomanitoba/geospatial-data-acquisition/index.html.

Data on the MSRN is available in the form a Google Earth KML file or a GIS geo-database GDB file from the Manitoba Land Information (MLI) site at http://mli2.gov.mb.ca.

More generally, surveying products and services are available from GeoManitoba at https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/research-data-and-maps/geomanitoba/index.html.

New Brunswick

Following an amendment to the Surveys Act in 1999, the Province of New Brunswick became the first in Canada to officially adopt the NAD83(CSRS) reference system. New Brunswick remains the only province in Canada to legislate the coordinate system used within its jurisdiction, prescribing both the datum and projection thereof. The datum used in New Brunswick is defined in terms of the values of the Canadian Base Network (CBN) stations determined from version 2.0 (epoch 1997) of the Canadian adjustment prepared by Natural Resources Canada, and subsequent network densification.

Simultaneous establishment and densification of the CBN throughout the province was completed in a co-operative manner between Natural Resources Canada and Service New Brunswick (SNB). The result was a modernized, three-dimensional geodetic network referred to as the New Brunswick High Precision Network (NB-HPN). Based wholly on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) observations, this high precision network is completely integrated and consistent with the CBN. SNB further densified the NB-HPN by observing NAD83(CSRS) values on existing ground monuments, thereby creating the relationship with the Province’s older conventional network. The conventional network contained approximately 26,000 monuments. Though physical maintenance of the conventional network was abandoned in 1996, SNB preserves the historical data produced for this network. Detailed information for both networks can be found here.

Currently the NB-HPN consists of 135 monuments with published coordinates, including six CBN monuments and eight Active Control Stations (ACS). The ACS form a provincial network of continuously operating geodetic quality GNSS receivers, from which SNB provides public access to continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking data in RINEX file format. These stations are independently owned and operated; SNB licenses the RINEX data for redistribution by means of an online portal. The NB-HPN is an integral part of the Canadian Spatial Reference System.

Following adoption of the Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum of 2013 (CGVD2013) as the new reference system for heights across Canada, SNB converted the published heights of all NB-HPN monuments to the CGVD2013 reference system. The heights published for the conventional network were not converted. The Province of New Brunswick supports the CGVD2013 reference system.  GeoNB is the Province of New Brunswick’s gateway to geographic information and related value-added applications and maps. One of the many applications available through GeoNB is the Coordinate Transformation Service (CTS), an online application for transforming coordinates between current and historical datums and projections used in the province.

Newfoundland

The control network of the Newfoundland province consists of about 7,000 permanent surveying markers. The local government of Newfoundland is currently promoting the transition from conventional horizontal and vertical networks to high precision GPS reference network. This is in accordance with the readjustment of the geodetic network of this province from NAD83(Original) to NAD83(CSRS). In order to consult the latest news on the development of the provincial active control network, users can consult (http://www.flr.gov.nl.ca/lands/maps/geodetic.html). A map of the control survey monuments with coordinates truncated to meter-level accuracy can be found at http://www.flr.gov.nl.ca/lands/maps/kml/control_monuments.kmz . More precise coordinates can be purchased from the Control Survey Database of the province available at http://www.flr.gov.nl.ca/lands/maps/productlist.html.

More generally, surveying products and services are available from “Geographic Information Services” in this province that can be found at http://www.flr.gov.nl.ca/lands/maps/index.html.

Nova Scotia

In 2012, Nova Scotia adopted a strategy to modernize their provincial geodetic infrastructure  and implement a sustainable solution to deliver their coordinate referencing mandate. This led to the deployment of Nova Scotia Active Control Stations (NSACS) forming a network of 40 continuously operating GPS/GNSS reference stations. Under a fee-based subscription model, users can gain access via wireless Internet to the corrections from commercial Network RTK (NRTK) service providers. Files of station tracking data for post-mission processing are made available at no charge through the NRCan web interface.

The NSACS enables province-wide positioning with centimeter accuracy for GNSS users operating in the area covered by the polygon of stations. A typical relative precision of 0.5 ppm is achieved by rovers receiving network corrections inside the polygon. Outside the polygon, the uncertainty can increase to the level of 1 ppm as corrections may originate from a single base station. In post-processing, millimeter level accuracy can be reached depending on the length of the observing session and the location of the station.

The distribution of NSACS is displayed on the GeoNova web-based map interface. Users are encouraged to visit https://gis8.nsgc.gov.ns.ca/NSCRS/ for more information.

Nova Scotia’s passive control network consists of 925 monuments forming the Nova Scotia High Precision Network, coordinated in NAD83(CSRS). There are also over 23,000 monuments established across the province that served as the framework for the previously utilized ATS77 datum.  This network is used by professional land surveyors to access the geodetic reference and control their surveys.  An interactive map of the passive network is available at https://gis8.nsgc.gov.ns.ca/NSCRS/ by selecting the Nova Scotia Coordinate Control System (NSCCS) layer.  Full station reports, including coordinates, site description and access information is available for every control point.

More information about the coordinate reference systems of this province can be found at http://geonova.novascotia.ca/coordinate-referencing Technical support documentation can be found at https://geonova.novascotia.ca/coordinate-referencing-technical-support.

Information on mapping products and services is available from “Geographic Information Services” at http://geonova.novascotia.ca/home.

Ontario

The Ontario’s geodetic network comprises more than 125,000 horizontal control monuments and vertical benchmarks. Of these, about 10,300 have been re-observed with high-precision GPS surveys and form the HPN layer. While a number of points were established in collaboration with stakeholders such as the Ministry of Transportation, large municipalities and conservation authorities, the COSINE database remains the central repository for authoritative geodetic control within the province. The network provides high-accuracy reference points over large areas of the province to support, among others, land surveys of property boundaries and the planning and execution of large infrastructure projects. An interactive map showing the spatial distribution of passive control points is available using the Ontario COSINE Viewer. Station information is accessed by selecting the network layer “Horizontal” or “Vertical” layers and zooming to the area of interest.

More generally, surveying products and services are available from “Natural Resources Information Management Branch” in this province that can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-natural-resources-and-forestry.

Prince Edward Island

The passive network in this province consists of 4746 monuments. A list of these points as well as their detailed information and sketch maps can be found at http://eservices.gov.pe.ca/pei-icis/monument/.  Some of the sketches indicate monuments which have been destroyed.  It is believed that of the 4746 monuments listed, approximately 3500 remain.

A web app has been created for the passive network and can be found at https://peitie.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=7bab500046ff4e06928d46dc682bbf87.

The Province has invested in an active control network, consisting of 8 stations located at Alliston (PEAL), Souris (PESO), Morell (PEMO), Charlottetown (PETI), Borden-Carleton (PEAM), North Rustico (PEGS), Ellerslie (PEEL) and Rosebank (PEWI).  All stations are installed on buildings owned or maintained by Government to ensure security and stability of the sites.  It also allows for easy access to Government I.T. workers and the Chief Surveyors Office to maintain and repair the stations.  The network is currently managed by Leica Geosystems through their Smartnet network.  Subscriptions for use of the system can be obtained through them.  Efforts are being made to have the service available through other supplier’s networks such as Cansel and Brandt.

More generally, surveying products and services are available from “Department of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Energy” in this province that can be found at https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/transportation-infrastructure-and-energy.  Government is in the process of migrating information contained in the old website to this one.

Québec

In the province of Québec, 18 active GNSS stations have been established and are being maintained by the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Resources naturelles (MERN). The stations are mostly located in populated provincial municipalities. Real-time access is provided free of charge via wireless internet and support RTK positioning from a single-base station. GNSS tracking data can be download free of charge. More information can be found at http://mern.gouv.qc.ca/territoire/outils/outils-cellulaire.jsp for the real-time access and at http://geoboutique.mern.gouv.qc.ca/html/GNSS_fiche.htm for the tracking data.

The passive network of Quebec province comprises 36,000 horizontal control monuments and 10,000 vertical benchmarks. Of this number, 23,000 points have accurate 3D coordinates from GPS surveys and are found mainly in the populated southern part of the province. This control infrastructure supports a broad range of user requirements, from the geo-referencing of public roads and land parcel boundaries to the execution of precise engineering and water surveys. Information about the geodetic points can be obtained from “Géoboutique Québec” available at http://geoboutique.mern.gouv.qc.ca/html/GEODEQ_fiche.htm. An interactive map of the network is available at http://vuesensemble.atlas.gouv.qc.ca/site_web/geodesie.htm. Users can browse the networks by selecting the desired layer “Grande précision”, “Planimétrie”, or “Altimétrie” and zooming in to a region of interest.

An interactive map of the network is available at the following web addresses: https://geodesie.portailcartographique.gouv.qc.ca/ for the mobile version and https://geodesie.portailcartographique.gouv.qc.ca/full.aspx for the desktop version.  The mobile version allows users to navigate the network by selecting the desired layer (are there English titles for these on the website, if so use them) and zooming in on the area of interest.  The desktop version allows users to navigate the network by selecting the desired layer (same as above) and zooming in on the area of interest.

Surveying products and services provided by the Quebec department of energy and natural resources can be found at the following address:  https://mern.gouv.qc.ca/territoire/expertise/expertise-geodesie.jsp (available only in French).

Saskatchewan

The passive network in Saskatchewan consists of about 9,000 horizontal points and over 15,000 vertical benchmarks. The Saskatchewan Geodetic Dataset is a digital archive of all information pertaining to geodetic control points found in this province. It includes excel tables with site descriptions and coordinates for all markers. A desktop application is also provided to search the tables using a marker name or area surrounding a location.  The Geodetic dataset can be downloaded from the Information Service Corporation (ISC) at https://www.isc.ca/MapsandPhotos/GISData/Pages/GeodeticControlCoordinates.aspx and https://www.isc.ca/Pages/Content%20Gallery/GeoSask.aspx.