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Civil Engineering

What is Scholars GeoPortal?

The Scholars GeoPortal ( is a geospatial data infrastructure collaboration that provides access to over 5000 large scale geospatial datasets and over 3 million Ontario aerial images. The GeoPortal provides users with a sophisticated search, discovery, map visualization and analysis tools, to make data viewable and downloadable for Ontario researchers. Resources include data licensed by Ontario academic libraries, such as land-based vector data (soil, water, cultural points of interest, etc.), provincial and municipal data, census geography, and a large collection of aerial images and orthophotography. The GeoPortal also includes enhanced open data and historical digitized maps such as topographic maps from OCUL map library collections and project collaborations (see OCUL Historical Topographic Maps Project website).

Who should use Scholars GeoPortal?

Anyone who is affiliated with an Ontario university interested in using geospatial data for mapping or GIS analysis will find the GeoPortal a useful resource.

The portal has been created for the academic community for teaching and research, including educators, researchers, students, faculty, and staff. The geospatial data available from the portal can be downloaded and imported into Geographic Information System (GIS) software for mapping and analysis purposes. The portal provides many options for selecting data by location and feature type, as well as file type and projection. Mapping tools allow users to create map images “on the fly”.

The power of geographic information for teaching and learning is found in its multidisciplinary nature. From this perspective, we believe the GeoPortal will help enrich university curricula and broaden the appeal of geographic information across disciplines. The GeoPortal incorporates much of the functionality found in commercial mapping software and will help introduce GIS to new users. Ultimately, the portal allow access to geospatial datasets and tools for use both inside and outside the classroom, allowing for the embedding of spatial literacy concepts in the curriculum, and enriching the research process for all scholars.

Data Collections

Scholars GeoPortal contains over 5000 large scale geospatial datasets and over 3 million Ontario aerial images available for viewing and download by Ontario university researchers.

Participating data producers licensed through OCUL university libraries:

  • DMTI Spatial Inc.
  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
  • City of London
  • City of Mississauga
  • City of Guelph
  • Statistics Canada
  • City of Cambridge
  • City of Brantford
  • and more!

Getting Started