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Modernizing Geography with ArcGIS: Explore Canada’s Natural Environment

ArcGIS is a great tool to explore and learn about Canada’s natural environment. In this post, you will discover cool, relevant, and fun resources you can use with your class.

The fourth post in our Modernizing Geography with ArcGIS series is about exploring Canada’s Natural Environment with spatial technology! Now, throw away your papers and pencils, and let’s get started!

Here are resources for beginners that do not require ArcGIS Online accounts to complete.

Exploring Landforms in Canada
In this activity, you will explore some of the landforms that make up Canada, and how they affect where people live. You will also have an opportunity to test your knowledge of different types of landforms.

A map showing the Shaded Relief map of the world.

Explore landforms in Canada in this ArcGIS Online activity.

Exploring Canada’s Geography
In this activity, you will explore Canada's Climate, Canada's Ecology (Ecozones and Ecoregions), Canada's landforms and Population Density 2021.

A map showing the Ecozones of Canada.

Explore the Ecology of Canada in this activity.

Landforms of Canada – Elevation Profile
In this activity, you can draw a line anywhere in Canada and the interactive Elevation Profile tool will generate a graph of height values along a linear path in the view.

The screenshot shows the elevation profile tool in action. A line is visible on the map that is linked to the graph showing the elevation height values.

Draw a line anywhere in Canada and the interactive Elevation Profile tool will generate a graph of height values along a linear path in the view.

Canada’s Watersheds
Use this interactive web map to learn about watersheds in Canada. Explore the watersheds in your province/territory. Zoom in and discover the different levels of water drainage and find out where water in your area water flows to.

Screenshot of a watershed map of Canada.

Discover where the water in your region flows to in Canada.

Canada’s Natural Regions
An ArcGIS Online account is required to do this resource. In this lesson, you will explore Ecozones, landforms, climate, the growing season, and wildlife biodiversity.

Screenshot of a bird diversity in Canada.

 In the Natural Regions lesson, you will explore the biodiversity of birds in Canada.

We want to hear from educators

You can share activities that you want to update with ArcGIS. Our group can support you with ideas and suggestions. Email us at

New to ArcGIS Online?

If you are new to ArcGIS Online, educators can request an account for themselves and their students at

Explore the Esri Canada K-12 Resource Finder to find other resources for your class.

Check out the following beginner resources to get started with ArcGIS Online:

For Educators - Let’s get started with ArcGIS Online
Explore the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For Students – Enroute with ArcGIS Online

Using ArcGIS Online and want to learn more?

Discover Story Maps
Creating ArcGIS Dashboards 

About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Specialist in the Esri Canada Education and Research group. She has over 15 years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela focuses on producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum-specific resources, and conducting and creating custom workshops for educators. She manages the GIS Ambassador Program and is the Technical Chair for the annual Skills Ontario GIS competition. Angela also writes monthly posts for the Esri Canada Education and Research blog, highlighting K-12 educators and partners, new ArcGIS resources and GIS-related events.

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