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Questions and Answers: Get the most out of ArcGIS Online with the Community Map

This blog post covers questions received during the webinar “Exploitez au mieux ArcGIS Online à l’aide de la carte communautaire du Canada” held in French. The recording is available.

Q: Could you give us more details on the Community Map of Canada in terms of the data included and tell us more about the organizations participating in the program?

A: The Community Map of Canada is a national program to create a standardized basemap of the communities across the country based on authoritative data. Contributors to the program include all levels of government: federal, provincial, regional and municipal. First Nations communities, universities and colleges, infrastructure organizations such as airports and port authorities are also contributors. There are currently over 300 contributors to the Program, covering geography for approximately 85% of Canada's population.

There are five standard vector basemap styles, in addition to a special-themed “style of the month”. All our styles are available on The Community Map of Canada ArcGIS Hub. The basemap is updated daily and a new version of the map is published twice a week. The basemap is bilingual and includes several indigenous place names.

Q: What types of data can be contributed to the Community Map of Canada?

A: There are several types of information that can be provided to and shown on the Community Map of Canada. They are divided into the following six categories:

  • Administrative and political boundaries: city, county, regional boundaries, etc.
  • Cultural and land use: parks, neighbourhood, parking lots, etc.
  • Cadastral: parcel outlines, address points, building footprints, etc.
  • Transportation: roads, trails, bike lanes, etc.
  • Physical features: lakes, rivers, wetlands, etc.
  • Imagery

Q: Where is your road network and building layer coming from for Quebec?

A: If the contributor provides us with its road network, that will be shown on the map. For other areas, we are currently integrating the road network coming from the provincial government (AQRéseau+). The same thing goes for building layers: if a contributor contributes its buildings, they will be shown on the map. We also currently use data on buildings generated by Microsoft. We will soon be integrating a building layer generated by the Government of Quebec and NRCan.

Q: Will all raster basemaps enter mature support in July 2021?

A: Yes. A selected number of raster basemap services will continue to be updated. These include:

  • World Imagery (including Clarity, Firefly, GCS and Wayback)
  • World Hillshade
  • World Dark Hillshade
  • Antarctic Imagery
  • Arctic Imagery
  • Arctic Ocean Base
  • World Ocean Base

Q: Can we add the Community Map of Canada Style of the Month to Basemaps Library in ArcGIS Online?

A: Absolutely. You can first add the basemap to an ArcGIS Online group. Then go to Organization à Settings à click on Map. Under the Basemaps Library tab, you will be able to select the group that contains the web maps you want to appear.

Screenshot of the Community Map of Canada basemaps

Q: Can vector basemaps be used in ArcMap?

A: No. Vector basemaps are only available in ArcGIS Pro. These basemaps can also be used in ArcGIS Online, as well as in ArcGIS Enterprise.

Q: Is it better to publish our data services using the NAD 83 projection or is it better to use the Web Mercator projection?

A: If you plan to publish your data to ArcGIS Online and use it in the map viewer, it is best to use Web Mercator. This projection is the one used by default in ArcGIS Online.

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.