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Natural Resources Canada to stop printing maps? #1378
Back To Discussion List Written: 2005.10.06 by: Andrew Wong

According to an article in the October 4, 2005 Globe and Mail, it sounds as if Natural Resources Canada will eventually stop printing the standard 1:50,000 NTS maps. From the story, a department spokesman said that it's not economically viable to continue printing and storing maps. The number of paper maps being sold by the government has been decreasing each year as other sources of maps have become available. Maps will be made available digitally so that individuals and private companies can download and print them.

Has anyone heard of definite plans for this? I don't how this is going to impact everyone. It's definitely going to make map purchases less of a short-notice affair. Will we have to contact a local printer 7 days in advance to ensure we can get the map we want? I searched the Geological Survey of Canada website for some information on this, but there's nothing. Comments?

(Link to the article and reader postings at


#621 - 2006.02.14 David Wasserman - NTS Maps in digital form
Fugawi ( has all the BC NTS 1:50000 and 1:250000 maps on a single DVD for $99.95 at MapTown (ISBN 0-9734212-9-0). I have a copy. I don't like their interface as well as SoftMap, but they're cheaper.

#620 - 2006.02.14 Don Funk - You can purchase maps online
I did a quick search with google and came up with this online map retail site:

You can select the maps you would like and order them online. I'm not sure what the quality is like or type of paper they're using, but they do sound like a reputable company.

You can also purchase all of BC on a set of 4 CD ROM's for $160. Here is the link:

#619 - 2006.02.13 Greg Jones - Not good
My large TRIM order through school just recieved a, "There's a slight chance that we might not be able to obtain these maps as the distribution of hardcopy TRIM maps have ceased" (from Victoria).

#616 - 2006.02.10 Scott Nelson - Write a letter to the new minister
I was just down at the GSC and had a look at a couple of the new plotted 1:50,000 maps. They are quite simply terrible and I refused to buy it. Fortunately I only need one corner of the map, so I can get a 1:20,000 instead. The plotted 1:20,000s aren't nearly as bad because the lines are farther apart.

Anyway, It was suggested to me by another customer that I write a letter to the new minister of natural resources, Gary Lunn. You can find his contact information here.

#562 - 2005.10.30 Shelley Wales - shared vision article
for those who are interested this issue got some attention in the Footnotes section (page 58) of Novembers Shared Vision Magazine. It is a nice little article and takes it from a slightly more touchy feely stand point. Has anyone else seen any other press on the map thing? I'm curious.

#561 - 2005.10.27 Ramsay Dyer - FWIW There is a petition
When I got a smudgy paper plotter map with no legend on the back at the CGS this spring the woman working there was sympathetic and handed me a petition to sign. A token protest I guess. It's a huge step backwards from the Tyvec maps.

#560 - 2005.10.27 Robin Tivy - Some maps are already on cheaper paper
I bought some maps 2 months ago from the GSC. Some were the good old maps, but others were a cheaper version on lightweight paper, done by a plotter rather than a printer. They were not as good quality, a bit harder to read, and lightweight paper. Perhaps this is the plan of the future?

#556 - 2005.10.12 Sandy Briggs - #@$$%!!
... or print them commercially on less robust paper for something like $9 per square foot. Very much a pain.


#555 - 2005.10.07 Shelley Wales - Bring them to a plotter?
I guess you would have to burn them to CD and bring them to a place that can plot or do large scale single runs... like pac blue in vancouver. A pain in the butt if you ask me.

#554 - 2005.10.07 Peter Rothermel - Topo Maps
So how will we print out a full sized topo map on our letter sized printers?... and what about people that are not "on line"?