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Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Road Network File

Q: Will there be a Road Network File available for Census Metropolitan Area and Census Agglomeration?
A: No, the free Road Network File provides full coverage for all of Canada. There are 14 standard Road Network Files: Canada, 10 provinces and 3 territories.

Q: Are the 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Road Network Files consistent with other Census products?
A: The 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Road Network Files are a geographic reference product made available to users who wish to have an annually updated road network file. The 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Road Network Files are not compatible with 2006 Census Geography products. It does not replace the 2006 Road Network File, which is a similar product available as part of the 2006 suite of Geography products, and used in conjunction with products and services from the 2006 Census.

Q: What are the main differences from the 2006 Road Network file?

  • The 2007 Road Network File contains additional roads, road names and address ranges.
  • The 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Road Network Files do not necessarily follow 2006 Census boundaries.
  • The road network file continues to be improved. The release of the 2010 Road Network File contains road updates since the previous release of this file in June 2009.

Q: What is the Road Network File source?
A: The data in the road layer were derived from the National Geographic Database. The National Geographic Database is a spatial database that contains the road network of Canada along with road attributes(name, type, direction and addres change). The National Geographic Database was originally built from four main data sources:

  • Statistics Canada Street Network Files;
  • National Topographic Database 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 maps;
  • Digital Chart of the World 1:1,000,000 maps;and,
  • Elections Canada road data.

Additional road information was incorporated from a variety of other sources, including municipal maps and road data from private companies. However, the timeliness of the National Geographic Database varies from region to region depending on the source data.

Q: What is the geographic reference date?
A: The geographic reference date is a date determined by Statistics Canada to finalize the geographic framework. The Road Network Files are being released annually. The geographic reference date for the latest edition of the Road Network File is April 2010.

Q: Will the road network file in MapInfo format work with older versions of MapInfo software?
A: The road network file is a line file and users with older versions of MapInfo should not experience any difficulties opening the files.

General questions

Q: What software do I need to unzip the compressed files which I have downloaded?
A: Files downloaded can be uncompressed using WINZIP software. If you do not have the most recent version of WINZIP, go to the WINZIP home page and follow the on-line instructions to download or order your copy.

Q: How can open and use these files?
A: Links to the free downloadable Geographic Information System applications have been made available on the Road Network File product download webpage .

Q: What Geographic Information System applications are these files compatible with
A: Shape files can be used with ArcGIS and other ESRI compatible software products. TAB files can be used with MapInfo. GML files can be opened using various software packages, including many open source applications.

Q: How can one convert one format to another?
A: User will require knowledge of Geographic Information System applications or data interoperability software to convert formats.