GeoFoundation Exchange

Modernizing Canada’s Digital Infrastructure

A modern digital economy requires open digital infrastructure to maximize productivity, safety, sustainability and innovation. Digital base mapping is a critical component of Canada’s digital infrastructure and due to its pervasive need, has become every bit as important as our physical infrastructure. Base mapping is needed daily to support coordinated planning, analysis and operations of activities across almost all sectors of Canadian society. Public safety, emergency management, environmental, public works, land management, health, natural resources, agriculture, transportation, energy and other sectors all need a modern, shared digital mapping infrastructure to function as efficiently and effectively as possible. Currently, Canada’s base mapping activities require modernization to make our base mapping products more accurate, current, complete and usable for the benefit of all Canadians.

What is the GeoFoundation Exchange?

The GeoFoundation Exchange (GFX) is a national, collaborative, open data exchange for accurate and authoritative geographic base mapping data.  It is designed to facilitate the coordination and modernization of Canadian base mapping.  The GFX employs innovative, cloud-based services to coordinate the activities of authoritative base mapping producers, making base mapping activities more efficient, more cost effective and more responsive. The GFX automates vector data contributions (initial load and updates) from authoritative contributors at all levels of government and organizes this data into a common exchange.  Authoritative base mapping producers at all levels of government can efficiently leverage this common exchange to reduce their base mapping costs and improve the products and services they offer to their end users.

The GFX is being developed by Esri Canada in cooperation with other GFX participants from all levels of government across Canada.

The GeoFoundation Exchange (GFX) – Modernizing Canada’s Digital Infrastructure [PDF]

View samples of some of the data that is managed by the GFX program.



The GFX is helping transform base mapping into a sustainable, essential component of Canada’s national digital infrastructure through the following benefits:

  • Enables efficient, multi-participant collaboration amongst authoritative base mapping organizations across all levels of government.
  • Allows mapping organizations to avoid costly duplication of effort by making efficient use of existing authoritative mapping data that is capably produced by others.
  • Reduces technology infrastructure and related IT costs by leveraging a shared cloud-based, hosted infrastructure.
  • Complements and accelerates Canada’s open data movement.
  • Helps maximize Canadian productivity and innovation by helping to modernize Canadian base mapping – making it more accurate, current, complete and usable.

GFX Stakeholders

  • GFX Data Providers include authoritative data providers from municipal, provincial and federal organizations across Canada. Authoritative data providers are organizations that have a business need to create and maintain a certain type of base mapping data as part of their daily business activities. Data Providers include municipalities, provinces and federal agencies.
  • GFX Data Partners (Aggregators) are beneficiaries of the GFX who seek to leverage the GFX to modernize the production of base mapping for their End Users. GFX Aggregators will typically be Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) or mapping organizations at the provincial and federal levels. GFX Aggregators extract authoritative data from the GFX and aggregate that data into seamless, province-wide or nation-wide base maps and make these maps available to their end users. The GFX Aggregators also contribute their aggregated data back into the GFX for use by other GFX Partners.

Esri Canada uses the GFX to help optimize the production of the Community Map of Canada – a national web basemap that Esri Canada makes available to its End Users to optimize their GIS activities. The Community Map of Canada is the first Canadian base mapping product to use the GFX.

We can help. Contact us.

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