100th Anniversary of the Atlas of Canada

Prepared by E. B. Lapointe.

"Celebrating 100 years of Mapping, 1906-2006" is the way Natural Resources Canada is noting the 100 years of mapping Canada's geography and history at .

In the years 1906 and 1915— the first and second editions were published by the Department of the Interior— had a population of seven million, of which only 30% of the inhabitants lived in fifteen towns and cities with a population of over 25,000.

In 1958, the third edition was printed. In 1974, the fourth edition was published and the name changed to the National Atlas of Canada. The fifth edition, completed in 1993, was comprised of 93 maps available in both English and French, the two official languages of Canada.

In 1993, the idea of putting the atlas on the Internet was starting to take place, and in 1994, the first official atlas was launched online. In 1998, the sixth edition of the atlas was published, and has the very latest interactive mapping technology on the Internet.

As the website says, "It is an atlas which belongs to all Canadians and reflects the incredible social, environmental, and economic diversity of the country."

The atlas will have a number of events in 2006 highlighting the anniversary. One of them is the 100th Anniversary Conference, June 2006, which will be held in Ottawa, and will be the largest geospatial technology event held in Canada. The conference website will have "the most interesting, dynamic and comprehensive collection of maps about Canada anywhere".

Natural Resources Canada is putting several special projects online such as -

•100th Anniversary Map Series - A free, printer-friendly collection of maps of Canada

•Topographic Maps

•100th Anniversary Poster-map

•Commemorative Stamp from Canada Post, and

•Quizzes About Canada

Genealogists can use these maps to better understand the country and the distances between different towns and villages in Canada, to see how the country has grown since 1906, and note the changes in population density. The maps show the economy of the land, as well as Canadian pre-Confederation history (up until 1867) and post-Confederation history (after 1867).

One can contact the Atlas of Canada by writing to them at 615 Booth Street, Room 650, Ottawa, ON K1A 0E9 or one can send their question electronically online.

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