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This page describes procedures and best practices for downloading data stored in the BC Geographic Warehouse (BCGW) and exported out using the BC Data Catalogue (BCDC) and iMapBC.

Data Users iMapBC Users

Table of Contents


  • In the BC Data Catalogue always refer to the Who can download this dataset? field in the Access & Security section, as that will identify what security profile the dataset is configured for.
    • Note that you may need to log in (with your government IDIR credentials) to see the Catalogue records for all datasets for more information.

Using BC Data Catalogue

  • To group multiple datasets in a single order do not close the pop-up for the first dataset but navigate to the next dataset you wish to add.
  • If you are a government employee with an IDIR, log into the Catalogue first as some records are only visible when logged in.
  • Business BCeID users can not log into the Catalogue but will be prompted for credentials at time of download, if the security is a requirement.

BCGW configured resources should have the title BC Geographic Warehouse Custom Download.

  1. Either click the:
    1. Explore button for more information about the resource or
      1. Click the Access/Download button.
    2. Explore button down arrow to bypass the more information about the resource
      1. Select the Access/Download option.
  2. If you are requesting a secure dataset and you have not logged in you will be prompted to log in using your IDIR or Business BCeID and password.
    • The BCeID option is the default, so to use an IDIR click the IDIR button to the right.
  3. Next, skip to Current Order Details for final steps.

Using iMapBC

  • iMapBC can be used to order spatial data (data that can be displayed on a map).
  • For non-spatial (tabular) data you will need to use the procedures described in using the Catalogue.
  • Determine whether access to the dataset is secured, using the procedure described in the Catalogue.

Follow the steps below or watch a video here.

  1. Use the appropriate link to start iMapBC:
    1. Public iMapBC
    2. Secure iMapBC (requires IDIR or Business BCeID)
  2. Click the I want to… blue button to select datasets to visualize and/or download.
  3. Select the Add Provincial Layers menu option.
  4. Navigate and select the check box of desired datasets
  5. Click the Export tab along the top toolbar.
  6. Select the Provincial Layer Download option.
    1. Toggle off datasets that are not to be downloaded.
  7. Click the Prepare Order… button.
  8. Next, skip to Current Order Details for final steps.

Current Order Details

Both the BCDC and iMapBC present a pop-up form into which you need to specify download parameters:+* + Coordinate System,

  • Area of Interest (AOI),
    • If a dataset is larger than 2GB an AOI will be required using one of the following:
      • Custom AOI
      • If a feature has too many vertices it will use the bounding box of the area.
        • AOI Selector
          1. Click the Draw a Custom AOI and a special tool will open up.
          2. Choose a shape to draw an AOI over the map (a rectangle is the simplest)
          3. Click the Next button to take you back to the order page.
        • Zipped Shapefile
          1. Click the Browse… button.
          2. Navigate to the zipped shapefile, which should contain files with extensions like, but not limited to: shp, shx, dbf.
          3. Click the Okay button.
      • GeoMark
        • See this page for more info.
      • Mapsheet
        • If you do not know what mapsheet the area you want to select is in, you can use this direct link to identify the mapsheet number in iMapBC.

        For accepted value examples:

        • 82F (a single mapsheet),
        • 82F044 (a single letter block)
        • 82F, 82F (one or more mapsheets and/or letter blocks separated by commas)
    • Clipping: On
      • All data features that overlap the Area of Interest (AOI) will be included, but each will be clipped so that they do not extend outside the AOI.
    • Clipping: Off
      • All data features that overlap the Area of Interest (AOI) will be included, in their entirety. They will not be clipped to the AOI boundary.
  • Format
    • Available: Shapefile (.shp), File Geodatabase (.fgdb), CSV and GeoJSON.
  • Included Layers
    • If a dataset is no longer desired click the red X.
  • Email address where to send notification.
  • Terms and Conditions check box.
  1. Click the Submit Order button.
    1. Click the Continue button.

Past Order Submissions

When logged in to make an order to download data using this service, those past orders are retained and visible when selecting a new order.

  1. Click the Past Orders tab.
  2. Click the order details to expand the order details.
  3. Click the Reorder button to request a new order with those datasets listed.


  1. An email will be sent that the order has been received by the system.
    • Your order 2093822 has been submitted
  2. An email will be sent that the order has been assembled once the system has processed the order.
    • Your order 2093822 has been assembled
      • This will have a link to a place to pick up the order.
      • If this order isn’t picked up within a week, then it will be deleted and the order will need to be resubmitted.
      • Some of the datasets in the BCGW include no geometry/spatial features, these will be exported as a csv alongside the format selected.