Find environmental map and GIS data for researchers

  • Yukon digital elevation models
  • Wildlife key area GIS data sets
  1. Yukon digital elevation models


    • Yukon Elevation Mosaic – the most current and best used with smaller project-specific areas due to its variable resolution.
    • YT-CDED (YT 30m DEM v2) – use for territory wide projects; CanVec topographical base, consumer GPS and Landsat.
    • Yukon 30m DEM v1 – use with Nation Topographic Database (NTDB) and similar historical era data.
    • CDEM – use with national-scale or multi-province/territory projects.

    Yukon Elevation Mosaic

    The Yukon Elevation Mosaic is continually updated and has variable resolution. For any given area it uses the most current and best available data. It's made up of 16 metre and 30 metre pixels for seamless territory-wide coverage from YT-CDED and CDEM, 150 centimetre and 5 metre for the areas covered by stereo satellite imagery, and 1 metre or better for areas covered by LiDAR. Provided by Geomatics Yukon (Department of Highways and Public Works).

    YT-CDED (YT 30m DEM v2) 

    The Yukon Canadian Digital Elevation Database  (YT-CDED) was built in 2001 and is suited for broad area projects and use with CanVec, LandSat, GPS and other medium resolution instrument based data. It is seamless with in its coverage area. It is distributed as 16m and 30m pixels depending on area, however the nominal scale for all is 30m. This product is also called "Yukon 30m DEM v2." Provided by the Department of Environment.

    Yukon 30m DEM

    The Yukon 30 metre Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was built in 2000 and is is suited for broad area projects and use with the National Topographic Database and other datasets from the same time period, roughly 1970 to 2002. It is seamless within its coverage area. Provided by the Department of Environment.

    Canadian Digital Elevation Database and Canada Digital Elevation Model (CDED and CDEM)

    YT-CDED is a source for the national CDED distributed from GeoGratis. Additionally, CDEM is a resampled CDED. Preference order is to use YT-CDED before CDED before CDEM.

    Important notes 

    • The YT-CDED is distributed in the same coordinate system it was built in, while the national CDED has been projected to geographic longitude-latitude. It has been resampled.
    • CDED and CDEM have vertical units truncated to the nearest metre. YT-CDED is floating point and retains sub-metre numerals. This doesn’t mean it’s accurate to sub-metre, but truncating has a marked negative effect on slope calculations among others. More on that here.
    • The data are distributed with 16m pixels but the nominal scale of the source for all three products is still only 30m at best. The file format dictates the 16m dimension, not inherent data properties.
  2. Wildlife key area GIS data sets

    Wildlife key areas (WKAs) are regions used by wildlife for critical, seasonal life functions. For example, in winter, thinhorn sheep forage on grasses and forbs only available on specific winter ranges. Some species use key areas traditionally around the same time each year. Others use them only use key areas when forced by factors like severe weather. The Government of Yukon uses WKA information to manage and protect animals that are vulnerable to disturbances or destruction of key areas.

    Environment's WKA GIS map data contains region polygons for all key areas, compiled against the 1:250,000 scale National Topographic Database from Natural Resources Canada. Map data uses the Government of Yukon's standard Albers projection.

    WKA map data is available in ESRI ArcGIS and GIS shapefile formats. All WKA map data packages include the following:

    • Yukon Wildlife Key Area Inventory User's Manual (which can also be downloaded separately);
    • a technical manual specific to the data format;
    • the metadata as appropriate; and
    • the true type font (wkhanima.ttf) used in labelling key area polygons.


    Custom WKA maps can be produced from this data by any compatible GIS software. See the user's agreement for:

    • proper citation;
    • disclaimer and data source statements; and
    • additional user obligations for use of the data.


    General Wildlife Key Area download links


    ESRI ArcGIS data files

    These data files are compatible with ESRI ArcGIS version 9.3 or greater. Included in the package are the following.

    • File Geodatabase (FGDB) of WKA spatial and attribute data and a relationship class (rc) with WKA references
    • Layer files (*.lyr) for each species/taxon and for standard wildlife sets that include labels, WKA queries, and legend settings.
      • After extracting the files, you might have to repair the data link from the layer files to where the FGDB is stored on your local system. See your ESRI ArcGIS documentation for details.


    Download the ESRI ArcGIS WKA data.

    Data files for other GIS software

    This set of generic data files can be used by a variety of GIS software tools. Included in the package are the following.

    • Shapefile (wildlife_key_area_values.shp):
      • a partly open specification for storing geometric location and associated attributes, like names or temperature;
      • it does not include topographic information; and
      • this WKA shapefile contains all attribute data except for references, including descriptions and wildlife values.
    • References Table (wildlife_key_area_references.dbf):
      • A set of references linked to the shapefile by the WKA_ID attribute.


    Download the WKA shapefile and reference table.

    You can also view standard maps for all Wildlife Key Areas.