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Scholars GeoPortal User Guide: About GeoPortal

What is Scholars GeoPortal?

The portal is a hardware and software infrastructure that provides access to large scale geospatial data sets, as well as sophisticated search, discovery and analysis tools to make the data readily available to Ontario researchers. Resources include data licensed by Ontario academic libraries, such as land-based vector data (water, cultural features, etc.), census geography, and orthophotography.

Who should use Scholars GeoPortal

Anyone who is affiliated with an Ontario university interested in using geospatial data for mapping or gis analysis will find the GeoPortal a useful resource.

The portal has been created for the academic community for teaching and research, including educators, researchers, students, faculty, and staff. The geospatial data available from the portal can be downloaded and imported into Geographic Information System software for mapping and analysis purposes. The portal provides many options for selecting data by location and feature type, as well as file type and projection. Mapping tools will also be available for creating map images "on the fly".

The power of geographic information for Teaching and Learning is found in its multi-disciplinary nature. From this perspective, we believe the GeoPortal will help enrich university curricula and broaden the appeal of geographic information across disciplines. The GeoPortal will incorporate much of the functionality found in commercial mapping software and will help introduce GIS to new users, but also meet the needs of more advance users.  Ultimately, the portal will allow access to geospatial datasets and tools for use both inside and outside the classroom, allowing for the embedding of spatial literacy concepts in the curriculum, and enriching the research process for all scholars.

How to use Scholars GeoPortal

The GeoPortal Teaching and Learning Working Group has created some quick tips for searching the portal successfully. These include searching by geographic location or data topic, downloading data, etc. Please use the following link for guidance:

Quick Tips

Scholars GeoPortal Getting Started Guide

Technical Support

For problems using the GeoPortal, contact central Scholars GeoPortal technical support at

Need more help?

Assistance with the GeoPortal or GIS and data use expertise is available at your home institution:

Contact a person at your institution