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Potential Uses and Limitations

Potential Uses

The Atlas is a tool designed to facilitate informed communication and decision making with a focus on the distribution and use of natural resources. It includes a Data Catalog of over 500 multi-disciplinary spatial data sets and a Mapping Tool with functionality for viewing, understanding, and sharing this data. It has many potential uses, including:

  • Assessing natural resources in a particular area.
  • Identifying development opportunities in the mineral, forestry, water, and tourism sectors.
  • Identifying areas that should be considered for ecological restoration or enhanced protection.
  • Producing maps and data summaries that can be used to guide the decision making process.
  • Providing scientifically sound, unbiased data to communities, industry, and agencies.


The Atlas is not a regulatory tool. Site or project evaluations using the Mapping Tool and Data Catalog are not meant to serve as a replacement for formal environmental review processes, such as Environmental Assessment Worksheets and Environmental Impact Statements.

The Atlas Mapping Tool is not intended to be a replacement for more comprehensive Geographic Information System (GIS) software. It has spatial analysis capabilities that can help users explore and evaluate spatial data. However, if a user requires analyses beyond these capabilities, we provide download access to most of the data available within the Atlas by linking to the original data source.