MERN- Topographic, General and Administrative Mapping

Aerial Photography and Aerotriangulation

Production of Digital Orthophotos

Remote Sensing

Topographic, General, and Administrative Mapping

Geodetics and GPS Technology

Public Land Planning

Delegation of Public Land Management

Management of Land Rights

Development and Operation of Computerized Systems

Géoboutique Québec

Leasing Public Land


Topographic, General, and Administrative Mapping



Mapping a territory covering some 1.7 million km² represents a major challenge. The Department contributes by managing the geographic reference foundation for Québec, which serves as the foundation for the other government and private-sector geographic information systems.

The Department directs production, upgrading, and maintenance, and offers technical and method support for users of reference maps. In order to ensure the quality required to promote coherency between the reference foundation and other data during integration, the Department must issue and apply highly rigorous standards related to positioning, acquisition, processing, and quality control.

This requires joint and sequential action by a multidisciplinary team, backed by powerful geomatics tools. Consequently, surveyors and specialist in aerial photography, orthophoto, and remote sensing comprise the main source of base geographic information for the territory. Geomaticians, geographers, and cartographers analyze, process, classify, integrate, and structure this mass of data and carry out mapping synthesis. In this endeavor, the Department cooperates with many departmental and governmental organizations that provide complementary official data. These collaborations, constantly enriched through the contributions of the private sector, research and development centers, and various technical support organizations, have significantly helped strengthen Québec's expertise in geomatics.

Areas of Application

This expertise converges a priori on offering a range of cartographic products that coherently illustrate the territory at various scales. Topographic, general, and administrative mapping therefore illustrate a set of features that serve to locate resources and characterize the territory. These include:

  • Infrastructure;
  • Hydrographic network;
  • Relief;
  • Road, rail, and energy-transportation infrastructure;
  • Forest cover;
  • Towns, villages, and inhabited areas;
  • Main administrative divisions.

The products derived from the reference foundation are edited to facilitate circulation of geographic and administrative information. These products are printed, offered on CD-ROM, or available online on the Internet.

Whether used alone or in combination with orthophotos or satellite images, the reference foundation yields a local, regional, or provincial view of the territory. It makes it possible to situate and relate the many diversified themes. It supports, in particular, the analyses prior to implementing structures as well as development and infrastructure projects, and serves in understanding territories stakes.

Today, in order to respond to user needs and take advantage of the constant development of technologies, the Department is developing new expertise in emerging areas such as:

  • Internet mapping;
  • Open generalization about multi-scale products;
  • Mixing of carto-image databases;
  • Extraction of vector data from satellite images;
  • Networking data;
  • Geolocalization;
  • 3D views of the territory;
  • Real-time updating, etc.

As a result, the know-how and expertise acquired by the Department over the last 25 years in establishing and managing mapping infrastructure, shared project management, processing multi-source data, and creating tailored products can be shared with any government interested in mapping as a knowledge, management, or intervention tool relative to its landmass.