Ministry of Environment

Terrestrial Ecosystem Information (TEI) Access to Maps and Data

This page provides tools for finding, viewing and downloading Terrestrial Ecosystem Information (TEI) mapping and information including GIS data (.e00/.shp or file geodatabase), other related data, reports, and scanned maps (.jpg, .tiff, .pdf).

Not all products are available in all formats. Digital products are available at no cost.

Note: Depending on your needs, the information you are seeking may be available from several project types. For example, if you are looking for drainage and parent material or surficial material information, these attributes may be obtained from terrain, bioterrain, terrestrial ecosystem mapping, soil, or surficial geology mapping.

Find GIS data, scanned maps and other related information

If you are looking for information or mapping for specific projects or project types not noted or found using the ‘Find’, ‘View’ or ‘Download’ sections, see your project type of interest under ‘Additional Data Sources’ below. The Ministry of Environment has loaded a significant portion of its data holdings for TEM, PEM, SEI, TER (TIM, TSM & TBT) projects and some SOIL projects to the Geographic Data BC warehouse making it accessible using the ‘Find’ and ‘View’ tools.

Refer to the TEI Information Sheet for an overview of tools and resources available for access to Terrestrial Ecosystems Information.

+Find GIS data for TEI projects and mapping

GIS file types include .gdb/.e00/.shp,/csv and other project files. Project types with GIS data available include: TEM, PEM, SEI, TER (TIM, TSM & TBT), and SOIL. iMapBC project boundary layers and TEI Index maps (see below) provide project information (metadata) and include hyperlinks for downloading or requesting the associated information.

To find GIS data for mapping projects, use one of:

Note: Data loading is a work in progress. The most current TEI dataset is at: The vast majority of TEM and SEI projects have been loaded to the Geographic Warehouse and can be viewed using iMapBC or the TEI Index maps. (Note: PEM project boudaries, have been loaded, but not the full PEM datasets (due to their size)). An estimated 70-80% of the Terrain projects have at least a project boundary loaded. Only Soil project boundaries have been loaded, and no WHR/SDM projects have been loaded (see ‘Additional Data Sources’ - Soil Mapping and WHR/SDM below for access to GIS data and reports).

+Find Scanned Maps

File types include .tif, .jpeg, .pdf. The Terrestrial Ecosystem Information Scanned Maps consist primarily of soil, terrain and related themes. Use one of:

  • iMapBC (use an interactive web mapping application)(see instructions), (Note: includes hyperlinks for downloading map files and related information (e.g. reports)).
  • List of available maps (search a Map List, by viewing or downloading the .xls file containing the list. Note: this list includes all maps but may not include all mapsheets covered by a map. It is best to use iMapBC for now).

+Find Related Information

Reports and Documents

Cross-Linked Information Repositories (CLIR) (searches multiple holdings. Use to find reports and other documents in the Ministry Library and other Ministry holdings.)

Standards and Guidelines

Select the applicable hyperlink:

Mapping and Digital Data Capture Standards and Guidelines:

+View detailed mapping interactively (for GIS datasets only)

Use iMapBC (interactive web mapping application) to view project boundaries and detailed mapping polygons with their map labels and key attributes. (see instructions). (Note: detailed PEM and Soil mapping are not available for viewing in iMapBC, or for download from Data Distribution.)

To view and query Soil and Agriculture Capability data on an interacitve map or to download KMZ files to use with Google Earth, go to:

+Download or request TEI datasets or maps

Once you have found projects of interest using the Find tools above, or have downloaded the above datasets, use one of these procedures to download or request maps or other project data:

Note: WHR/SDM data is currently only available upon request to the MoE data custodian (see WHR/SDM topic below).

Use embedded URL links (see the Project_Boundaries data in the above datasets)
Request a complete project dataset
Access Scanned Map files
Download the original project data from EcoCat

Use embedded URL links
MoE has provided hyperlinks for downloading or requesting data in the project or map attributes available when using iMapBC or the TEI Index Maps. Use these embedded URL links to access downloadable files directly or email MoE at the email address provided to request the files. These URLs are in the Project Boundaries Layer(s) available via iMapBC or in the project attributes available with TEI Index Maps or provided in the Scanned Map List. Where project data is available for self-serve download or upon request, there will be a comment describing the available data and a URL link to the data source. (For example, if data is available from EcoCat, there will be information in the ‘Ecocat_comments’ and ‘Ecocat URL’ fields.)


Request TEI data

Use the Find tools to locate data, or download the complete BC datasets for TEI and Soils as GIS Feature Classes (in file geodatabase (.gdb) (see above). Request other available project information such as reports or plot files from the TEI data managers by BAPID (Business Area Project IDs be identified using iMapBC or the TEI Index Maps), and details about the type of information you want.

If you require TEI data in .shp file format, please request an extract of the data by providing a shape file for your area of interest (AOI) or a list of BAPIDs (Business Area Project IDs.

Available information may include the 'long table' (inventory (detailed mapping) polygons with full RISC standard attribute table), the 'short table' (inventory polygons with map label and key attributes) and the project boundary polygon(s) with project level metadata; sample site and on-site symbol datasets, input datasets, reports, data dictionaries and other associated data.

  • Requests for TEI Data should be directed to: (Note: This email address replaces the eco_mail and soilterrain addresses)

Access Scanned Map files

Scanned Map files can be accessed (and downloaded) from the data distrubution web site. Use iMapBC (see instructions) or the TEI_Scanned_Map_Index.xlsx  spreadsheet to determine which maps you require.

Note: BC government staff can access the scanned maps directly using the Image_URL (in the scanned map attributes as available on iMapBC and the BCGW) to the access the government network drive where the maps are stored.

Download the original project data from EcoCat
Download the original project data from EcoCat (spatial files in .e00/.shp format, with attributes in .csv), (applies mainly to TEM, PEM and SEI data). Note that EcoCat does NOT contain updated/quality assured GIS data, or GIS data in geodatabase format. The latter is available from on request from the MoE contact (see above).

Additonal Data Sources

+Other PEM Projects

A limited number of PEM projects are not yet available via iMapBC, the TEI Index Maps, or EcoCat. These may be available for download from MoE's data download site at:

Note: Individual mapping projects are stored under regional directories.

+Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory Projects

Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory Projects can also be accessed via the SEI website at:

+Other Terrain Related Products

Surficial Geology & related mapping
Ministry of Energy & Mines’ Index of Surficial Geology Maps (2016)
Natural Resources Canada Geoscience Data Repository (GDR)
Surficial Materials of Canada (1:5,000,000 scale)
Digital Terrain & Soils Map Library (The MapPlace)
Aggregate Potential Mapping
Earthquake Hazard Mapping
Bedrock Mapping

Surficial Geology & related mapping
Surficial Geology maps show the types and distribution of surficial materials and landforms in a chronostratigraphic framework. (Surficial geology mapping was a precursor to the Terrain mapping and terrain classification standards in BC.) Surficial Geology mapping is available from a variety of sources (see below).

Ministry of Energy & Mines’ Index of Surficial Geology Maps (OF 2016-3):

This updated list Open File 2016-03 includes available surficial geology maps (including maps originally in OF1992-13).

The Open File 1992-13 list is still available but note that the list contains many maps that are not available.

Natural Resources Canada Geoscience Data Repository (GDR)


  1. The 'Mirage' application permits searches based on web-based mapping or a text search. In either case, you can search using Title = Surficial Geology British Columbia or by NTS >mapsheet (e.g. Location NTS = 092L)
  2. To use the 'Digital Geoscience Maps' application, read the user tips, and then use the 'Map Search' tab at the top of the page. Zoom in to BC and select 'Geoscience Layers' and 'Geomorphology and Surficial'

Surficial Materials of Canada (1:5,000,000 scale)
For a downloadable .pdf see:

Digital Terrain & Soils Map Library (The MapPlace)
Digital soils and terrain (and terrain stability) map files are available for interactive viewing or download in .e00/.shp (GIS formats) and/or as .tiff (raster image) files from the Terrain and Soils Map Library at:

NOTE: the majority of the Soils and Terrain GIS data available above is also available in either a Soils or TEIS standardized database format (with labels parsed into attribute fields) in file geodatabases via the iMapBC and the TEI Index Maps.

Aggregate Potential Mapping
Aggregate Potential Mapping is typically based on terrain or surficial geology mapping and this information may be included in the project datasets. Aggregate potential mapping projects have been completed for the following areas: Prince George, Okanagan, Nanaimo, Sea-to-Sky, SunshineCoast, North Coast, and Northeast B.C. See:

Earthquake Hazard Mapping
As earthquake hazard mapping is based on a variety of factors, including surficial material texture and thickness, slope, and other factors. Surficial material maps may be available. A surficial geology (Quaternary Geology) map of the Greater Victoria region accompanies the Earthquake Hazard Mapping project for the region. See:
A surficial geology map of the Vancouver-Lower Mainland area is available via the GeoMap Vancouver website, at: (click on ‘Viewing the Map’)

Bedrock Mapping
Bedrock mapping for BC is available via:

Natural Resources Canada Geoscience Data Repository (GDR)
See also:

+Soil Mapping

Soil mapping typically includes information about the soil association (pedon), landform/parent materials and topographic/slope class. Depending on your information needs, if a 'soil map' in not available for your area of interest, consider whether terrain or related map may serve your needs (e.g. parent material = surficial material).

Soil mapping datasets have been compiled into one soil dataset. Two versions of the soil mapping datasets are available: 1) a simplified Soil_Map (.gdb or .shp) with overlapping data removed. (This data is available from: )and 2) the full dataset containing the full extent of the original input datasets with overlaps. (This data is available on request t to: .)

Brief descriptions of the original soil mapping (now compiled) follow:

BC Soil Mapping (1:50,000 scale)
CANSIS Soil Surveys (1:100,000 scale)
L. Mainland, Okanagan & SE Vancouver Island (CAPAMP) Soils Mapping (1:20,000 scale)
Soil Sample Sites and Soil Analyses (BCSIS)
Soil Landscapes of BC (1:1,000,000 scale)
Soil Landscapes of Canada (1:1,000,000 scale)

BC Soil Mapping (1:50,000 scale)
The 1:50,000 scale soils mapping has been compiled into an ArcMap file geodatabase. This mapping is the original inventory which was compiled into the published 1:100,000 scale CLI soils maps (see: CANSIS topic (next paragraph below)).

CANSIS Soil Surveys (1:100,000 scale)
Canadian Soils Information System (CANSIS) Soil Survey reports (.pdf) and maps (.e00 (GIS format) and/or .jpg) for BC are also still available from:
(Select the Soil Survey report name to access the report and any .jpg maps, or select the hyperlink in the ‘GIS Data’ column to download the GIS data (1:100,000 scale), if available. This original data does not include any improvements made by MoE.

Lower Mainland, Okanagan & SE Vancouver Island (CAPAMP) Soils Mapping (1:20,000 scale)
Detailed (1:20,000 scale) soils surveys were conducted in the Lower Mainland, on Southeast Vancouver Island, and in the Okanagan-Similkameen areas during the early 1980s. Products developed include soil survey reports, and maps, agriculture capability and other related themes (see Derivative Maps). CAPAMP soil and agriculture capability mapping is available in .e00 format, and all themes are available as raster map files (.tiff). See Find Scanned Maps (above).

The original CAPAMP digital soil and agriculture capability files (.e00) are available from:


  1. See BCsoilsprojects-map.pdf for a map of the CAPAMP soil survey project areas and corresponding file names.
  2. See the readme and documentation files for information about attribute data, data capture procedures, etc.
  3. Technical documentation and information about the data base attributes, coding used, etc. can be found in CAPAMP Volume 1 - Data entry and validation procedures for soil, agriculture capability, surficial geology and the all purpose entity. This report is available in the /Documentation folder at: or via: EcoCat at: (Tip: Use keyword search for "CAPAMP")

Soil Sample Sites and Soil Analyses (BCSIS)
Soils attributes from sampling during soil surveys are available in the BCSIS database. Typical physical and chemical properties of soils (soil analyses data) are provided with the soils descriptions in soil survey reports.

The BCSIS data is available as .csv files, and in GIS format in the ArcMap file geodatabase. Download the Soil_Sites data in from: .

Site and soil (and surficial material) attributes are also collected for ecosystem mapping projects. This data is collected on a project by project basis, and is available with other Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM) and Predictive Ecosystem Mapping (PEM) project data in VENUS databases from Ecocat at: (To access this data, search for TEM or PEM projects in your area of interest.) iMapBC can be used to access an index map of the location of TEM and PEM projects. See [Find GIS data].

Soil Landscapes of BC (1:1,000,000 scale)
The report ‘Soil Landscapes of British Columbia’ describes and explains the variety of soils that are found in different parts of BC, including how climate, geology and vegetation have influenced the soil. This report also includes a discussion of what soil is, how it develops, and how it is classified, and describes the nine main types of soil. This report is available online at: or a hardcopy may be ordered from Crown Publications.

Soil Landscapes of Canada (1:1,000,000 scale)
Soil and landform mapping for Canada is available from
This mapping may be viewed using an web-based interactive mapping application, or the data may be downloaded as GIS files. Note: Version 3.2 contains updated attributes for agricultural areas. If you require attributes for all of BC, use version 2.2.

Version 2.2 and 3.2 are available in file geodatabase format by requesting the full soil dataset from: .

+Soil Related Products

Agriculture Capability Mapping (Scanned Maps and GIS data)
Agriculture Capability Mapping (CLI) (1:250,000 scale GIS data)
Lower Mainland, Okanagan, SE Vancouver Island (CAPAMP) Agriculture Capability Maps (1:20,000 scale)
City Agriculture Capability
Thematic Maps derived from Soil Maps
Climate Capability and other Climate Information
Plant Hardiness Map

Agriculture Capability Mapping (Interactive mapping, KMZs, Scanned Maps, and GIS data)
Agriculture Capability mapping is now available for viewing and query via interactive mapping. See the Soil Information Finder Tool (SIFT) available at: Soil Information Finder Tool

KMZ files viewing Agriculture Capability Mapping in Google Earth are also available. A link to these files on the above webpage.

The TEI Scanned Map inventory has the largest geographic coverage of Agriculture Capability. See Find Scanned Maps (above). Download 1:50,000 scale Agriculture Capability mapping in file geodatabase or shape file format from: and more detailed mapping from the CAPAMP folders at: ).
NOTE: MoE is in the process of bringing the Agriculture Capability datasets into file geodatabase format. Please ask for a status update or request the data from: .

Agriculture Capability Mapping (CLI) (1:250,000 scale GIS data)
Canada Land Inventory (CLI) Agriculture Capability maps (GIS format .e00, typically 1:250,000 scale) are available from:
(Select the mapsheet of interest from the list, and ‘submit’ the request).

Technical information about the agriculture capability mapping is available via:

CLI classification and methodology information is available via: and

Other CLI Soil Capability maps (forestry capability, recreational capability, etc.) in GIS format and as raster images (.wmf) are available via:


  1. A wide variety of these capability maps are also available (as published maps) from PRSSS (
  2. Scans (.tif files) of the hardcopy CLI soils and agriculture capability mapping are available (at 1:50,000 or other smaller) for many areas. See Hardcopy Maps (

Lower Mainland, Okanagan, SE Vancouver Island (CAPAMP) Agriculture Capability Maps (1:20,000 scale)
Agriculture Capability assessments have been conducted for the Lower Mainland, Southern Vancouver Island and Okanagan-Similkameen areas as part of the 1:20,000 (CAPAMP) soil surveys. These maps are available in digital format (.e00) or hardcopy format. See CAPAMP Soils Mapping for digital Agriculture Capability files, or Scanned and Hardcopy Maps.


  1. See Supporting Information - Agriculture Capability for additional information about classifications or map legends.
City Agriculture Capability
For City Agriculture Capability Mapping (for large cities only, includes Vancouver and Victoria BC) search for ‘city agriculture capability’ at:

Thematic Maps derived from Soil Maps
Derivative theme maps are available for several of the agricultural areas of BC, typically where soils surveys have been conducted at 1:20,000 scale (e.g. the CAPAMP mapping), and in some other areas. Cimate capability and related maps are available for some parts of BC.

Map Themes include:

    • Land capability for agriculture
    • Agriculture soil management groups
    • Soil drainage
    • Soils affected by flooding and/or high water table
    • Surface soil erosion potential Irrigation water requirement
    • Soil suitability for septic tank effluent absorption
    • Soil suitability for residential development

See Find Scanned Maps (above).

The report: Soil Constraints for Septic Tank Effluent Absorption MOE Manual 5: is available from:

Documentation of the Algorithms used to derive some of the above themes for the 1:20,000 CAPAMP area maps is available from:

Climate Capability and other Climate Information
Climate related mapping is available for some areas in BC. Map themes include:

  • Climate Capability for Agriculture
  • May to September Precipitation
  • Freeze Free Days
  • Growing Degree Days
  • Climatic Moisture Deficit/Surplus

See Find Scanned Maps (above).

Reports describing the Climate Capability Classification Methodology are available (free download) from: Reports/Climatic Capability for Agriculture in BC.pdf (PDF 1.02MB)

Information about the 'Growing Degree-Days' methodology is available via:

ClimateBC is a free stand-alone or web-based application that provides climate data and climate predictions for BC and the Alaska Panhandle. ClimateBC allows the user to input a location of interest (or multiple locations), select variables and the output summary period, and it outputs monthly maximum and minimum air temperature, precipitation, seasonal summaries, and derived variables such as degree-days and frost-free period.

For more information, see the article titled: Tools for scientists: High spatial resolution climate data for BC, by Dave Spittlehouse, in Island Geoscience (Spring 2006 issue) at:

Download the ClimateBC file (17Mb) at:

Plant Hardiness Map
Plant Hardiness zoning would be another climate indicator. An updated Plant Hardiness Map (2000) is available via:

+Wildlife Habitat Ratings (WHR) & Species Distribution Mapping (SDM)

WHR and SDM projects have not yet been catalogued in a way that makes them searchable using iMapBC or the TEI Index maps. See the Wildlife Habitat Ratings under ‘Terrestrial Ecosystems’ on the Ecosystems Portal at: and search for "Wildlife Habitat Ratings".

  • WHR and SDM are commonly based on TEM or PEM mapping. The WHR project datasets can be located using EcoCat. (See instructions below). WHR data is located in the wildlife folder of each TEM and PEM project folders. TEM and PEM projects that are not yet available via Ecocat may be available for download from a data distribution site at: (note: Individual mapping projects are stored under regional directories on each site.)
    • Using EcoCat to find WHR Information:
      • From the EcoCat homepage, select “Public”
      • If you know the project name enter it into keyword search, or select “Advanced Search”
      • Scroll down the page to "Terrestrial Information" and choose “Wildlife Habitat Ratings (WHR)” from the drop-down list.
      • Click on the “Search” button at the bottom of the page.

In future, these projects will also be searchable by using iMapBC, the TEI Index maps or EcoCat (Find GIS data).

Proviso: All project rating tables and species accounts on this site are in draft form.
Project ratings tables have been reviewed to ensure they follow the standard formats and codes stipulated in BC Wildlife Habitat Rating Standards (RIC[now RISC]1999) and BC Wildlife Habitat Rating Technical Standards (RIC 2000).

The actual values of the ratings have not been correlated or reviewed in detail.
There has been no correlation at this time to resolve issues such as, for example, whether or not the same ecosystems in two different projects have been rated consistently.

Users of these ratings tables should contact the regional wildlife biologist or wildlife habitat inventory specialist if they have any questions about appropriate applications of project wildlife habitat ratings data.

Always include all the relevant species accounts in a project when downloading and distributing the project ratings tables. Ratings tables and resultant habitat capability and suitability maps are of limited value without the rationale for ratings documented in the species accounts.

If you would like a listing of the example provincial-level species accounts by region click here.

+Other Sources of Reports & Maps

GeoBC Data Discovery & the BC Geographic Warehouse (formerly LRDW)
BC Ministry of Forests and Range Library
BC Publications
Crown Publications
PRSSS (Pacific Regional Society of Soil Sciences)
BC Geological Survey Branch (GSB)
Other Libraries

GeoBC Data Discovery & the BC Geographic Warehouse (formerly LRDW)
Additional terrestrial ecosystem, soil, surficial geology, terrain reports and data (as well as a vast array of other data) are be available for discovery, download or viewing via the BC Geographic Warehouse at:

BC Ministry of Forests and Range Library
Search the catalogue at:

BC Publications
A few Soil Survey reports and other soils and terrain related publications as well as a diverse range of other products. Visit the BC Publications site via:

Crown Publications
The Land Management Handbooks, Soil Landscapes of BC, many GSB publications, as well as Field Data forms and other soil and terrain related documents are available from Crown Publications. See:

PRSSS (Pacific Regional Society of Soil Sciences)
Published hardcopy soils reports, published terrain/soils maps (often in color) and CLI Capability maps can be ordered (at a cost) from the Pacific Regional Society of Soil Sciences: (Note: response time may vary as this is a volunteer organization).

BC Geological Survey Branch (GSB)
BC Geological Survey Branch (GSB) maps and reports are available from:

Other Libraries
Soil, terrain and surficial geology reports and other materials may be available from the following:

Note: If you do not live in the Vancouver or Victoria areas, the materials from the above libraries can probably be borrowed via inter-library loan through your local library