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Map Layer Info

North American Atlas – Roads

What this map layer shows:

North American roads connecting major population centers, selected frontier roads, and major ferry routes.
opens the Natural Resources Canada home pageopens the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation home pageopens Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography home pageopens the National Atlas of the United States home page
Background Information
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The North American Atlas is a cooperative project involving the Atlas of Canada, which is part of Natural Resources Canada; Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática – INEGI); and the National Atlas of the United States®.

Initial North American Atlas efforts have focused on production of standardized geospatial data sets at 1:10,000,000 scale, such as boundaries, water features, and transportation networks. These basic data layers have been integrated so that their relative positions are correct. The data are intended to provide a continental view useful for studying issues that cross political boundaries, such as energy use, the generation of greenhouse gases, water quality, avian migration, and biodiversity. Wall maps and additional data layers are planned for the future.

This collection of data sets forms a base with which other North American thematic data may be integrated. Any data outside of Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America included in the North American Atlas data sets is strictly to complete the context of the data.

The three national atlas programs work collaboratively to produce the trilingual data and documentation and to make the data sets available online. The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) provides coordination activities, and is adopting the North American Atlas frameworks (fundamental map layers, such as streams, roads, and boundaries) as an integral piece of its information management strategy. The CEC is an international organization created by Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). It was established to address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts, and to promote the effective enforcement of environmental law. The Agreement complements the environmental provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The North American Atlas – Roads data set shows the roads of North America at 1:10,000,000 scale. The roads included are either those that connect major centers of population or selected frontier roads. Roads under construction are not shown. There are three road classes: Major roads, which are divided, multi-lane, limited access highways; Secondary roads, which are all roads that do not meet the definition of major roads; and Ferries, which are major ferry links which run either year round or through periods when ice conditions permit. This data set was compiled by the Atlas of Canada, INEGI, and the National Atlas of the United States®. This data set is available for download only; it cannot be viewed in the National Atlas Map Maker.

The North American Atlas also includes data sets showing bathymetry, glaciers, hydrography, political boundaries, populated places, railroads, and sea ice.


Raw Data Download
North American Atlas – Roads

The North American Atlas