The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) creates navigational products—such as charts and tables of the tides, currents and water levels of Canadian navigable waters—and offers services to ensure the safety of mariners, in accordance with the standards of the International Hydrographic Organization.

Services and information

Economic Benefits

Includes: exploration of offshore gas and oil sites, expansion of navigation routes, provision of data to harbours, vessel management, monitoring of marine changes, extension of the maritime zones, development of technologies, storm surge and tsunami monitoring, renewable energy

Legal aspects of CHS

Includes: legislation, regulations and enforcement relevant to CHS: Department of Fisheries and Oceans Act, Oceans Act, Charts and nautical Publications Regulations, Canada shipping Act, 2001, Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, International conventions


Includes: technical support in the definition of baselines, maritime boundaries and outer limits of Canada's territory and maritime zones, extent and location of Canada's maritime limits on charts and nautical products

Marine Geodetic advice and expertise

Includes: maritime limits and boundaries, survey, datum and geodetic calculations for charts, consultation services for government departments and organizations, expert testimony in civil litigation or prosecution regarding violations and infractions in Canadian waters


Includes: electronic delivery of navigational information based on the standardization of electronic marine navigational systems, compatibility between vessels and shore services, transmission of key information such as positioning data, navigational charts and broadcast services


Includes: standards set out by the International Hydrographic Organization for electronic chart systems, international conventions concerning hydrography, navigation systems and nautical charts


Includes: information on the cooperation with other government agencies, private industry and international partners on tsunami emergency preparedness and emergency response and on projects like ARGO, Northern Gateway Project

Data Acquisition

Includes: hydrographic surveys for nautical charts and updating of charts, development of current tables and navigational publications. Data on depths and heights of water, water levels and vertical datums, vessel positioning and orientation

Data Processing Techniques

Includes: measuring depths with multibeam echosounders, sidescan sonars, sweep system, satellite imagery, gridded bathymetric surfaces

Data Management - Hydrographic Information Network

Includes: Hydrographic Information network (HIN), CHS directory (CHSDir), Bathy DataBase, Hydrographic Production Database, ChartServer


Includes: vessel management, safety and security on Canada's waters, tide predictions, ocean management, supporting the protection of Canada's territorial waters and economy

Nautical Charts and Services

Includes: chart index, paper charts, digital charts, publications, data products and surveys, copyright and licensing, update and registration of charts, chart purchase, chart price list

Hydrographic Climate Database

The Ocean Science Hydrographic Climate Database (Climate) is a comprehensive, open access collection of temperature and salinity data for the Northwest Atlantic and Eastern Arctic (an area defined by 35°N - 80° N and 42°W - 100° W).