Arc Atlas: Our Earth

Available online: 

Please get in touch with if you would like access to this 1996 dataset

You can find more recent global datasets on our Base Layers page.




Arc Atlas contains global geographic and attribute data at three scales (1:10,000,000 for Europe, 1:20,000,000 for North and South America, Africa and Antarctica 1:25,000,000 for Asia and Australia). Includes 40 different geographic themes grouped by broad subject area.

Available Themes: 

The feature types and attributes indicated below are examples and not a comprehensive list.


Political Structure (countries), Population Density (people per sq. km.), Urban Settlements (capitals and other cities)

Social Infrastructure:

Transport Routes (major roads and railways), Transport Network Density (km. of route per sq. km.), Pipelines (oil and gas), International Airports (name), Electric Power Plants (hydro, thermal, atomic), Extractive Industry (type of material, e.g., metals, non-metals, gemstones, fuels, etc.), Manufacturing Industry (type of center, e.g., diverse or specialized; size of center)


Soils (types, bioclimatic regions, susceptibility to: acid degradation, contamination by selenium, lead), Mineral Resources (class and type of minerals, size of reserve), Vegetation (vegetation classes; vegetation/landscape belts), Present Landscapes (landscape classes; degree of human modification; relief), Land Use (types), Agriculture (agriculture classes; environmental threat of agricultural practices), Wildlife (ranges of more than 300 important species or genera), Protected Areas (national parks, sanctuaries, etc.)

The Lithosphere:

Geological Structure (rock classes, ages, etc.), Faults (rift, step, thrust, etc.), Earthquakes (magnitude, intensity, depth, date), Volcanoes (stage, e.g., active, potentially active, solfatara; elevation; name), Impact Craters (diameter, age, name of nearest town), Morphological Structure (e.g., plains, depressions, mountains, plateaus, etc.), Morphosculpture (e.g., sculpted by water, ice, erosion, wind, etc.), Quaternary Deposits (deposit types, age, etc.), Mountain Peaks (name, elevation, mountain system name)

The Hydrosphere:

Hydrographic Network (rivers and lakes, navigable, perennial, intermittent, etc.; name), Surface Runoff (rate in mm./sq. km./year), Groundwater Discharge (rate, salinity, coefficient, i.e., ratio to precipitation), Reservoirs (volume, name of reservoir, name of dam), Glaciers, Snow Cover (snow days per year), Permafrost (boundary)

The Atmosphere:

Solar Radiation (joules per sq. km. per year), Air Temperature (year, January, July; in mm./year or month), Frost-free Period (days per year), Precipitation (year, January, July; in mm./year or month)

Data Producer: 


Authorized Users: 

Carleton University students, faculty and staff
Content last reviewed: December 7, 2020