I need detailed Bathymetric data covering water bodies (including smaller ones) in the Province of Ontario. Our Provincial Government has it, but the use of the data are restricted due to liability issues. Does anyone know place to download this data, or can anyone suggest a way to interpolate lake depth contours (ie - would it be feasible to get a Google Earth Pro licence for this)? I have access to 3D Analyst and Spatial Analyst.
Canadian Hydrographic Service may be your only choice, I'm afraid. LIO is supposed to have line and point bathymetry data, but their login and search tools are going off into hyperspace for me right now.
My friend was lucky in that the lakes he was interested in had just had a very detailed survey in advance of the G8, and CHS (apparently) don't maintain commercial charts of the lakes.
It sounds like CHS is interested in opening up access to its data (see: Hydrographic Products and Services Program Evaluation Report), but they're not there yet.
I called LIO to see what's going on with this. I also would like bathymetry for lakes surrounding our exploration project. I noticed that an Index of lakes for which bathymetry data exists is publicly available (https://www.appliometadata.lrc.gov.on.ca:/geonetwork?uuid=a4126540-367e-4e30-8008-cf2e3919fcdf) ...says right there in the description of this particular class that it's available but like you I did not see it in the list of layers available for download.
Turns out a few things are going on; the overhauling of the existing spatial data portal is VERY VERY much behind schedule. The completion date is constantly being pushed back so the state of the current data portal remains unchanged as of April 2012. Normally, various data classes are made and un-made available over time so even if the BATHYIDX become availalbe to public it would not show up on the existing "unplugged, legacy" system. Also, Many MNR staff were recently fired and internal restructuring is under way - this might also have some impact on data availability. Just checked, YEP, the BATHYIDX is dated 2013-01-02.
The person I spoke with confirmed that the index is in fact available and they can e-mail it upon request. The TRICKY part is - even if you find the bathymetry data you want that data is in fact tagged Restricted! Even the MNR person confirmed it does not make much sense telling the public it's there but you cant have it. (Sigh) I mean the index - the means of searching the data is unrestricted but the data is restricted... "rolling my eyes"
Fortunately, the MNR person on the other end seemed knowledgeable about this and other datasets so she was able to tell me that the reason why it is restricted is because it is OUTDATED. Apparently, a number of individuals in the past who obtained this data, uploaded it to their GPS units, went fishing and I guess..... crashed. "Thanks guys, that's a super high tech data validation method!" The data have mostly been digitized from old paper maps and are therefore unsuitable for navigational purposes so the MNR locked it up by making it restricted. (no doubt after a couple of phone calls from very wet fishermen) I was told that some of this data is still available on the MNR FishONline website (http://www.web2.mnr.gov.on.ca/fish_online/fishing/fishingExplorer_en.html) but i have not had much luck navigating around the outdated layout.
It seems that I might be able to get the data after all if I promise (likely some legal signed agreement) not to use the data for navigational purposes. When I inquired about it the MNR person didn't say I won't be able to purchase the data, rather she said that there might be a way but wasn't 100% sure.
Hope this helps.
Update - someone from the MNR called me to talk about the data - they can sell the data on a case by case basis. You have to make a case tho the MNR and provide detail information on how you are planning to use the data. This is then reviewed by a panel and you will be either allowed to purchase or denied. If you are allowed to purchase, the data will only be available for research purposes only with the understanding that it will not be (in whole or part) made publicly available. You will not be able to use the data in maps that can be seen outside the scope of your project - no publications, open houses, etc. You won't be able to quote or reference the data used and product derived from this data cannot be used for any other purposes other then those defined by the scope of your project.
I think it's time to hook up your garmin with your fish-finder and collect your own...