Using the Atlas

This screenshot of The Atlas highlights the features available to users. On the top right are the Print button, the Layers button (which has been clicked), and the basemap.

The Print button (highlighted by the blue circle) allows you to print the part of the map visible on your screen. When you click the button it will create a PDF. To open the PDF and print it you can click on the “printout” link that replaces the print button.

The Layers button is the most important button on the atlas website because it allows you to choose which city, census geography, and census year to view. A specific dataset displayed on a map is called a layer. To add or remove a layer you need to click on the “Layers” tab at the top right (highlighted by the red circle). A drop down menu will appear (visible on the right hand side of the screenshot). Layers that are “on” (visible) have their check boxes checked, such as the Saskatoon Enumeration Area 1991 indicated by the black oval on the menu. You can turn off a layer by clicking the checked box beside it. Layers that are “off” (invisible) have empty check boxes. You can turn on a layer by clicking the box. You can also view multiple years, censes, cities, and geographies at the same time by turning on multiple layers.

If the layers contain data about the same city they will be overlaid with the most recent year in front. To find the layer you want to view, you may have to scroll down through the list of layers. It is ordered from west to east starting with Calgary and ending with Winnipeg. Each city’s list begins with census tracts (CT), then dissemination areas (DA), and enumeration areas (EA). This order reflects the reverse chronological of census years (2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981).

The basemap button (in the yellow circle) allows you to use different background maps.

With the Search bar (indicated by the purple oval on the far right of the screenshot) you can search for a city, neighbourhood, or address in the same way you would with Google or BING maps. However, you cannot search for census tract or enumeration area codes.

The Navigation tools on the left side (circled in green) allow you to navigate on the map. The plus and minus arrows allow you to zoom in and out. The house button allows you to return to the original map extent (the area visible in the screenshot). The circle button allows you to scroll to other areas on the map. You can also scroll to other areas by clicking and dragging the mouse on the map.

This is a screenshot of the atlas after zooming in on Saskatoon (highlighted in black on the previous screenshot). It highlights the single and multiple attribute query functions (indicated in the blue and black circles on the right); and the legend (indicated by orange circles on the left).

You can click on any census tract or enumeration/dissemination area to get in-depth information about the area. This is called the query function . When an area is selected it is highlighted in blue (see the black circle in the centre of the screenshot). Attributes about the selected area are displayed in a query window (to the right of the black circle on the screenshot). These attributes include the layer name (highlighted in dark blue), the census tract or enumeration/dissemination area name, ID, the population of the area in the year the census was taken, the aboriginal population during that year, and the percent aboriginal.

When multiple layers are turned on for the same location the query function will allow you to toggle through the query windows of each layer. The number of overlapping layers is noted on the top left of the query window (highlighted in light blue on the screenshot). To proceed to the next layer click the arrow beside the close and minimize buttons on the query window (indicated by a blue circle on the right of the query window on the screenshot).