Polar Data Catalogue

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario
What the facility does

Searchable database of metadata and data that describes and provides access to data and information produced by Arctic and Antarctic researchers.

Areas of expertise

The Polar Data Catalogue (PDC) contains thousands of datasets, satellite images, and links to other polar data archives for use by scientists, decision makers, and the public. The scope of the research in PDC covers a range of disciplines, from natural sciences to policy to health and social sciences. The Canadian Cryospheric Information Network (CCIN) provides data and information management infrastructure for the Canadian Arctic and Antarctic research and monitoring communities. The wealth of knowledge and data generated by polar research must be managed to ensure and maximize the exchange and accessibility of relevant data, and to leave a lasting legacy.

In support of Polar Knowledge Canada, the Polar Data Catalogue has been recognized as the National Antarctic Data Centre (NADC) for Canada. As a party to the Antarctic Treaty, Canada makes scientific observations and results from research in Antarctic freely available. Beyond meeting this treaty obligation, stewardship of Canada’s Antarctic research data in the PDC links us with Antarctic researchers and data managers in dozens of countries.

Research services
  • Free access to the Polar Data Catalogue (PDC)
  • Training videos accessible on YouTube
  • Periodic training workshops at various national/international polar meetings
Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Ocean industries

Specialized lab




Polar Data Catalogue

Repository of metadata and data that describes and provides access to diverse data sets generated by Arctic and Antarctic researchers.

UW Environment Computing

Dell PowerEdge R740xd server

PDC production server

UW Environment Computing

IBM System x3650 servers (2)

PDC DR server and PDC internal server

Offsite Storage

6 X 3.5" Seagate IronWolf 10TB NAS Internal Hard Drive HDD

Secure offsite physical backup

  • ArcticNet - Network of Centres of Excellence
  • Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
  • Nunavut General Monitoring Program (NGMP)
  • Northern Contaminants Program (NCP)
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Ocean Networks Canada
  • WDS International Technology Office
  • Canadian Space Agency (CSA)



Digging into Data Challenge


New Frontiers in Research: The Polar Data Catalogue


The Polar Data Catalogue: Best Practices For Sharing and Archiving Canada’s Polar Data


The Polar Data Catalogue: A Vehicle for Collaboration, Northern Community Partnerships, and Policy-Making


Canadian Cryospheric Information Network