B.C. Active Control System (BCACS)

The British Columbia government, in cooperation with other levels of government and industry, is making it easier for users to collect, merge and overlay geographic data through the B.C. Active Control System (BCACS).

BCACS is the active component of the province’s geospatial reference framework, which integrates satellite-based positioning and broadcast communication to provide users with standardized, low-cost and instantaneous positioning.

The BCACS network is comprised of 20 permanent and continuously operating Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) based satellite receivers. These are strategically located to provide coverage across the province. View information about GPS active control points across British Columbia:

Product Details

Raw GNSS observation data is collected from GNSS receivers, which are located on accurately positioned boundaries in B.C.

BCACS GPS base stations provide data which allow users to correct the coordinates obtained with their single receivers to achieve positions accurate to less than 1 metre. Post-mission data is available for the whole province by subscription or on a pay-per-download basis.

Hourly post-mission files are assigned letters “a” through “x”. “a” is assigned to files beginning at 00:00 UTC and “x” is assigned to files beginning at 23:00 UTC. See the RINEX Time Correlation Table (PDF, 9.2KB) to determine the appropriate files for your specific times of occupation. The table relates the file labelling format to UTC time, Pacific Standard Time and Pacific Daylight Time.

How to Acquire

To set up a pre-authorized, pay-per-download account, you will need a BCeID account and a credit card. Accounts are available to:

Fill out the BCACS application form to sign up for a BCACS account. Instructions on how to access BCACS data will be forwarded once the account is set up.

Pay annual subscription fees for BCACS or BCACS Municipal post-mission data:




Real-time data

Please contact GeoBC


$5.00 per file (1 hr BCACS data)

A1 Basic Subscription (1 office licence)

$1200 per year

A2 Basic Plus Subscription (5 offices licence)

$3000 per year

Convert to a daily pay as you go system:

  1. Obtain a BCEID (if not already done so): https://www.bceid.ca/register 

  2. Go to the Base Map Online Store to attach your credit card to your file

  3. Follow the prompts to completion


Access to the BCACS system post-mission data is provided through FTP download.

Municipal Data

Municipal active control systems provide a common geospatial reference for all agencies with spatially positioned data. Benefits include shared access to data, decreased maintenance costs and improved accuracy of positional information.

The Metro Vancouver Real Time Kinematic service was developed through a partnership between the B.C. Government, Metro Vancouver and its municipalities.

The Capital Regional District (CRD) Real Time Kinematic service was developed through a partnership between the B.C. Government, the CRD and its municipalities.