Remote Access to Archaeological Data (RAAD)
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Remote Access to Archaeological Data (RAAD) is an online GIS application that lets authorized users view and download spatial and tabular data about B.C.'s archaeological sites in a variety of formats.
Last updated: January 20, 2022 - Troubleshooting section updated with new items.
On this page:
- Who is eligible to use RAAD?
- What if I am not eligible but need information?
- What kind of data is available in RAAD?
- Does RAAD data have any limitations?
- How can I apply for access to RAAD?
- Troubleshoot RAAD issues
RAAD is for individuals that require spatial or tabular archaeological information on a frequent basis for land use planning, development approval processes, or archaeological assessments and studies. Authorized users may include archaeological consultants, First Nations, accredited academic researchers, and federal, provincial or local government resource and land use planning agencies. It is not available to the general public.
Individuals who require archaeological information but who are ineligible for RAAD access may submit an Archaeological Information Request Form to the Archaeology Branch.
- Geographic Information System (GIS) files in ESRI Shapefile (.shp) format. These files provide information about specific archaeological site locations and boundaries.
- Database information in .csv or .pdf format. These files provide detailed information about each archaeological site. Downloaded .csv files can be used in a spreadsheet or database application while .pdf files can be viewed in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- Other site-related documents such as site maps, drawings, photographs, artifact catalogues, etc.
- Limited information about historic places is also accessible through RAAD. Contact the Heritage Branch for further information and advice about historic places.
RAAD is updated weekly as new archaeological site records and information are added to the provincial inventory.
RAAD only contains archaeological site records that have been formally recorded and submitted to the Archaeology Branch. It is possible that unknown and unrecorded sites exist within your area of interest.
To obtain access to RAAD, you will have to submit a signed form to the Archaeology Branch.
The Request System Access page contains the latest form, and will help you apply for the access you need.
Here are some solutions to the most common RAAD access and viewing issues.
For other application issues, please check our System news page for outage announcements, and then consult the help file within the RAAD application.
If you have switched companies or discontinued your former work email address, you will have to contact your company's BCeID administrator or the BCeID helpdesk to create a new Business BCeID and then request access from us again. When you do this, you MUST choose a Business BCeID Username that is different from your previous usernames. If you do not, we will reject your application with instructions to reapply when you have done so.
If you have a different Business BCeID than the one you were initially approved for access with, you will have to request access from us again so that we can confirm you are still eligible and relink your permissions.
For IDIRs, the same applies only in the rare case that you have had to change your IDIR username or email address (not just your password).
If you haven't been active for several years but have the same valid Business BCeID or IDIR, you may be locked out because both PARL and RAAD have been upgraded and require our users to accept different terms and conditions than they did previously. If you haven't used our systems since January 2019, you will have to request access from us again.
If none of these are the case, please contact your company's BCeID administrator, or the BCeID helpdesk. If they are unable to fix it and instead create a new Business BCeID to remedy the situation, you will have to submit a new Archaeological Information Sharing Agreement for us to reissue your permissions.
The branch has granted me RAAD access, but when I try to log in, I still get a message asking me to submit an Information Sharing Agreement.
Sometimes your web browser will hold onto the last version of a page you tried to visit in its cache. Please press the F5 button, or hold down the Fn button while you press F5 to force your web browser to refresh the page.
The issue may be that the layer is set to solid and not opaque. To resolve this, click on the layer group that is obscuring the view, and move the transparency slider.
Consultation area geometries are not viewable in public map services. Consultation areas contain information that may be considered sensitive to First Nations.
However, there is a public map service called Contacts for First Nation Consultation Areas that enables the public to retrieve First Nation contact information for a selected geographic area. This user guide (PDF 303 KB) explains how to use the service.
Please contact the First Nation directly for further information about their consultation area.
I can't find the information I need in RAAD.
If you're looking for information on an area and can't find everything you need in RAAD (e.g., AIAs, AOAs), you can submit an online Archaeological Information Request Form. Before you do, please review these 10 conditions that explain who you can legally share the information with, and what the data can be used for.
This service is free of charge, and a response will typically be returned within 1-3 weeks. For faster service, a professional consulting archaeologist can also provide you with the information you require.
I can't export site data from the Site Data Export tab because the dropdown arrows are missing.
We’ve received reports of some RAAD users being unable to export site data from the Site Data Export tab because the dropdown arrows have gone missing. This issue has been reported to our development team - please use the following workaround until the fix has been applied.
RAAD users can still access the report dropdowns by clicking where the arrows would normally be seen, immediately left of “Spatial Export”, “Report Export”, or “Related Document Export”.
Image 1: The Site Data Export tab, and the export bug, showing no dropdown arrows.
Image 2: The reporting dropdowns working once the previously blank location is clicked on.
I can't download documents but I don't know why.
Sometimes, the internet browser that you are using can block downloads for a variety of reasons.
1) Make sure that you are not using the Internet Explorer (IE) browser. IE is no longer a supported browser and should no longer be used to access RAAD.
2) See if you can download the files in another browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari). If you can download the files in another browser, please clear the cache and cookies of the browser that you couldn't download from.
3) If you can't download them in any browser, check if you're using an ad blocker or popup blocker in your browsers. If you are, disable them for the RAAD page and try again.
4) If disabling your ad blockers and popup blockers didn't work, check the Systems News page for any work that may be in progress.
5) If nothing above has worked, please email email@example.com with a description of the issue, and the answers to the following questions:
a) Are you on a Mac or a PC?
b) What internet browser are you using?
c) What other browsers have to tried to download files in?
d) What happens when you try to download them? If there is an error message, include a screenshot.
e) Do you have popup blockers or ad blockers installed?
I can't see all of the sites that I know are in the data file that I downloaded / received from the branch.
In the top-right corner of the RAAD map window, click on the icon that shows three stacked layers. Expand the "Archaeology/Heritage" section. Make sure the boxes next to Archaeological Sites, and both Heritage Site layers are checked.
I don't know how to use RAAD. What kind of help, tutorials, and training options are available?
A user guide is available in the RAAD application itself. It is called "RAAD Help" and is located in the top-right corner of your screen when you are logged into RAAD. Detailed solutions are available in-application through this help file, and instructions about who to contact if you can't find a solution are available there too.
The Archaeology Branch is also currently taking the names of users that may be interested in future RAAD training. If you are, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with:
- the subject line "RAAD Training Request"
- your full name
- your company or affiliation
- your contact information
- your level of experience with RAAD (beginner, intermediate, expert)
This bug is the result of a known multipart geometry issue, and the branch has submitted a ticket to our development team to have it addressed.
In the meantime, downloaded shapefiles can be fixed by using the ArcGIS Repair Geometry Tool:
Please log in to RAAD, and click on the "RAAD Help" button in the top-right corner of the screen. Detailed solutions are available in-application through this help file, and instructions about who to contact if you can't find a solution are available there too.