Remote Access to Archaeological Data (RAAD)

Last updated on April 22, 2024

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

On this page

Who is eligible to use RAAD?

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.

For more information, please see our Archaeological Information Access Policy (PDF 274 KB).

What if I am not eligible but need information?

Individuals who require archaeological information but who are ineligible for RAAD access may submit an Archaeological Information Request Form to the Archaeology Branch.

What kind of data is available in RAAD?

  • 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.

Does RAAD data have any limitations?

RAAD is updated each Saturday with the archaeological site records and information that were added to the provincial heritage inventory that week.

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.

How can I apply for access to RAAD?

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.

Troubleshoot RAAD issues

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.

Access Issues


I can't log in with my BCeID or IDIR credentials anymore.

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. 

Use Issues


A layer from a different layer set is obscuring the information of a layer below it.

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.


Can I view the consultation areas for Indigenous organizations in RAAD?

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 download large numbers of sites, but I can see them.

Please submit an information request for your area of interest if you are unable to download a large number of sites. Please include a shapefile set or kmz/kml with your request.


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) If you are trying to do a bulk download in Chrome, a popup may appear asking if you allow Chrome to download multiple files. Click the 'Allow' button and the rest of your downloads should start. If the window has closed or you accidentally closed it, hit the download button again and it will reappear.

3) See if you can download the files using another web browser like Chrome, Edge, or Firefox.

4) 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. 

5) If disabling your ad blockers and popup blockers didn't work, check the Systems News page for any work that may be in progress.

6) If none of the above solutions have worked, please email 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 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)

I don't see any site labels on my downloaded shapefile(s).

A fix for this bug was released April 26, 2022. If you continue to experience this issue, please report it to 

Downloaded shapefiles can be fixed by using the ArcGIS Repair Geometry Tool:


My issue isn't listed here.

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.



Contact information

Contact us if you have questions about archaeological sites in B.C.

Archaeology Branch
PO Box 9816
Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC
V8W 9W3
(By appointment)
Archaeology Branch
2975 Jutland Street
Victoria, B.C.