The Ontario Geological Survey and the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing are currently preparing a series of satellite based terrain maps for a 250 000 square kilometer area of the boreal forest region in Northwest Ontario. The purpose of this provincial and federal mapping program is to produce a series of 1:100 000 standardized, satellite based engineering-terrain maps that will be published as a provincial map series. The terrain maps are being used to plan forestry roads and other civil engineering works in support of forest harvesting programs in the region. They are also used to verify forest productivity models in the boreal forest. This paper presents the interpretation methodologies and examples of the satellite based standardized terrain maps. Our results show that image maps produced from a combination of DEM and TM can provide a base on which to interpret and overlay engineering terrain units at a scale of 1:100 000 for large areas of the boreal forest regions in northern Canada. This method will result in considerable savings in time and cost when compared to traditional air photo methods.