In this paper we describe the use of electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) mapping and electron channeling contrast imaging—in the scanning electron microscope—to study tilt, atomic steps and dislocations in epitaxial GaN thin films. We show results from epitaxial GaN thin films and from a just coalesced epitaxial laterally overgrown GaN thin film. From our results we deduce that EBSD may be used to measure orientation changes of the order of 0.02°, in GaN thin films. As EBSD has a spatial resolution of ≈ 20 nm, this means we have a powerful technique with which to quantitatively map surface tilt. We also demonstrate that channeling contrast in electron channeling contrast images may be used to image tilt, atomic steps and threading dislocations in GaN thin films.