A leading provider of innovative data collection, mapping and geomatics solutions, MNC has been an Esri Canada partner since 2011. Wendy Amy talks about MNC’s role in digital transformation of cadastral mapping in Canada.
MNC Ltd. is a Canadian cadastral mapping company that specializes in working with very large datasets across multiple formats and platforms. Based out of Calgary, the company currently has a contract to maintain the cadastral and parcel mapping databases for the province of Alberta. They have also worked on parcel mapping projects in Manitoba and British Columbia, and have helped develop a digital plan submission application for Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. A leading provider of innovative data collection, mapping and geomatics solutions, MNC has been an Esri Canada partner since 2011.
ArcNorth News interviewed Wendy Amy, GISP, PMP, GIS Manager at MNC Ltd. to find out how the company is incorporating digital strategies to better manage data, increase efficiencies and stay cost-effective in the field of cadastral mapping solutions.
MNC has emerged as a leader in cadastral database management. Tell us about the company’s contribution to digital transformation of cadastral mapping?
In the 20 years that we have been in the data management business, we’ve been at the forefront of the digital transformation of cadastral mapping datasets – we created the rules for standardization and introduced new technologies in this area. We pioneered the idea of digital survey plan submissions and georeferencing of cadastral data in the province. In conjunction with our sister company, Altalis, we formed a public-private partnership with the Government of Alberta and have been working with them ever since to improve the data quality and spatial accuracy of cadastral maps. We digitally transformed the entire cadastral mapping concept by creating the standards for a digital plan submission, eliminating the extensive paper trail and the outdated trend of re-drawing parcel maps from survey plans.
Digital transformation is a long-term, almost never-ending, process. How do you manage to keep up with technology?
We have deployed new technology to more than 350 surveyor firms: in the late 1990s through floppy disks, switching to digital applications for desktops in the first decade of the century, and most recently to web applications. GIS technology quickly evolves and we adapt and update our processes to stay current. Our team engages in continuous learning and training. When we worked with the Government of Alberta to introduce georeferenced plans in 2010, it revolutionized the entire mapping process. The provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia have all leveraged our expertise to implement similar processes.
How has the digital submission of survey plans benefitted land surveyors?
Digital georeferenced survey plans have made the whole process of parcel mapping cost-effective; it also saves surveyors’ time. With standardized digital files and an automated online submission and quality checking process, there’s reduced chance of registration rejection.
One of the major successes of digital technology is its unique ability to increase efficiency and decrease costs. How do MNC’s technical solutions make this happen for customers?
By using the latest digital technologies, we can manage data in a variety of databases, automate most of the processes, and improve our tools and computing power. This has helped us increase efficiency and decrease costs for our clients. There are fewer distortions in the mapping which implies a higher quality of data which in turn, reduces the time spent managing data.
How did you leverage ArcGIS Online to help your customers achieve digital transformation in data collection, mapping and geomatics solutions?
For ParcelMapBC, we chose ArcGIS as the most effective way to plan routes and collect field tie metadata. ArcGIS Online enables access to rich datasets in one location that can be accessed by the surveyor and by the field crews in real time. Having all the data stored in the cloud means there is no potential loss of data. To augment ArcGIS, MNC created a Collector for ArcGIS app that supports quality improvements by reducing data entry errors and eliminating the need for paper field notes. These advantages reduced time spent in the office compiling data, therefore reduced the overall collection cost.
Why is it important to have a well-managed parcel fabric?
Land ownership is critical to the economic, social and cultural development of any country. Secure land tenure has been identified as a critical factor, increasing productive investments in the urban and rural areas, and encouraging sound and sustainable management of land and natural resources. Cadastral and parcel maps depict the extent of land ownership; usually as defined by an official record such as a title or deed. This data is used by governments, regulatory bodies, engineers, utilities, etc. to identify the property(s) ownership for assessment, taxation, planning, and land development purposes and supports decision making by governments. In short, a spatially accurate, current and complete parcel fabric enables good decision making and is critical for sustainable development.
(This interview has been condensed and edited.)
Partner Quick Facts
Company: MNC Ltd.
Head Office: Calgary, AB
Services: Cadastral and Parcel Mapping, Migration, Conversion, Compilation and Conflation
Focus Industries: Government, Utilities, Oil and Gas, Survey and Geomatics
Mission: We exist to provide clients with practical and innovative data collection, mapping and geomatics solutions.