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Introducing the Community Map of Canada Vector Cache

Learn about the new Community Map of Canada vector cache, a basemap that is automatically updated daily with new content.

Esri Canada has been working on producing an accurate and up-to-date topographic national web basemap for some time with data contributions from communities across the country. Until now, we have focused our efforts primarily on contributing to the raster topographic basemap that is hosted on ArcGIS Online. We gathered feedback from our contributors, and one concern that has been raised is the speed of updates.  

In response to this concern, we are pleased to introduce the beta version of the Community Map of Canada vector cache. This basemap is updated every 24 to 48 hours with the latest updates supplied by contributors to the Community Maps Program via the GeoFoundation Exchange (GFX). The GFX is a data repository that holds all the base data that we use to generate basemaps. It automatically checks open data sites and other sources for updates and figures out what has changed. Following this, the changes for all providers are extracted from the GFX and a new vector cache is generated for the entire country – ready to be used for mapping applications.

Now, whenever your community’s open data site is updated, you can expect to see the updates on the Community Map of Canada within a couple of days.

The Community Map of Canada vector cache is being produced in addition to regular updates of the Esri vector basemaps that are hosted on ArcGIS Online. This new vector cache will not replace those basemaps. Those maps will continue to be updated as per our regular process, which we will continue to refine and improve.

The Community Map of Canada basemap is the culmination of Esri Canada’s long-held goal of producing a daily map updated using the best authoritative data sources in Canada and in so doing, offering the public the best available, most current map of Canada anywhere.

What can you do if you’re a contributor?

Ensure that the data you post on your open data site is up to date, clean, consistent and well-attributed. Review our User Guide specification document for recommendations on the format your data should be in and the type of content that should be included in each dataset. Even if you don’t follow this specification completely, it’s a good resource and guide to follow. It will allow for a consistent-looking national map with standardized cartography, which will provide a more accurate and pleasing representation of your community’s data.

If you’re interested in contributing your data, learn more about our Community Maps Program.

Also, register for our Power Your Basemap with the Community Map of Canada webinar being held on Tuesday, April 9 at 1 p.m. ET.

About the Author

Paul Heersink is a cartographer and Program Manager of Esri Canada’s Roads & Addresses Program: an initiative that is aiming to build a seamless topographic basemap using contributor data. He has over 25 years of cartographic experience, working in both the public and private sectors. Paul has always been interested in mapping and drew his own atlas at the age of 10. He took a detour in his career through the fields of psychology and social work before returning to cartography.

Profile Photo of Paul Heersink