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SDI Snapshot – April 2016

Take a look at what’s happening in Canada and globally in the world of spatial data infrastructures (SDI). Explore Web GIS, learn steps to smarter government GIS, find out how local governments are getting creative with data mapping and more in this blog post.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in Canada and globally in the world of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI). In this April 2016 post is a collection of the latest and most significant SDI news, data and products.


What is Web GIS? Exploring the ‘new’ GIS

GIS has always been an integral part of forward-thinking organizations; however, it has struggled to break out of the “back office”. Those barriers and hurdles have been crumbling, allowing us to break into an exciting new time known as “Web GIS”. GIS has always touched many disciplines, but right now, it’s poised to explode into something truly pervasive and exciting.

The Web GIS model: Publish data, build/configure tailored apps for your audience and maximize the value of your data. 8 steps to smarter government GIS

Whether your government is a GIS amateur or veteran, it can make the communities it serves smarter by following these principles: good data, a base platform, trained analysts, build champions, prioritize, be agile, compare notes, and reuse and recycle.

Dr. Barry Wellar says transportation in Canada’s urban regions is in need of major improvements

Dr. Wellar noted in a recent Hill Times article that the state of transportation in Canada’s urban regions needs improvement. This is due to decisions made by all levels of government, business and individuals over the past three decades. He indicated that Web-based GIS represents a new way of informing and listening to the public about light rail and other geography-based initiatives that are best represented by maps.

United Nations stimulates SDIs in Africa

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has a Geoinformation Support Team of a dozen people striving to develop SDIs Africa-wide. Progress on formal SDIs has been very slow in Africa, but the geospatial capacity is notably improving.

Developing the Namibian National SDI

Namibia is establishing its National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) through the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA). It has been a deliberate decision by the government of Namibia to marry location information with statistics in order to improve evidence-based development planning and socioeconomic intervention.


OGC seeks public comment on ISO 19115 Metadata update

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) requests public comment on the update of OGC Specification on Metadata from ISO 19115:2003 to ISO 19115:2014. The period for public comment ends on May 7, 2016. The OGC and ISO are committed to aligning standards when possible. The ISO 19115 metadata Standard was updated in 2014.

7 ways local governments are getting creative with data mapping

Government entities appear to be using maps more and more as a tool for creating useful applications. US governments are increasing interest in the use of GIS at all levels. Now, small-population cities and towns are exploring ways to use maps. There are several reasons for this, but one reason is that the technology has become much faster, making it possible to create interactive mapping applications very quickly.

World imagery adds new and updated community contributions from Canada

The most recent imagery basemap updates added five brand new Community Map contributions and seven updated or expanded community contributions. New and updated Canadian community contributors include: Charlevoix, QC (0.30m, 2012); City of Moncton, NB (0.075m, 2014); Norfolk County, ON (0.20m, 2010); City of Kelowna, BC, (0.10m, 2015); and the County of Vermillion River, AB, (0.40m, 2014).


ArcGIS Portal implementation best practices

Whether you use ArcGIS Online, Portal for ArcGIS, or both, a geospatial portal is an integral component of the ArcGIS platform, fully enabling Web GIS. The portal component of ArcGIS provides an organization with user access controls, a sharing model, content management and capabilities that empower everyone in the organization to easily discover, use, make and share maps from any device, anywhere, anytime.

What’s new in ArcGIS Open Data

ArcGIS Open Data just released new capabilities to augment the user’s experience for finding and collecting open data and information. Some of the new features and functionality include: connected content, API Explorer, social logins, My Data and download improvements.

New improved version of ArcGIS Earth 1.1 released

ArcGIS Earth is off to a great start with thousands of downloads and an engaged community of users from all over the world. Esri recently released the 1.1 version which contains some new key capabilities such as the ability to visualize time-based patterns, support for OGC WMS and WMTS, and the ability to import CSV and TXT Files.

Esri adds innovative Web map analytics tool to ArcGIS Marketplace

Maptiks has announced their Web map analytics integration with Esri’s ArcGIS platform. It’s now possible to receive analytics surrounding your Web mapping application usage. The innovative map analytics solution is available on ArcGIS Marketplace.

About the Author

Gordon Plunkett is the Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) Director at Esri Canada. He has more than 30 years of experience in GIS and Remote Sensing in both the public and private sectors. He currently sits as a member of the Community Map of Canada Steering Committee, GeoAlliance Canada Interim Board of Directors, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Technical Committee, the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) Committee on Geomatics, the University of Laval Convergence Network Advisory Committee and the Advisory Board to the Carleton University Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre. During his career, Gordon has worked on projects in more than 20 countries and has contributed to numerous scientific conferences and publications. At Esri Canada, he is responsible for developing and supporting the company’s SDI vision, initiatives and outreach, including producing content for the SDI blog.

Profile Photo of Gordon Plunkett