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SDI Snapshot - August 2018

Here’s a look at what’s happening in Canada and globally in the world of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). This post contains a collection of the latest and most significant SDI news, data products and events.

SDI News

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) report on Canada’s developing geospatial capacity

This 2018 report outlines Canada’s past, present and future efforts to develop its geospatial capacity and provides insight into federal, provincial and territorial government activities that together contribute to the development of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI).

Canada to host world-leading Open Government summit in 2019

The Government of Canada announced that it will host the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, from May 29 to 31, 2019. The OGP was launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for nations committed to making their governments more open, accountable and responsive to citizens. Canada has successfully completed three national action plans on open government. These will soon be followed by the next ambitious plan shaped by ideas and feedback from thousands of Canadians.

UN guide to improving geospatial data management for better decision-making

In a development that is likely to change how governments treat location data, the Statistics Division of the United Nations and World Bank launched what they are calling “a new guide” to help nations worldwide better manage geographical information data. It includes advice on how to collect, access and use geospatial information; moreover, it gives concrete recommendations on establishing national geospatial information management processes and putting that information to use.

The economic impact of the geospatial industry continues to surge to US$2210.7 billion

Geospatial information and technology are becoming pervasive in our day-to-day lives as the “location” component becomes an integral component for decision-making in all key economic segments such as defence, security, transportation, construction, mining, agriculture and utilities. The industry is continuing to grow at an accelerated rate, and almost all key economic segments are leveraging spatial information to improve efficiency and productivity.

SDI Data

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada maps vegetation anomalies from space

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Canadian Ag-Land Information System (CALMS) produces a weekly Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) anomalies dataset. The NDVI is a simple graphical indicator that is created by analyzing space-based remote sensing images to assess whether the area being observed contains live green vegetation or not. Anomalies can be detected by comparing current NDVI readings with recent NDVI readings. Anomalies close to zero indicate where vegetation growth is similar to normal.

British Columbia provides habitat polygons of the shorezone

The Shore Unit Classifications Polygons depict the most current areas of shorezone mapping for BC. Shorezone is an aerial imaging, habitat classification, and mapping system used to inventory geomorphological and biological attributes of the coast. Habitat attributes are interpreted from aerial imagery. The shorezone data extends from Oregon to Alaska and has many uses including ecological studies, marine conservation planning, coastal flooding and vulnerability assessments, and community education.

New Federal Data Strategy - Time to modernize our approach

We are living in a golden age of data; there's more information available than ever before, and governments are increasingly depending on data to tackle societal challenges. The US federal government has historically struggled to collect and interpret data. In June, the US government launched a website to solicit public input on a new Federal Data Strategy to begin the process of properly managing the data necessary to power IT modernization. 

New National Hydro Network (NHN) data released

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has published 212 updated NHN watershed datasets. With the publication of these new watersheds, nearly 15% of the watersheds covering Canada have been improved, allowing for better analysis of hydrological networks. Maintaining NHN work is done as part of the GeoBase Surface Water Program (GeEAU).

High-Resolution Digital Elevation Model (HRDEM) generated from LiDAR – New data available

This new release of the High Resolution Digital Elevation Model (HRDEM) product from NRCan covers approximately 50,000 km2 of new territory and includes areas in Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Over 100 years of water quantity data at Canadian gauging stations becomes accessible

The Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) is responsible for collecting, interpreting and disseminating weather, water and climate data. The MSC has expanded its contribution to the recently released MSC GeoMet 2 by adding historical water quantity data via the emerging Web Feature Service (WFS) 3.0 standard.

SDI Products

New OpenStreetMap vector basemap available on ArcGIS Online

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is an open, collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. OSM is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, buildings, restaurants and much more. Many ArcGIS users are active contributors to and consumers of OSM in their web maps and apps. Now OpenStreetMap can be included as a vector basemap in ArcGIS Online.

Enabling field mobility with Workforce for ArcGIS

Workforce for ArcGIS helps you use the power of location to achieve improved coordination and operational efficiencies in field workforce activities. They reduce your reliance on paper and ensure everyone, in the field and the office, uses the same authoritative data, reducing errors, boosting productivity, and saving money.

US feds turn to new kinds of IT infrastructure to get ahead of the curve

US Federal agencies have a mountain of legacy IT systems that they are eager to upgrade. They are also mandated to consolidate and upgrade their data centers and to embrace virtualization technologies as part of that process. New technology such as connected computing, hyperconverged infrastructure and next-generation storage can provide significant benefits.

SDI Events

Esri Canada User Conferences Fall 2018: Registration open

As some of Canada's most important annual events for the GIS community, Esri Canada User conferences (UC) provide an opportunity to network with peers and discover exciting new developments about Esri's GIS solutions. Year after year, these must-attend conferences grow in size and stature; over 4,000 Esri GIS enthusiasts participate across Canada. The schedule for fall UCs has been announced, and registration is now open.

Interactive infographic for 2018 Esri UC plenary videos

If you missed attending Esri User Conference 2018 or simply want to revisit Jack Dangermond's opening keynote or any of the sessions from the plenary, this interactive infographic has captured it all. With a simple click, you can connect to video recordings from the UC Plenary.

European SDI Event – INSPIRE 2018 Conference

The European Commission, the Netherlands and Belgium are together hosting the 2018 INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community) conference in Antwerp, Belgium, for creators, specialists, developers and users of Europe’s digital highway for sharing spatial data on the environment. Throughout the years, important efforts have been made by the EU Member States and EFTA countries to make spatial data available through INSPIRE. This conference offers the opportunity to have an exchange of views on the nature of the problems encountered (organizational, data policies and governance issues) and the possible solutions.

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