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SDI Snapshot – February 2019

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 and products.

SDI News

Meeting of the Canada Forum on Geospatial Standards open to all Canadian organizations

The geomatics community was invited to remotely attend and participate in the first full meeting of the Canada Forum on February 19, 2019. The goal of the Canada Forum is to better serve Canadian needs for geospatial data and services. The forum provides a platform for all stakeholders to increase collaboration with a focus on Canada’s requirements for sharing geospatial data and information, capacity building, innovation, outreach, industry business development and others.

Homeowners falling behind growing threat of climate-related catastrophes: study

Canadians aren't keeping up with the need to protect their homes against catastrophic events made more common by climate change, according to a University of Waterloo study. Climatologists have long warned that extreme weather, including floods, will become more common as temperatures warm. The Waterloo study reports that property and casualty payouts averaged about $405 million a year from 1983 to 2008. Since then, payouts have more than quadrupled to $1.8 billion, mostly from flooding.

National Energy Board’s (NEB) interactive pipeline map

Canada’s vast network of pipelines transports millions of litres of oil and gas under our feet every day. In 2016, pipelines regulated by the NEB safely moved over a billion barrels of liquid products. This map shows the location of these pipelines. It also shows all reportable incidents which can be broken down by company, incident type, year and scale. Using this interactive tool, Canadians can now easily see where pipelines are located and find important related safety information.

Video: Top 10 geospatial ready countries of 2019

The Countries Geospatial Readiness Index (CGRI)-2019 is aimed to equip decision-makers and the larger stakeholder community with a comparative reference framework, as well as to engage stakeholders on various parameters for holistic development of the geospatial sector. Canada ranks fifth in the 2019 assessment.

Esri Federal GIS Conference spotlights the future of geospatial infrastructure

At the 22nd annual Esri Federal GIS Conference in Washington, DC, Esri President Jack Dangermond addressed the future impact of an effective geospatial infrastructure on all government organizations. He discussed the ways in which a mature GIS breaks down organizational barriers and helps users understand and communicate information in creative new ways. Watch videos of the Plenary sessions on YouTube

What is the future of GIS as a term and as a profession with geospatial content becoming ubiquitous?

The definition of the GIS profession is becoming increasingly hard to pin down. A flood of geospatial data has stressed the abilities of traditional GIS suites to process information and respond to queries, plus demand continues to increase for geospatially-sourced insight. Spatial data is becoming just another type of data and there’s so much data that people don’t even know what to do with it.

SDI Data

Canada’s National Elevation Data Strategy updates from NRCan

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has announced a new release of the product High Resolution Digital Elevation Model (HRDEM). This new and highly accurate data covers approximately 50,000 km2 of new territory and includes areas in Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Updates and corrections were also made for some previously published projects.

Open US federal data is now the law of the land

Federal agencies in the US must publish all public data in a machine-readable format and appoint chief data officers to oversee open data efforts under a recently signed new law called the Open Government Data Act. The law requires agencies to release all non-sensitive data to the public in a format that allows for easy data analysis and largely prohibits any restrictions on how that information can be used.

Five ways to use distributed collaboration to share your data with others

As data volumes continue to grow exponentially and become more and more integral to every part of an organization, it is increasingly important to have a way to manage and share it with others effectively. At ArcGIS Enterprise 10.5, Esri introduced distributed collaboration, which enables organizations to share data and content between ArcGIS Enterprise deployments.

SDI Products

Point Pleasant Park in Halifax to test a mobile app in 2019

The 'story map' idea was presented to Halifax council among other options to update the Point Pleasant Park website. A mobile app will be developed this year for the park, and will include information, history, and an interactive Esri story map. Other updates will include an enhanced website and social media presence to provide information and guidance to park visitors.

Introducing Community Maps Editor

For several years, ArcGIS users have helped to enhance the quality of Esri maps by sharing their data with Esri through our Community Maps program. With the new Community Maps Editor app, which is now in public beta release, users can create and edit detailed features for special areas of interest within their community.

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