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SDI Snapshot - June 2015

What were the highlights of the recent International Open Data Conference in Ottawa? Which town in Alberta is planning to use GIS to deliver open data? Find out in this month’s collection of the latest and most significant SDI news, data, products and events.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in Canada and globally in the world of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). This June 2015 post is a collection of the latest and most significant SDI news, data, products and events.


International Open Data Conference a key initiative in Canada’s promotion of open data

The International Open Data Conference (IODC) brought open data experts from six continents before a capacity crowd under the theme “Enabling the Data Revolution.” Treasury Board President Tony Clement spoke about the future of open data, highlighting its value as a largely untapped, yet priceless commodity that can lead to increased innovation, job creation and economic expansion. The conference capped a full week of open data events that included the first Open Data Research Symposium, the Open Data Unconference and the Canadian Open Data Summit.

City of Calgary launches Web map site through YouTube video

The Infrastructure and Information Services group at the City of Calgary has released this YouTube video that describes the beta version of the City’s online maps. The maps present various data such as weed control information, traffic incidents, road construction, road cameras, walking tours and historical buildings. The Web map site is now available and is mobile device friendly.

Halifax improves access to public data

The Halifax Regional Municipality launched an open data portal in the fall of 2014 using ArcGIS Open Data. Thanks to a groundswell of support that rallied people from across the municipality—from entrepreneurs, to activists, to municipal councillors—public data is now accessible through a searchable, easy-to-use online catalogue at no charge.

Canadian Internet Registration Authority makes pitch to operate new domain names

To date, Canadians best know the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) as the operator of the dot-ca domain. But now, the non-profit hopes to operate many other top level domains on behalf of Canadian municipalities – perhaps domains like .Toronto, .Montreal, and .Vancouver. CIRA unveiled its pitch to Canadian cities at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual meeting.


Evolving world threats increase pressure for seamless spatial information sharing

The intelligence community and military services have an imperative to share geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) across domains. Today's environment necessitates a quicker pace to the sharing of both raw and processed intelligence, and places a premium on integration. Geography and GIS are an ideal platform for the integration of GEOINT, and the goal is to get as close to real time as possible.

W3C releases best practices for data on the Web

The W3C has released a document on best practices related to the publication and usage of data on the Web to help support a self-sustaining ecosystem. Following these best practices will facilitate interaction between publishers and consumers.

GEOSS reports they have brokered 174 million resources open data and counting

The Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) now has more than 174 million resources discoverable on its portal thanks to interoperability arrangements with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (Switzerland), ESA Federated Earth Observation Pilot (European Commission) Chile Geoportal, Geoscience Australia, the National Institute of Geographic and Forest Information in France and DigitalGlobe (US).

StreetMap Premium for ArcGIS with HERE content for 2015

StreetMap Premium for ArcGIS North America HERE (formerly NAVTEQ) enhanced street dataset is now available. The dataset provides routing, geocoding and high-quality cartographic display for countries in North America using ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS for Server. It has over a million additional street features.


Peace River’s geographic information system to be a detailed information source

The Peace River Town Council in Alberta discussed details on how they plan to be more proactive about using the Town’s GIS. More information, such as properties, fire hydrants, water breaks and sewer back-ups, is being added to the system and will be made available to administration staff to increase efficiency. The public will also be able to access some of the information.

Esri and Safe Software release framework for data exchange in electrical power utilities

Esri and Safe Software have paired to develop and openly share a Common Information Model (CIM) template for data exchange. The template demonstrates one approach to translating network data from an Esri ArcGIS database into CIM XML format. The XML can then be shared with other internal and external enterprise systems.

Esri story maps Web site redesigned

Take a peek at the attractive new look of the story maps Web site. Check out the My Stories tab where you can see all your story maps in one place, check them for errors and see how many views they're getting.

SDI Event

Applied Research Seminar: Mining U.S. Federal Agency Materials for GIS Nuggets

Following a successful colloquium in 2014 entitled “Using the Retrospective Approach to Mine for GIS Nuggets”, Dr. Barry Wellar, with support from Esri, has organized this applied research seminar to be held during the 2016 Esri Federal GIS Conference. It will further investigate the idea of using the retrospective approach to mine “the literature” for GIS nuggets.


Pennsylvania State University develops introduction to Web mapping terminology

As an introduction to the world of Web maps, the Penn State Geography Department made concept maps of a list of Web mapping and campus mapping-focused terms. Nearly all of these terms were completely new to students.

New Esri whitepaper - Support for Geospatial Standards: OGC and ISO/TC211

Interoperability and openness are often interconnected. The ArcGIS platform is designed to help our users be interoperable with other GIS and IT systems and enable them to openly share their data and work. Learn how ArcGIS supports open and protected source, open standards and open data.

Free Web course: Getting started with ArcGIS Pro

Jumpstart your productivity with ArcGIS Pro. This free Web course introduces the ribbon-style interface, project-based organization and key capabilities for mapping and visualization, editing data, performing analysis and sharing your work in ArcGIS Pro.

Upcoming Events

Esri International User Conference
July 20-24, 2015
San Diego, CA

International Conference on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Geomatics
August 30 - September 2, 2015
Toronto, ON

Interesting Reads

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