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SDI Snapshot – June 2016

In this month’s SDI Snapshot, find updates on Canada’s plan on Open Government, learn about new cloud-based data centre services in Canada, check out newly released open datasets and much more.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in Canada and globally in the world of spatial data infrastructures (SDI). This June 2016 post is a collection of the latest and most significant SDI news, data and products.


GeoAlliance Canada launches community event calendar

GeoAlliance Canada has developed an online interactive map that displays geomatics events across Canada. Check out the map and add your organization’s event.

Canada’s new plan on Open Government 2016-2018

The Government of Canada wants to hear from the public on the direction they are proposing in their draft of the new plan on Open Government, which has been developed based on the public’s input during the idea-generating phase of the consultation.

Why the Canadian Arctic needs to be mapped

The Canadian Arctic includes 36,000 islands and more than two million square kilometers of ocean, which is becoming more and more accessible as ice melts. Without proper mapping of the ocean and the sea floor, the new passageways that are being opened could prove to be dangerous. Many of these passages wind between islands, over undersea ridges and could be changed in a matter of months because of currents and ice melt.

TECTERRA funds additional $4.9 million for geomatics innovation in Canada 2015-16

TECTERRA announced that it had committed $4.9 million of additional funds to support the geomatics technology sector in Canada during the last fiscal year, which ended on March 31, 2016. This additional commitment brings TECTERRA’s investment in the geomatics industry to over $37.3 million to date.

Where is the money in the geospatial world?

The geospatial industry has been expanding at a breakneck speed with ‘geo’ getting embedded in more and more workflows. As new innovative players enter the game with disruptive business models, existing players have no choice but to go through a transformation to stay relevant.

European INSPIRE boosts spatial data sharing

The European INSPIRE Directive was introduced in 2007 and should reach full implementation in 2020. Today, over halfway through the process, various important milestones have already been achieved while others still lie ahead. GIM International magazine interviewed a policy analyst at the European Commission to reflect on the journey so far and look ahead to the future.

Postal codes: Canada Post backs down on crowdsourced open data

Have you ever felt the wrath of a Canadian Crown Corporation? In 2011, Canada Post set its sights on Ervin Ruci. By 2012, it had sued him personally for copyright infringement. The copyright Canada Post believed he had violated was the postal codes that we all use and share.


NRCan announces road network data updates

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has announced that provincial coverage updates to the National Road Network (NRN) for Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are now available.

AANDC publishes 10 geospatial datasets on federal Open Data Portal under Open Maps

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) has announced that 10 AANDC geospatial datasets are now available on the Government of Canada’s Open Data site. The datasets include various treaties, agreements, community well-being indexes, various leases and permits, and community locations.


Microsoft announces Cloud data centres in Canada now open for business

Microsoft Canada announced that the Microsoft Cloud is now officially open to power even more Canadian businesses. With this announcement, Microsoft Azure is generally available from local data centre regions located in Toronto and Quebec City, and Microsoft Office 365 is now offering data residency for Canadian business customers.

Amazon Web Services launch in Canada to bring PureCloud call centre service

It’s still not known exactly when Amazon Web Services will be launching its Canadian availability this year, but when it does arrive, it will come along with a new cloud-based contact centre solution. Amazon’s new Canadian wing was on hand in Toronto for the announcement of the pending launch of the PureCloud platform in Canada.

What's new in ArcGIS Online for June 2016

The June 2016 ArcGIS Online update includes enhancements to the item pages, map viewer, scene viewer, open standards support, analysis, hosted web layers, workflow and design, ArcGIS content, configurable apps, Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS, Collector for ArcGIS and many other improvements.


Smart cities would benefit hugely from open standards

A recent white paper by Machina Research and InterDigital has found that open standards in smart city IoT deployments would accelerate growth by 27% and reduce deployment costs by 30%. Given the scale of both budgets and timelines for smart cities projects, these figures represent considerable dollars and time.

GIS has changed, have you?

Inertia. It’s a challenge for all organizations. It entails adopting new ways, workflows and processes. Change can be difficult, but it is ongoing. With technology, the pace of change is increasing. This blog discusses the transition from desktop GIS to cloud and mobile GIS.

Using data and technology to enhance governance

A group of The Council of State Governments’ members recently visited Esri to discuss how to use data and apps to make better policy decisions in their states. “More mayors lose their jobs over snowplowing than any other reason,” said Esri while flashing a map on a screen showing how data can be used to help make better decisions about snowplow deployment.

New web mapping approach points City of Coquitlam towards greater productivity

The City of Coquitlam was an early adopter of a multi-purpose approach to online mapping. Over the years, it has created several public-facing and internal web maps, using this classic method with success. The city’s interactive, web-based map gives Coquitlam residents access to information about municipal services and features.

European INSPIRE SDI validation on schedule

The European INSPIRE validation and conformance testing group has worked hard to get the Abstract Test Suites for INSPIRE Network Services defined and the requirements listed for the commonly agreed INSPIRE validator reference implementation. This August, the first version will be ready for use with the first release of the INSPIRE Test Framework.

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