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SDI Snapshot - June 2017

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.


Global power outage maps include Canadian power issues

A sample heatmap of power outages across the world

DataCapable has announced the world’s first Global Outage Tracker, which is available in Esri’s ArcGIS Marketplace. By leveraging the power of machine learning, industries across Canada and the planet can benefit from a real-time layer of global power outages.

Canadian Arctic elevation data updated with new, high-resolution content

With the largest release of data to date, the Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) has significantly expanded the high-resolution coverage of the Arctic Elevation dataset. The dataset provides two-, five-, and eight-meter elevation for land north of 60°N. Canadian content includes the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Esri ArcGIS 10.5 leading platform in OGC compliance

Esri recently announced that it has received over 30 compliance certificates from the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC), for its ArcGIS 10.5 platform. These certificates of compliance cover a wide variety of OGC implementation standards, which allow customers, especially within the geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) community, to work more collaboratively.

Best practices for creating bilingual apps

Bilingual apps are essential for many Canadian government websites. Plus, offering your web app in multiple languages can increase your audience and the overall impact of the information. See this blog to see two examples of configuring apps to support a bilingual audience.


Alberta’s environmental data is getting easier to access

Alberta Data Partnerships and SensorUp have teamed up to make Alberta’s environmental data easier to access. The two are creating an Environmental Data Exchange Node (EDEN) that will combine disparate environmental monitoring data throughout the province, in a single portal.

Do-it-yourself open data pilot project for municipal governments now underway

Many cities want to open up their data but are not too sure where to start. To support these efforts, Open North and the Government of Canada have piloted the development of a do-it-yourself (DIY) open data toolkit for municipalities.

GoGeomatics provides list of open data resources for Canada

GoGeomatics has compiled a list of open data geospatial resources for Canada.  The list does not represent all the open data resources in Canada, but simply the ones they have located or have been made aware of.

From spatial data infrastructure to spatial knowledge infrastructure

For the last twenty years, one of the fundamental preoccupations of the spatial industry has been the creation of an SDI. It’s not hard to see why. Spatial data is expensive to collect so it needs to be used efficiently. But looking into the future, people in the industry are starting to worry that an SDI is not enough to extract the full value from the data.

Confused about conflation? Let’s clean up the mess.

When you have two conflicting (or similar but different) data sets, conflation resolves any conflicts by selecting the most appropriate data. For example, different organizations such as provincial and municipal governments collect data. This data may be for the same area and feature, but it was collected at different scales, accuracies and dates. A conflation process helps make one resulting data set from these two initial datasets.


Terrain visualization prototype application

Esri’s Application Prototype Lab site showcases their latest demonstrations, prototypes and proof of concepts. The terrain visualization app provides tools to interact with the 3D view and perform some simple terrain visualizations.

ArcScene vs ArcGlobe – 3D GIS software differences

ArcScene and ArcGlobe are both part of the ArcGIS family of GIS software. Instead of 2D viewing that users are accustomed to in ArcMap, ArcScene and ArcGlobe both specialize in 3D visualization. With a 3D Analyst extension, these 3D GIS programs can display neat 3D effects. But how are they different from each other?

Vector basemaps available in GCS WGS84 (Beta)

Most consumer-facing web basemaps are delivered in the Web Mercator geographic coordinate system (GCS), which has now become the de facto standard for web maps. However, the defense, intelligence and other communities, have a requirement to use maps in the WGS84 GCS.  To support these organizations and other use cases, Esri is introducing a new set of vector basemaps that are delivered in WGS84 GCS.

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