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SDI Snapshot – March 2016

How much is the Canadian federal government investing in the country’s digital infrastructure? What’s the difference between Geomatics and Geography? Which city in BC recently launched their open data portal? Find out in this issue of SDI Snapshot.


Final Canadian Geomatics Environmental Scan and Value Study updated reports released

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has announced that final versions of the findings of the Canadian Geomatics Environmental Scan and Value Study reports are now available for download. Together, these reports represent the most comprehensive assessment of geomatics and geospatial information in Canada to date. The reports provide: a profile of the geomatics sector in Canada; domestic and global trends (market, technology, social, economic, open data) involving geospatial information and Canada's position relative to those trends; and the significance and value of the geomatics sector and geospatial information to Canadian society and the economy.

2016 Canadian federal government budget includes support for digital infrastructure

Canada’s technology industry can look forward to the federal government investing half a billion dollars’ into the country’s digital infrastructure, with more than $70 million into workforce training, under the budget recently released. Initiatives that should help Canada’s tech industry include: improving access for rural communities to the digital economy, increasing co-op education placements, linking Canadian technology companies to global markets, committing to providing funding for Canada Health Infoway and investing in government information technology.

Nova Scotia group maps environmental racism

Environmental racism refers to the practice of disproportionately placing environmental hazards — such as industrial sites or landfills — near racialized communities. CBC News has shown a map that indicates that marginalized communities living close to toxic sites around Nova Scotia may have been subject to environmental racism. But now, thanks to an interactive map developed by The ENRICH Project, they're also able to see it. The ENRICH Project investigates the cause and effects of toxic industries situated near Mi'kmaq aboriginal communities and African Nova Scotian communities. What is the difference between Geomatics and Geography?

The debate over the use of the “mostly Canadian” term Geomatics vs. Geography continues to rage on. There seems to be great confusion between these two disciplines, especially noting that some geographers and schools claim that Geomatics is a geographical science when it is not. There has been a general confusion over the term Geomatics since its adoption in the mid-eighties.

OGC requests information to guide Arctic Spatial Data Pilot

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) requests information to help advance the “Arctic Spatial Data Pilot”. The Arctic Spatial Data Pilot is an OGC Interoperability Program initiative sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey and Natural Resources Canada. This recently launched initiative aims to help all Arctic stakeholders benefit from improved access to the expanding universe of online Arctic geographic information. The emerging Arctic SDI, an evolving technical and organizational network of diverse information resources and collaborating players, will play a key role in pan-Arctic science and monitoring as well as societal, economic, regulatory and environmental decision support.


NRCan releases new version of CanVec product

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has introduced a new CanVec product, which is the result of the implementation of a new integrated data model. This model has led to a reorganization of themes and entities. It allows generalization of data at different scales from the best source available. This new CanVec product also meets the user request of getting data by province, territory and/or Canada.

City of Prince George, BC provides easier access to data

The City of Prince George, British Columbia has launched a new Open Data Portal recently on the City’s Web site. The Portal will give interested citizens easier access to the information and allow them to run their own reports. Open data is free information that can be accessed, re-used and re‐purposed and which enables diverse organizations and systems to work together. The Portal, part of the City’s Open Data Program, provides City staff with tools and processes to improve government transparency, and could provide aid for future economic development opportunities.

Mapping the interconnectedness of Canada's water

Representing one-fifth of the world’s freshwater supply, Canada’s rivers, lakes and streams are often held up as one of its greatest assets—especially as climate change dries out other regions around the world. That’s why a recurring debate over whether the country should export its water has recently resurfaced.

How coordination of data can help protect the world’s vanishing wetlands

The Earth has lost more than half of its wetland extent since 1900. The satellite-based Wetland Observation Service (SWOS) is working to provide an online data portal that will have real-world impacts, helping to track wetland degradation, identify pollution sources and assess restoration strategies.


What3Words maps the world with just three words

What3Words has mapped the world into 57 trillion areas that can pinpoint a destination to a 3-meter by 3-meter square. This text-based alternative to GPS positioning was recently demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Nine things you didn’t know you could do with Story Maps

Story Maps let users combine authoritative maps with text, images, and multimedia content, and make it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell a story. Story Maps can be used for a wide variety of purposes; for advocacy and outreach, virtual tours, travelogues, delivering public information, and many more. Many of the ways users can use Story Maps are obvious, but others aren’t. Here’s a list of nine things that Story Maps can do that you might not have thought of before.

What do SSL, TLS, PCI, and DROWN have in common with ArcGIS?

Find out the answers to this alphabet soup in Esri’s newly released ArcGIS Platform SSL/TLS Support and Configuration Briefing. If you have questions about any of the security acronyms or any ArcGIS product security, whether past versions or current, we suggest you check it out. Even if you only want to ensure the most secure ArcGIS deployment possible, it is worthwhile to check out the briefing for focused, secure architecture and configuration enlightenment based on real-world deployments.

ArcGIS 10.4 is here!

ArcGIS 10.4 and the soon to be released ArcGIS Pro 1.2 bring users new and improved capabilities for visualization and enterprise readiness plus new and enhanced apps. A few of the highlights include: vector tiles, local scenes, spatial analytics, new imagery formats, mobile map packages plus lots of other improvements.


How to meet WCAG 2.0: a customizable quick reference

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) have published a new version of How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A customizable quick reference to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 requirements, success criteria and techniques. The publication provides a customizable view of WCAG 2.0 resources. Information on these resources is provided in the WCAG Overview and The WCAG 2.0 Documents. This new version provides a significantly updated user interface and additional functionality.

February 2016 standards update now published to FGDC website

February 2016 marks the 5th anniversary of the FGDC standards monthly update. The monthly standards update now provides status of FGDC, INCITS L1/ISO TC 211, GWG, OGC, and related standardization activities. There are over 300 standards tracked in the standards update log.

Report: Canada’s municipal infrastructure at risk of rapid deterioration

The 2016 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card (CIRC) has a key finding that one-third of Canada’s municipal infrastructure is at risk of rapid deterioration. Informing the Future: The 2016 CIRC assessed the state of municipal roads and bridges, public transit, buildings, sport and recreation facilities, stormwater, wastewater and potable water infrastructure. The results indicate that much of Canada’s municipal infrastructure is at a critical juncture.

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