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SDI Snapshot – March 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 and products.


Canada ranks 4th globally in geospatial infrastructure readiness

The Global Geospatial Industry Outlook by Geospatial Media looked at the trends and directions of the geospatial industry on a country-by-country basis across the globe. Canada ranked 4th for having a sophisticated and geospatial innovative society, advanced open data policies and institutions that promote strong geospatial uptake at national, regional and local levels.

Esri Canada participates in OGC Arctic Spatial Data Pilot - Demonstration Day

The US Geological Survey, Natural Resources Canada and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) invited the public to attend the final demonstration of the OGC Arctic Spatial Data Pilot project, an OGC initiative that explored and demonstrated the value of standardized spatial data infrastructures for the Arctic. At the event, Esri Canada demonstrated the Arctic Food Security Policy Workbench.

Esri and the Scientific Community

Science at Esri continues to evolve on many exciting fronts, with Esri focused on supporting both basic and applied science, while also recognizing that there are many major themes of compelling interest to society that will drive scientific research for the next several decades. Thus, Esri views science as helping to understand not only how the Earth works, but also how the Earth should look and how we should look at the Earth. These are, in fact, examples of “The Science of Where.”


Canadian Community Map basemap updates for March 2017

The Community Map of Canada imagery and topographic basemaps have been updated with new content from contributors in Manitoba, British Columbia and Alberta. Imagery from the City of Vancouver, Town of Banff, the Southern Alberta Partnership and the City of Burnaby were updated with newer high-quality data.

ESA adopts open access policy for images, videos and select datasets

The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced it has adopted an Open Access policy for its content such as still images, videos and selected sets of data. In particular, a new Open Access policy for ESA’s information and data will now facilitate broadest use and reuse of the material for the general public, media, the educational sector, partners and anybody else seeking to use and build upon it.


City of Prince George tracks City Construction Map using Maptiks

Using ArcGIS Online, the GIS department at the City of Prince George was tasked by upper management to provide insights on who was using their public-facing web maps. Unable to use other products, the City turned to Maptiks to get traffic data, track visitor engagement and demographic information.

First Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) UAV operations in Canada

Recently, Ventus Geospatial conducted the first Transport Canada-approved UAV test flight beyond a pilot’s visual line of sight in non-military airspace. This flight test using an Aeryon Labs Sky Ranger sUAS (small unmanned aerial system) was conducted at the Foremost Centre for Unmanned Aerial Systems test range in Alberta.

Best practices for high demand/viral apps on ArcGIS Online

Consider a natural disaster, where ArcGIS Online apps are created to inform the public of evacuation zones and shelters. These apps may receive hundreds of thousands of views in a matter of days, receiving a high amount of web traffic. To ensure that these apps are performing at their best under high demand, consider these best practices for layer management, so ArcGIS Online can handle the rest.

Data sharing is smart: geo-related trends in engineering & construction

There could be many keywords representing important trends in the capture and use of spatial data in the engineering & construction industry, but 3D, BIM, AR and UAV are definitely high on the list. Uniting them all is one major cross-industry challenge: interoperability and data integration in support of much-needed higher workflow efficiency in the whole value chain.

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