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SDI Snapshot – May 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 resources.


Localized spring flooding hits many areas across Canada

Communities in Eastern Ontario, Québec and British Columbia were recently hit by flooding with hundreds of people forced to abandon their homes. The Canadian military was deployed in Québec as flood waters threatened many parts of the province. British Columbia suffered flooding and mudslides. An effective way to keep the public informed of the situation is with a web map. Check out these Lake Level Flood Watch maps from the Emergency Operation Centre at the Regional District of Central Okanagan, BC.

City of Gatineau releases web-based crime portal

In November 2016, the City of Gatineau’s Police Department (SPVG) unveiled a new web tool for raising public awareness of local crime. The SPVG’s crime portal, an interactive map showing where incidents have incurred, enables residents to monitor criminal activity throughout the city.

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 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.

Event Recap: The 2017 Canadian Surveyors Conference in Ottawa

In March, land surveyor professionals, as well as industry exhibitors, headed to Ottawa for the 2017 Canadian Surveyors Conference. Most attendees came from Ontario and Québec and were joined by university and college students who were interested in surveying engineering and geomatics. Attendees learned about new and upgraded instruments, technologies and software from leading companies such as Esri Canada and others.

Connect Oshawa Website Wins Gold

Oshawa has received a gold Hermes Creative Award in the microsite category for the development of the City's new online community engagement website, Connect Oshawa. Esri technology is used in the open data portion of this award-winning website. The City’s Open Data portal allows members of the public to access raw, digital, machine-readable information free of charge to foster innovation, stimulate economic growth, improve government service delivery and increase internal efficiencies.


Basemap Updates for Canada – May 2017

The imagery and topographic basemaps on ArcGIS Online were updated recently with new Canadian content from 10 contributors across Canada. Basemap data updates include: Province of New Brunswick; Edmonton, AB; Cochrane, AB; Kamloops, BC; County of Grande Prairie, AB; Kingston, ON; Kitchener, ON; Magog, QC; Okanagan-Similkameen, BC; and Strathcona County, AB.

Esri World Imagery Updates (April 2017) for Canada

Esri is continually enhancing the World Imagery map, and they have released several more updates to imagery this month.  This includes another large batch of updates with DigitalGlobe imagery for parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and well over 100 metro areas around the world. The 3 metropolitan areas in Canada with updated imagery include the City of New Westminster, BC the City of Chestermere, AB and the City of Rimouski, QC.

Locating biomass hotspots in Canadian forests could accelerate sector growth

A recent study aimed at identifying untapped biomass hotspots in Canadian forests has produced findings that could help Canada to mobilize its wood-based bioenergy supply chain. The study used remote sensing technologies to estimate the spatial distribution and theoretical availability of biomass sourced from harvest residues and fire-killed trees nationwide.

Free satellite imagery from the European Sentinel 1 and 2 constellations

The European Space Agency has begun the process of developing the six Sentinel constellations of satellites to fulfill the Copernicus earth observation program. Sentinel-1 consists of satellites which capture land and ocean data through radar sensors while the Sentinel-2 constellation provides multispectral high-resolution images for land monitoring.


BC’s Integrated Cadastral Information (ICI) Society launches new map viewer

The ICI Society in British Columbia has announced the latest release of their Map Viewer 3.0.  Using Esri’s JavaScript framework and updated Esri ArcGIS 10.5 technology, this new version is mobile-ready with updated web map tools, enhanced datasets and improved access to external web services.

What’s been happening with DataBC Data Distribution Services?

The DataBC Team has been busy improving data download services using feedback from the Data Distribution Survey. The service is used by both public and government users to search and download BC Geographic Warehouse (BCGW) data. The data is transformed, packaged and made available to the user who placed the order.

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) hosts RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) webinar

The CSA recently hosted a webinar on the plans for the RCM. The RCM will be a three-satellite configuration, which will provide daily revisits of Canada’s vast territory and maritime approaches, as well as daily access to 90% of the world’s surface. The mission is currently in development with the satellites' launch planned for 2018.


European Commission publishes 2017 eGovernment factsheets

The 2017 edition of eGovernment factsheets has been published by the European Commission’s National Interoperability Framework Observatory (NIFO) community. The factsheets summarize policies and activities related to the implementation and the delivery of digital public services in 34 countries. The main trends identified during this year’s exercise include: open data portals, EU regulations on electronic identification along with trust services for electronic transactions and cybersecurity.

W3C releases Spatial Data on the Web Best Practices document

The Spatial Data on the Web Best Practices document advises on best practices related to the publication of spatial data on the web and the use of web technologies as they may be applied to location. These best practices suggest a significant change of emphasis from traditional spatial data infrastructures by adopting an approach based on general web standards.

Spatial Knowledge Infrastructure White Paper

Towards a Spatial Knowledge Infrastructure White Paper proposes a next-generation spatial knowledge infrastructure that moves the agenda from more traditional spatial data infrastructure concepts to automatically creating, sharing, curating, delivering and using knowledge (not just data or information) in support of the emerging digital economy and the rise of spatially-aware and equipped citizens.

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