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SDI Snapshot – November 2015

What business opportunities does the new data partnership in Alberta provide? How do you make Web mapping sites accessible to those with disabilities? Find out in this month’s edition of SDI Snapshot, a collection of the latest and most significant SDI news, data, products and events.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in Canada and globally in the world of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). This November 2015 post is a collection of the latest and most significant SDI news, data, products and events.


Alberta Data Partnerships: a Public-Private Partnership approach to SDI

A new brand and long-term agreement with the Government of Alberta will provide more opportunities for Spatial Data Warehouse (SDW), AltaLIS, Alberta's geospatial community and all Albertans. SDW, a not-for-profit created in 1996 to take over digital mapping activities previously done by the government, was recently broadened to include organizations in energy and forestry, urban and rural municipalities, and the Alberta Energy Regulator. This has strengthened SDW’s ability to leverage these land users to explore unique mapping business opportunities.

WCAG 2.0 AA – top 5 criteria to consider as a Web developer

In North America, many people live with a disability that affects their way of life. Using the Internet is a fundamental piece of most people’s lives, and developers should strive to make an Internet experience that tries to work for everyone. To that end, the W3C has authored Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that help make technologies accessible to those with disabilities. A short series of posts is being published to try and tackle the top five criteria that Web developers can use to make WCAG-compliant Web map sites.

Web GIS nets greater efficiency for Nova Scotia aquaculture

The Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has embraced Web GIS technology to help implement their regulatory framework that aims to balance the needs of businesses, communities and the environment. This interactive Fisheries and Aquaculture Site Mapping Tool visualizes the location of pending and approved licenses and leases in the province related to fish hatcheries and land-based, finfish and marine shellfish aquaculture sites. Mapping in the dark with Énergie NB Power

Énergie NB Power, formerly New Brunswick Power, has been busy upgrading for the modern energy consumer. The utility revamped its Web site with more consumer-oriented, real-time information and launched an interactive power outage map. After two major weather patterns (first, an ice storm then a post-tropical storm) hit the province, NB Power’s executive team wanted to improve the way the utility communicated outages with the public. Mapping has become an excellent way to describe the extent of the power restoration challenge.

Parks Canada CIO maps out the agency’s long-term data management strategy

In October, Esri Canada gave Parks Canada an Award of Excellence in GIS, following an enterprise ArcGIS implementation. The platform has allowed Parks Canada to integrate various other systems and create several new applications for its staff. These include the Parks Canada Atlas, which provides basemaps of the Agency’s parks ranging from a Canada-wide scale down to 1:36,000. A National Integrated Realty System, meanwhile, allows the Agency’s 50-member Realty team to link their documents to land parcels, and the Incident and Event Management System helps National Park Wardens document and manage law enforcement incidents.


Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) makes government datasets open using GeoHive

GeoHive is a new national platform that provides free, Web-based access to authoritative Irish spatial data from multiple providers. It allows users to "mash up" information on a map to provide a deeper understanding of topics and make decisions. GeoHive uses ArcGIS Online as its content management system for listing and categorizing Web services. This means that any Web service made available through GeoHive will also be registered as content in ArcGIS Online. New ocean content available in the living atlas of the world

As part of ArcGIS Online, Esri’s Ocean Content supports a vast GIS community. Contributors and Partners have helped support the Living Atlas of the World by providing data and enriching these amazing resources. Oceans content is one of the many themes of data available within the Living Atlas of the World. Esri recently released nine new data layers expanding the curated collection of ready-to-use map layers.

Study led by B.C. scientist first to map Earth’s hidden groundwater

The water that supplies aquifers and wells that billions of people rely on around the world is, from a practical perspective, mostly a non-renewable resource that could run out in many places, a new Canadian-led study has found. While many people may think groundwater is replenished by rain and melting snow the way lakes and rivers are, underground water is actually renewed much more slowly. In fact, just 6% of groundwater around the world is replenished and renewed within a "human lifetime" of 50 years, reports University of Victoria hydrogeologist Tom Gleeson and his collaborators in the study.


What’s new in ArcGIS Online?

The November 2015 update of ArcGIS Online includes features for organization administration, smart mapping, configurable apps, content and more. For example, smart mapping provides data-driven tools that enable users to explore their data to unlock information and easily author visually appealing Web maps. When feature layers are added, the data is analyzed and layer styling options are presented in a streamlined user experience appropriate for the data. Also with this update, new map styles have been added that enable users to visualize and explore multiple attributes in their data.

Tips for Web-based map design

The focus on Web mapping applications is back, or maybe, it never really went away. Use of browser-based mapping technologies is increasing and hence, it’s important to know what works best for Web-based map creation. This article suggests a few things to consider when publishing from an ArcGIS Map Document (MXD) to a Map Service that can then be consumed by a Web mapping application such as Portal for ArcGIS.


GeoAlliance Canada announces event to map future of the Geocommunity in Canada

GeoAlliance Canada will host an event on March 15-16, 2016 in Calgary to map out a path forward for the Canadian geomatics, geography and geospatial community. In order for the geocommunity to thrive, there is a recognized need to work collaboratively across the well-established sectors and silos. This event is an opportunity to benchmark where we are nationally, determine the metrics of our success, and map out a way to meet our targets by pooling our energy and resources, undertaking collaborative projects and making targeted investments in key initiatives.

US FGDC looks at the implementation of ISO North American Profile in Canada

The U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) hosts a monthly Webinar information series for the presentation and discussion of ISO Metadata implementation shared experiences, strategies, topics and resources. This month’s topic was the ISO North American Profile Implementation in Canada, which is required by Canadian federal agencies.

ISPRS Geospatial Week 2015: 11 events under one umbrella

France recently hosted the ISPRS Geospatial Week 2015 event which attracted more than 500 participants from 52 countries. The extensive program was organized in a total of 11 independent sessions running in parallel during the week. In the ISRPS secretary-general’s address, he anticipated that so many fields from within the photogrammetry, remote sensing and spatial sciences family mingling together in one place would produce very interesting results.

OGC and ASPRS to collaborate on geospatial standards

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) have agreed to work together more closely in the application and promotion of standards and best practices for the location and geospatial industries. The advancement in areas such as point clouds benefits from the partnership of key organizations. Both have long-established roles in the expanding field of location and geospatial technologies and share a mission to advance technical interoperability in this field.

ISPRS and UN-GGIM launch national mapping and cadastre agency forum

The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) and the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) have announced the First ISPRS–UN-GGIM National Mapping and Cadastral Agency Forum. National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies (NMCAs), many of them organized in UN-GGIM, form a significant group of members of ISPRS. NMCAs play an important role in their countries, providing geospatial data of various levels of detail, types and scales, which form the basis of today's geospatial data infrastructure – an indispensable national asset for sustainable development of the country and many other applications.

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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