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SDI Snapshot – October 2016

Find out more about Statistics Canada’s new crowdsourcing pilot project, what data’s included in the latest CanVec release and more in the October SDI Snapshot.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in Canada and globally in the world of spatial data infrastructures (SDI). This October 2016 post is a collection of the latest and most significant SDI news, data and products.


GeoAlliance Canada begins review of submitted projects

GeoAlliance Canada thanked all their members who submitted project ideas to the GeoAlliance Project Portal. They are thrilled with the response from the community, and are pleased to have received numerous proposals in each project category. The Project Advisory Committee will review the submitted projects and follow up with the Project Leads in the coming weeks.

Statistics Canada needs governance of its big data

The head of Statistics Canada recently resigned due to a lack of control of his computer systems. Reports say, “Statistics Canada needed to be more agile because it was facing huge challenges in a world of big data including: demands for up-to-the-minute information that businesses and planners rely on, declining response rates on traditional surveys, and meeting the government’s need for statistics in new policy fields.”

Statistics Canada starts crowdsourcing pilot project

Statistics Canada is launching a new pilot project to input location, physical attributes and other features of buildings. For many Canadians outside of the geomatics community this is an exciting opportunity. It’s hoped that those members of the public who do volunteer to participate will be able to see how data is created. This pilot project will help connect some of the dots in terms of the public’s understanding of Canada’s geomatics sector and the data they use every day.


New app uses government data to understand the world’s oceans

Creators of a new open data app are encouraging the public to take advantage of tools created through government data, particularly through their Ecological Marine Units Map, which uses National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data to map the physical and chemical properties of the world’s oceans. The app is available online and requires no special software to use.

CanVec: NRCan announces new data update available

Natural Resources Canada has released an updated version of CanVec, which is a digital cartographic reference product of the Canadian landmass. This CanVec release includes the following updates: an update of metric Hypsographical Data (conversion of contour measurement units from imperial to metric), an update of the National Road Network for British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick and a partial update of data for the Fort McMurray area in Alberta.

US DOT releases national open data transit map

The US Department of Transportation launched its first version of a National Transit Map with machine-readable data on stops, routes and schedules. Nearly 400,000 stops and stations on 10,000 routes were published in the geospatial database. Many transit agencies were already collecting and publishing local data on their respective websites, but the transit map compiles the data from local sources into a national open data platform.

Smart Cities and Linked Data

Linked data (LD) refers to data that is made available in a structured way through the internet. In comparison, Linked open data (LOD) exposes the linked data to everyone on the internet. LOD is based on the 5-Star Open Data scheme, which was developed by Tim Berners Lee, one of the founders of the internet.


Amazing web maps – wind maps tracking Hurricane Matthew over Cuba, Bahamas, USA

Real-time maps during times of crisis, emergency and destructive weather incidents are a crucial component in emergency response, disaster monitoring and reporting to support situational awareness. One tool that got attention was an active wind data layer map. With Hurricane Matthew pummeling the Americas, the wind layer using vector tiles have resulted in a powerful map that paints a very impressive, and perhaps scary, picture of what is taking place.

Control vertical exaggeration and image properties in ArcGIS Earth 1.3

In addition to personalization and authentication improvements, ArcGIS Earth users can now do more with terrain, imagery and KML in version 1.3. Users will now see an on canvas control that enables interactive manipulation of a terrain’s vertical exaggeration. Earth users can emphasize areas with subtle variations in height or flatten surfaces to assist visual data exploration.

Esri’s Insights for ArcGIS is the first step in joining the IoT and GIS together

This article indicates that the IoT (Internet of Things) and GIS will eventually connect in some form or fashion as GIS is prevalent and pervasive in internet culture through applications like AcrGIS Online, which is dependent on Cloud Services. Esri’s Insights for ArcGIS is the gateway for the public to tie location to information.


Getting to Know Web GIS, 2nd edition

The new second edition of Getting to Know Web GIS features detailed, step-by-step exercises that teach readers how to share resources online and build web GIS applications easily and quickly. This workbook includes the latest upgrades and advances, such as smart mapping, AppStudio, ArcGIS Pro and scene services. It also expands the use of ArcGIS Online, Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Server, Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS and ArcGIS API for JavaScript.

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