Skip to main content

SDI Snapshot – September 2018

How is wildfire smoke impacting air quality in Alberta? When and where is the next Spatial Data Infrastructure Summit? How is Europe’s SDI implementation (INSPIRE) coming along? Find answers to these and learn more about what’s happening on the Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) front in Canada and the world. This post contains a collection of the latest and most significant SDI news, data and products.

SDI News

CCOG hosts Spatial Data Infrastructure Summit 2018

The Canadian Council on Geomatics (CCOG) and the Open Geospatial Consortium are hosting a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) Summit on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Whitehorse, Yukon. This meeting will explore the state of Canadian SDIs and related geospatial work in Canada. Building on previous summits, the goal this year is to help foster the establishment of a network of SDIs across Canada.

Alberta Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) map

The wildfires in western Canada have greatly impacted the air quality this year. With the smoke being transported hundreds of miles and affecting distant communities, governments have become proactive in educating the public on air quality in their area. Alberta has published the Alberta Air Quality Health Index map (AQHI), which provides a number from 1 (low risk) to 10 (very high risk) to indicate the level of relative health risk associated with local air quality.

OpenNorth releases Open Smart Cities Guide

OpenNorth, with funding from Natural Resource Canada’s GeoConnections program, has released the Open Smart Cities Guide. This year-long collaborative research project aimed to create a guide that envisions an ‘Open Smart City’, an urban space that integrates innovative digital solutions based on public engagement and open government practices. The guide is available for free.

The Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica (REMA) now available via web map

Esri has developed an online web map viewer application to explore REMA data, which is a high resolution, time-stamped Digital Surface Model (DSM) of Antarctica at 8-metre spatial resolution. With this web map, users can visualize the REMA data, preview the spatial coverage, and download simple exports.

The first seven years of Europe’s SDI (INSPIRE) implementation

The INSPIRE Directive has had a massive impact on the provision of European geographic information and hence on software developers and users. The mid-term evaluation report on INSPIRE implementation is aimed at the European Parliament and Council. It evaluates progress towards achieving the original objectives and considers the need for policy action to align existing approaches better to changing circumstances.

SDI Data

BC releases agriculture capability map dataset

The Agriculture Capability mapping dataset is the digitized equivalent of the legacy Agriculture Capability Scanned Maps, also known as 'Soil Capability for Agriculture' and 'Agricultural Capability' mapping. It is an interpreted mapping product based on soil and climate information. The agriculture capability maps were redrawn from soil surveys that were mapped on air photographs using mirror stereoscopes.

GeoBase National Road Network (NRN) – now under the responsibility of Statistics Canada

In the context of ongoing federal government-wide Web Renewal efforts, the GeoBase Series data known as the National Road Network (NRN) has been transitioned to the responsibility of Statistics Canada. The NRN product contains provincial and territorial transportation datasets of road segments and ferry crossings plus associated descriptive attributes. 

SDI Products

Capturing centimetre-accurate 3D data now possible

Eos Positioning Systems, Inc., a Canadian manufacturer of affordable high-accuracy GNSS receivers for any device or app, released the world’s first laser offset solution within the Esri Collector for ArcGIS workflow. When combined with Laser Technology, Inc.’s (LTI) laser rangefinders, field crews can capture centimetre-accurate 3D locations of hard-to-reach assets and in GNSS-impaired environments.

North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83) and a new horizontal datum in 2022

NAD83 is an international horizontal reference frame for Earth that allows users to consistently and accurately map out locations on Earth with latitude and longitude locations. In Canada, we also use WGS-84 plus we have NAD83 updates called the Canadian Spatial Reference System (CSRS) and Canadian Active Control System (CACS). The US National Geodetic Survey has indicated that it will be replacing NAD83 in 2022 because NAD83 is non-geocentric by about 2.2 metres.

ArcGIS Enterprise in the cloud

Running ArcGIS Enterprise on a cloud platform has been popular for years. The use of cloud platforms has helped many organizations by providing reliable, easily accessible infrastructure. Find out more about the options available for migrating your existing on-premises infrastructure to the cloud or for starting fresh in the cloud.

Delivering your Common Operating Picture with 3D

3D GIS is evolving quickly and changing expectations for engagement, decision support and operational planning. 3D GIS adds value to your investment in 2D GIS by providing an immersive and intuitive experience with new potentials for visualization and content. Advances in 3D GIS offer an exciting opportunity to adopt and present a new way of thinking about the ArcGIS platform.

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