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What’s new in the Canadian edition of Living Atlas of the World?

We can all use and benefit from good information. The Living Atlas of the World is the foremost collection of geographic information from around the globe. Learn more about why hundreds of organizations across Canada are choosing to contribute their data to the Living Atlas of the World.

The success of content is tied directly to its accessibility. The Living Atlas of the World content–an evolving collection of authoritative, ready-to-use global geographic information–is curated with data that is reliable, well documented and easily accessible to users. The Atlas includes imagery, basemaps, demographics and lifestyle, landscape, agriculture, boundaries and places, transportation, earth observations, urban systems, oceans, and historical maps and more. Organizations can easily combine this information with their own data to create maps, scenes and apps, and perform analysis. By contributing to the Living Atlas, you are helping build a GIS for the planet.

The image above showcases some of the Canadian content in the Living Atlas of the World.

Advantages of the Living Atlas

The Living Atlas of the World brings great value to the contributors. For instance, it helps enhance the quality of their data and supports collaboration across and outside of the organization. The information contributed is easily discoverable and placed among the best available content for Canada. Indirectly, contributors also get access to a broad global audience.

 Now, you may wonder, how do users benefit from the Living Atlas? Here are some of the top benefits for users:

  • Access to curated content from authoritative sources
  • Ready-to-use content can be integrated into maps, apps and analysis
  • Centralized location that can be accessed in several ways including the Living Atlas website or through ArcGIS Online, Enterprise, ArcGIS Pro, Insights and Maps for Office/SharePoint.

Once you become a part of the ArcGIS community of the Living Atlas, there are more advantages to discover.

Canadian contributors and content

Users, partners and Esri are contributing their best maps, apps and data to the Living Atlas of the World.  For example, Natural Resources Canada is publishing flood extent polygons based on satellite data for historic and current year floods across Canada. Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada is the largest federal contributor with 30 items in the Living Atlas including the latest crop inventory. Statistics Canada produces the Census of Agriculture every four years where hundreds of variables on farm type, crops and livestock are available. The National Energy Board’s Interactive Pipeline map shows the location of pipelines regulated by NEB along with reportable incidents. The Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) has published a feature layer with the location of the International Space Station (ISS) updated every minute. 

Provinces and Territories are also placing their content in the form of web maps, apps and data in the Living Atlas, making authoritative information easily available to users. Some really good examples include the Alberta Earthquakes that depicts seismic events within Alberta from September 2006 to present; EmergencyMapBC displays information such as evacuation alerts, wildfires, flood watches and warnings; The Northwest Territories Protected/Conservation Areas data service displays existing and proposed conservation areas; State of Ontario’s Watersheds is Conservation Ontario’s story map on watershed plans that support effective management of watershed resources in Ontario. In addition, Quebec’s Controlled Zones (ZEC) for hunting, fishing and outdoor activities highlight facilities, attractions and recreational activities for residents to explore; New Brunswick’s Map Viewer includes the most frequently used layers hosted by GeoNB, such as roads, hydrography, property ownership, flood and wetland data. Recently updated hydrographic network, sand dune and wetland inventories are available for PEI.

How to contribute to the Living Atlas

You can nominate your items by signing into your ArcGIS Online account on the Living Atlas website under “My Contributions”. Once logged in, all your content will be available to nominate along with suggested improvements to help you prepare the metadata for nomination. Once nominated, the curators will review your submissions for suitability. If the content is published in the Living Atlas, remember that the content is still yours and remains on your ArcGIS Online account, but you will not be charged for any increase in usage. If you delete your nominated item from your account, it will be deleted from the Living Atlas as well.

The Community Map of Canada

The Community Map of Canada vector basemap is a national basemap that is published every day or every other day, and it's created from data coming from Community Map Program participants and open data sites from across the country, including contributions from federal, provincial and municipal governments as well as non-governmental organizations. Your community can also contribute basemap data through the Community Maps program.

For additional information and tips, be sure to check out “What’s New” and relevant blog posts on the Living Atlas website.



About the Author

Brian Kazmerik is a curator for the Living Atlas of the World. He is known for his enthusiasm to promote GIS and the power of geospatial information. During his nearly 38-year career at Ducks Unlimited Canada, Brian built and led successful teams and partnerships at the provincial, national and international levels. He was a founding member of the Canadian Wetland Inventory management team and co-chair of the technical committee, bringing together dozens of partners to establish a baseline wetlands map of Canada. At Esri Canada, Brian is committed to helping organizations publish their authoritative content to the Living Atlas of the World so everyone can benefit from easily accessible, high quality data, maps and apps. He’s passionate about the environment. His career and volunteer work have focused on creating and conserving habitat for wildlife and people. Brian enjoys exploring the world with family and friends, especially on the water–with a fishing rod, snorkel or paddle.

Profile Photo of Brian Kazmerik