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Filmmaker Teams Up with Esri Canada to Map Pesticide Use in North America

Andrew Nisker’s “Ground War” story map builds public awareness for pesticide use & legislation

TORONTO — October 16, 2018 — Environmental activist and filmmaker Andrew Nisker has teamed up once again with Esri Canada to develop an online story map that allows the public to delve into the topic of his latest documentary, Ground War. An ode to his late father, the film explores the use of pesticides to cosmetically improve playing fields, lawns and ultimately, everyday life. Nisker collaborated previously with Esri Canada to map gum pollution for his documentary, Dark Side of the Chew.

The Ground War story map intends to help communities learn more about the use of pesticides in their area and encourages the public to contribute in making a change by populating the app with data from their neighbourhoods. In addition to putting information at the public’s fingertips, the app is also expected to enhance the film experience by helping viewers answer some of the questions the film raises.  

“I started working on the story map as soon as we began making the film. My objective was to give the user macro-level insight on pesticide use in places where we all play,” says Andrew Nisker, film director. “It’s a research tool to collect data and raise awareness about the pervasive use of pesticides. It makes participation in this issue accessible to everyone who cares about how these types of pesticides are used in their community, particularly in places where our children play.”

The story map was created by aggregating data from government public records in Canada and the United States. It combines several elements–striking images, narrative text and interactive mapping apps–to create an engaging story. One of the app features allows you to look up information sources for pesticide regulations by address, while another feature invites you to add information on and explore pesticide-free zones using a web map. Ground War leverages Esri Story Maps, a storytelling application available through Esri’s cloud-based mapping service, ArcGIS Online.

Ground War will premiere in Canada at the 19th annual Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival’s Closing Night Gala. The event will take place on Sunday, October 28, 2018 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto. For tickets, visit

Explore the Ground War story map. Learn more about Esri Story Maps at

About Andrew Nisker
Andrew Nisker makes films that inspire people to take action and revolutionize the way they treat the environment and themselves. Ground War is his fifth feature documentary. For more information on his other films, please visit

About Esri Canada  
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower people in business, government and education to make informed and timely decisions by leveraging the power of mapping and spatial analytics. These solutions enable organizations to better manage their resources, plan their future and collaborate within and beyond their organization. Esri Canada’s products and services help advance successful digital transformation. The company serves 12,000 organizations from 16 offices across Canada and is based in Toronto. In 2015, Esri Canada became a Gold Standard winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and in 2016 was named one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures. More information can be found at Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.


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