SDI Snapshot - May 2015

June 1, 2015 Gordon Plunkett

How much did the geospatial industry contribute to Canada’s GDP? What’s the latest federal government initiative supporting open data? Find out in this month’s collection of the 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 May 2015 post is a collection of the latest and most significant SDI news, data, products and events.


Value study shows geospatial contributes $21 billion to the Canadian GDP

Natural Resources Canada has released the “Canadian Geomatics Environmental Scan and Value Study - Summary Report” that profiles Canada’s geomatics sector and details the contributions of geospatial information to the country’s economy and society. The study found that in 2013, the geospatial industry generated revenues of $2.3 billion, and contributed an estimated $20.7 billion through productivity improvements to the Canadian GDP in 2013.

Federal government announces funding to establish the Open Data Exchange

The Honourable Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board of Canada, recently announced up to $3 million to establish the Open Data Exchange (ODX), which will be located in Waterloo, Ontario. The ODX will support the development of industry standards for open data, build a national marketplace where commercialization of open data can flourish and support a pan-Canadian open data innovation community that will incubate the next generation of data-driven companies.

Measuring the Space “Industry" in Canada

According to a report, Canada has a well-developed space industry, including about 200 private companies, in addition to research institutions and universities, some of which have some commercial activities. Total Canadian space sector revenues amounted in 2012 to $3.3 billion, a 4.5% decrease from 2011 revenues. Satellite communications applications and services generated the largest revenue share, followed by the earth observation sector.

A geospatial network for Latin America and the Caribbean

The development of a regional SDI is helping countries in Latin America and the Caribbean address issues such as increasing population, environmental degradation, climate change, and biodiversity loss. The spatial data needed to respond to these threats is typically produced and managed on the national level. The great challenge now is to transcend national boundaries to produce, manage and integrate data at the regional and global levels. A few initiatives have gone beyond the national level such as GeoSUR, which opens up GIS resources so they can be used to make better decisions and conserve resources in Latin America and the Caribbean. New Web site for European SDI - ArcGIS for INSPIRE

ArcGIS for INSPIRE provides a powerful and modern Web GIS solution for the European SDI (INSPIRE) to ensure compliance for supporting data, services and metadata. The new Web site covers topics such as: what is INSPIRE, how to implement INSPIRE quickly and easily, how to build a complete INSPIRE solution and how to prepare for future requirements and mandates.


Open government in transition: the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table

The recently released Public Policy Forum report “Open Government in Transition: A Case Study of the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table” takes a look back at the journey of the CGCRT from the initiation of the National Mapping Strategy in 2007 to the release of the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy in 2014. It concludes that the Round Table and the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy could be the start of a new phase in the Open Government movement, the benefits of which will reach far beyond the Geomatics community.

Who cares about open data?

A recently published report shows that the American public’s awareness and enthusiasm for open data does not match that of the government. The “Americans’ Views on Open Government Data” report takes data from a survey that aimed to answer questions about how and whether people engage with their governments online, their awareness and attitudes toward open data programs and their expectations for the future. The survey found that the general public is not very aware of open data.

Want Landsat? Access all the band combinations online

As you may be aware, Esri has on-the-fly processing of imagery, which uses ArcGIS imagery technology to serve the imagery layers in ArcGIS Online, including Landsat. The image renderer allows users to select different bands to display by picking from multiple common band combinations, such as NDVI or other user-defined band combinations. When new Landsat 8 imagery is received (which happens daily), the ArcGIS Online administrator simply adds the new image to the existing repository of Landsat imagery, and the newer imagery and all the band combinations are instantly made available to anyone who needs them.


When should you use the ArcGIS Pro SDK?

To extend or enhance ArcGIS Pro, you must use the ArcGIS Pro SDK for .NET. However, before you start writing code, always apply the “Configure first, customize only if you have to” principle to save time and money on development work. If you have been using Esri software for any length of time, you may have custom code and extensions created for ArcMap that you now want to use with ArcGIS Pro. You now have a range of options to choose from that depend on whether you are dealing with simple workflows that aggregate COTS functions, or more sophisticated workflows that implement custom business logic or require an additional user interface.

3D visualizations for a three-dimensional world

Organizations are swimming in data. It’s becoming increasingly important to learn how to integrate data sets to give us an accurate picture of what’s going on around us, from fleet and asset management to damage assessment after a natural disaster. But thanks to emerging technologies, things are getting easier. In December 2014, Esri released a new 3D scene viewer that allows users to integrate a wide range of geographic information into the company’s ArcGIS platform. Now, consumers can create three-dimensional maps and models via their Web browser. Five tips to help maximize your use of ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online gives users everything they need to create interactive Web maps and apps that users can share with anyone. With ready-to-use content, apps and templates, users can be productive right away. From sharing work with others to preventing accidental deletion of items and more, here are five helpful tips from Esri pros that will help maximize use of ArcGIS Online.

Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS – live sites showcase

There’s been a lot of excitement around Web AppBuilder, because it enables users to create new custom Web mapping applications in an intuitive, easy to use, wizard-like environment. Users can create apps that run on any device without having to write code. Developers can extend its capabilities using the ArcGIS API for JavaScript.


Building a data-driven culture of innovation

Abhi Nemani, the first Chief Data Officer for the City of Los Angeles, spoke with ArcNews about how GIS can help open up government data, improve government by making it more data driven, and engage citizens. Nemani leads the city's efforts to build an open and data-driven Los Angeles. His current and previous positions have given him a broad perspective and many insights into the challenges that cities face and the efficacy of technology in addressing those challenges.

Get quick tips with ArcGIS Online videos

ArcGIS Online videos are a great way to quickly learn how to do something in ArcGIS Online. For example, you can learn how to create a map, create an app from a map, or create a 3D scene. You can also learn how to use the new smart mapping capabilities to change styles in your map. If you are an administrator, see how to manage resources in your organization or create custom roles. The ArcGIS Online team maintains about 30 of these short how-to videos and updates them regularly as the site gets updated.

Video on Web GIS

Esri’s Chief Technology Advocate Bern Szukalski explores what's trending with Web GIS at the 2015 Esri Federal GIS Conference. Emerging businesses at the Esri Partner Conference

The Esri Emerging Business Group (a.k.a. ‘startup program’) hosts over 150 startups and is designed to empower startups to solve big problems with the use of geospatial technology. Esri provides eligible up-and-coming businesses with free ArcGIS Platform technology to integrate spatial functionality within their products. Here is an update on the outcomes of the Startup Zone at the Esri Partner Conference.

Upcoming Events

36th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing
June 8-11, 2015
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Esri International User Conference
July 20-24, 2015
San Diego, California

International Conference on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Geomatics
August 30 - September 2, 2015
Toronto, Ontario

Interesting Reads

About the Author

Gordon Plunkett

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.

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