Community Map of Canada

Alex Miller, Esri Canada president, explains how the Community Map was created and maintained and how people are using it for their mapping solutions.

Mar 6th, 2011

Start From:
Player Color:

Right-click on these links to download and save this video.


00:02The main driver for the community map of Canada...

00:06...was the need by the GIS user community in Canada for a standardized national web basemap from authoritative sources.

00:15Canada's provinces and the federal government have been working together for the last 10 years on an SDI...

00:20...building a topographic dataset called GeoBase.

00:25Natural Resources Canada, that country's national mapping agency, coordinates this.

00:29This dataset became the foundation for our first community map of Canada.

00:34Two years ago we approached Natural Resources Canada to see if they would work with us to take this dataset...

00:41...and turn it into a web basemap.

00:44They agreed and we put it up on the...

00:49We put it into the template for the community map and got it up in just a few months.

00:53We...our goal was to get the national, and provincial, and municipal organizations working more closely together... not just build, but sustain this map.

01:03We're able to put it up so quickly because it was already being maintained in an Esri geodatabase.

01:09It was well documented and it had a completely open and unrestricted licensing policy.

01:14This is an example of it in the Vancouver area, the Greater Vancouver area.

01:19Here's another example with a bit more details zoomed in, in the Calgary area.

01:23About last May we approached the City of Toronto to be the first city in Canada, they're Canada's largest city... provide data for the 1 to 10,000 down to 1 to 1,000 scale.

01:37They agreed and within about two weeks of getting their data...

01:40...we were able to put that into template for the large-scale community map and delivered it for inclusion... the World Topographic Map just before the User Conference in San Diego last year.

01:50Since then, immediately after that, several other municipalities joined...

01:55...and since then, in the last eight months we have over 35 communities have contributed their data...

02:01...or are working with us on licensing terms to become part of the community mapping program.

02:05It's our objective to have over a hundred communities in by the end of this year representing over...

02:11...30 percent of the population of the country.

02:13Here's an example of the...Toronto's data at a scale of 1 to 1,000...

02:18...and you can see the incredible detail, decks, swimming pools...

02:22...and more importantly they have individual house addresses for every house...

02:25...actually, for every entrance to every building in the city.

02:30The road network, the parcel maps, the address points, and soon the buildings are maintained... a transaction updated database that's driven by the city's development processes.

02:39So new address applications, or new subdivisions, are automatically put into this as part of that business process...

02:47...and available on a daily basis.

02:49To capture these updates and make sure the community map was kept current...

02:54...we started a project last fall with the City of Toronto, two other cities...

02:58...District of Langley, Township of Langley in BC, and the City of Moncton.

03:02...Together with Natural Resources Canada and the Province of Ontario, to create this thing we call Community Map Exchange.

03:08So it’s a concept and it's a server at ESRI Canada where the municipalities replicate through geodatabase replication...

03:15...their data into the exchange and then it can be retrieved by the other participants, and similarly they can put their updates in as well.

03:22This solves a major problem in the national map of not being able to get at updated building information.

03:29They traditionally have got it from aerial photography.

03:32Here's an example of these updates in action in an area of Toronto around the Toronto General Hospital.

03:37You can see on the one side before this major development took place... updating the hospital area, the old map, and after the replication you can see the new map completely updated.

03:48There are many benefits that have resulted from the community map in Canada.

03:53For our users, they've actually achieved our objective of a standardized current national basemap.

04:00One of our large users, TransCanada Pipeline, it’s the largest pipeline operator in Canada...

04:04...said that this is just tremendous for them to be able to focus on maintaining their operational data...

04:08...and not have to worry about a basemap for their applications.

04:12For the participants themselves, they actually get their community recognized on a global basemap.

04:18They get a high-performance web service that they can use for external applications...

04:22...without having an impact on their servers. And for those that are part of the open data movement...

04:27...instead of just putting shapefiles on their website and people downloading them and double-clicking on them...

04:31...and nothing happening, they can point immediately to the community basemap. That's not the Esri community basemap...

04:38... it's their basemap, because they're the ones that have contributed the data, they're the ones that are keeping it up-to-date.

04:44For distributors in the room, like us, we found that this drives value-added services.

04:50Communities are asking us to help them to build their data and get their data ready to go into the community map.

04:56When we're working with them on the replication, we find that it entrenches ArcGIS much deeper inside the organization.

05:03They start replacing other systems that they've been using with ArcGIS.

05:07And it strengthens our relationship with them, but also with each other; the community becomes stronger.

05:12For developers and business partners, same thing, there are value-added services.

05:17But more importantly I think the national basemap lets you focus on your solution...

05:22...getting your solution up and running without having to worry about assembling a basemap.

05:28Here's an example of a company called ReNew Canada that was using Google to publish the top 100 infrastructure projects across Canada.

05:36They switched to the community basemap and switched to Esri API because of the rich data...

05:43...the rich data in the community map across the country and the rich development environment of the Flex application.

05:51So in summary, the community map of Canada program has exceeded our expectations considerably.

05:58As dozens of organizations across the country are now working together in ways they've never done before... maintain, to create this community map that they own.

06:09In addition, there are many GIS applications that are emerging that couldn't have been done without it.

06:13And finally, with the idea of having maps updated by transactions, a topographic and a basemap updated by transactions... sweeping the country and people are now starting to build an infrastructure that's actually sustainable.

Copyright 2016 Esri
Auto Scroll (on)Enable or disable the automatic scrolling of the transcript text when the video is playing. You can save this option if you login


No comments. Be the first to write one below.

Comment on this Video