Free Data Sets for the City of Edmonton & ESRI online mapping tools

City of Edmonton ESRI online mapping tools

The City of Edmonton has been providing an online Open Data service to help make municipal information more accessible since 2009 [http://data.edmonton.ca]. They feel that through collaboration and innovation that they have become a leader in Open Government by using the latest technology to increase access to their information.

Much like the City of Toronto they have various data sets that they do not offer due to privacy or confidentiality issues. In fact you will notice many similarities between the Open Source service offered by the City of Edmonton and the Cities of Toronto, Ottawa,and Vancouver because these cities have come together to share resources and methodologies that they use to provide the service to better provide Canadians with good reliable sources of spatial data sets.

Data sets are provided in various standard downloadable file formats such as XLS, CSV, PDF, DGN & SHP. All data set contains basic meta info associated with them such as who created the data, date, format, projection, attributes, contact info etc. They do not require Developers to get permission to create applications with the data, instead permission is provided for all data sets as long as users abide by the terms of agreement for the service.

One difference that you Edmonton has from the other cities is that they provide the ability to visualize the data sets unsing online ESRI web mapping technology. This way allows users to better unserdtand what the data sets they are downloading consists of. There is also another neat little feature using the same ESRI tools that allows users to embed maps that they generate on their own web site or blog.

Below is a map of the golf courses in the City of Edmonton created on the city web site and then embeded here on this site with the provided code snip-it that they provided.

The City of Edmonton has done an amazing job of providing interesting data sets in one online location where they can grant the GIS community royalty free, non exclusive licence to use, modify, and distribute any of the data sets that they continue to make available via their data catalogue. They have also provided a great looking easy to use web mapping tool based on ESRI software so that users can save time by viewing the data before downloading it into their own GIS software and people can use to embed maps into their personal blogs.

I encourage you to go forth, download some of the data and start generating great GIS products for the citizens of Edmonton and help promote Canadian Open Data Sets .

 

Canadian initiatives for Open Data Resources

Canada open data

Canadian Open Data 

The City of Toronto has recently celebrated two years of online Open Data service and they continue to build on that success, by stating that they intend to add more data layers and further develop their online data portal. So with that in mind I thought I would take a closer look at how Open Data Frameworks are currently doing here in Canada.

The concept behind Open data is that data should be available to anyone to use freely without restrictions or copyright. It is similar to other “Open” movements such as open source software, and open access, and has gained popularity with the launch of open data site by the United States Government [Data.gov] in 2009.

There has been a big movement towards Open Data Frameworks in Canada and the Cities of Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver have come together to share resources and methodologies in order to provide Canadians with good reliable sources of spatial data sets. By offering data sets for general use, these Canadian Cities are demonstrating that they support unfiltered access to information in order to improve access to information and so that more quality mapping related applications / products can be created and shared providing higher potential cartographic products for all Canadians to benefit from.

Unlike the United States or some parts of Europe Canada has no country wide mandate establishing procedures or protocols on how spatial data is delivered online to Canadians. More and more cities and municipalities are getting involved with providing Open Data however GIS users still need to do some searching to find the various sites.

Once again this is one of the reasons why I started a Canadian data section on the site, to help aid fellow GIS users with online data searches. So I encourage you to share these pages and resources with your networks to help spread the word throughout the Canadian GIS community. And if you know of any site(s) that offer downloadable data sets that are not posted on my site then please let me know, so that I can ensure that they get shared with others.

City of Edmonton Data Sets
City of Ottawa Data Sets
City of Toronto Data Sets
City of Vancouver Data Sets
City of Niagara Falls Data Sets

Province of New Brunswick Data

Federal Government Canadian Wide Data

plus we will be listing others as they are discovered on our Canadian open data page

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Canadian Maps

A major part of any GIS are Canadian Maps produced that help illustrate and provide visible spatial information, the Canadian GIS & Geomatics site has been providing people with map resources since 2005, and continues to list great resources. To find some awesome Canadian maps, check some of the links below, browse through our data and Canadian map listings, use the search tools found along the right hand side or follow us on Twitter (we post images and links to a wide variety of maps daily).

Canadian Maps

Canadian Maps & many more GIS Resources

UTM zones & rows map – With this world map you can easily find out what UTM zone you are working from.

Geomatics & Cartography – great basic overview of Cartography with examples and plenty of resources.

Various Canadian maps resources

Old Canadian Maps from various Provinces

Web mapping applications featuring Canadian maps

Do you have any great Canadian maps that you would like us to share? Then let us know!

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Trimble GPS Planning Software

GPS Planning Software allows you to optimize your Survey

After working on many different projects with various companies and partners, it still amazes me how many people do not consult with the latest GPS Almanacs and GPS Planning Software for planning GPS Missions prior to heading out to survey or collect GPS data. Especially for more precise GPS work and we all know how projects these days continue to demand better accuracy as technology evolves.

GPS planning softwareThere is a handy little FREE GPS Planning Software package for planning of GPS Missions provided by Trimble that we use, and is available to download free from their website. This powerful little GPS uttility can run from your laptop or PC allowing you to analyis GPS coverage for any given day helping you to determine visibility for GPS, GLONASS, IGSO and geostationary satellites. When you know what times of day have the best optimal GPS coverage then you can better plan the rest of your survey work.

The GPS Planning Software allows you to optimize your base destination region with multiple station locations allowing you to determine where it would be best to record observations, determine elevation masks, generate graphs showing satellite coverage, DOP coverage, and create sky plots of GPS satellites.

When you use the planning software you have to remmber to download the latest GPS almanac because unlike your GPS equipment, your PC will not automatically update itself with the latest Ephemeris Data. Trimble also helps out by providing this information for you on their website, but it is also provided on various other GPS related websites as well.

http://www.trimble.com/gnssplanningonline/#/Settings

 

[Update – Trimble now offers an online version]

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Free Canadian Geospatial Data Sets

Canadian Geospatial Data - Open Government Canada Logo

The Federal Government produces and acquires data sets in many different areas including health, agriculture, the environment and natural resources. The Government of Canada launched an open data portal [data.gc.ca] earlier this year as part of Canada’s open government initiative. The portal aims to provide Canadians with a single point of access to find and download government Canadian Geospatial Data sets.

“The goal of the Open Data Portal is to create socioeconomic opportunities and promote informed participation by the public by expanding access to federal government data.”

The site provides the ability to search over 150 Canadian Geospatial Data sets that have been sorted into 18 different categories such as Imagery and Basemaps, Atmosphere and Climate, Cadastral and many more. Data is made available for both non-commercial and commercial uses.

Canadian Geospatial Data

Many of the data sets provided here are still the same data that you would get from other places such as GeoGratis, GeoBase or Natural Resources Canada but here they the Government is trying to be more efficient to its citizens by making it easier for GIS users to find Canadian data sets.

The Canadian open data portal [data.gc.ca] should be one of the sites that you go to when you are looking for Canadian geospatial data for your projects. So good luck in your search, I hope you find the data that you need.

Search for Geospatial Data Sets on the Canadian open data portal: http://open.canada.ca/en

 If anybody knows of other good sources of Canadian Geospatial Data Sets, then let me know and I will include the information for others to know more about it.

Many Canadian Provinces, Cities and municipalities have been getting involved in the Open Data Resource Initiative such as the City of Totonto, the City o Edmonton, the Province of New Brunswick and many more.

If you are looking for free open source GIS data sites then we suggest that you make a link to CanadianGIS.com GIS data sources, as we are constantly adding more resources to that page as they become available.

Canadian Open Data and Free Geospatial Data

Over the past few years CanadianGIS.com has been highlighting and promoting various cities and provinces in Canada that have done a great job providing data and applications to the public.

We created this page a few years ago to collaborate links of all the open geospatial data info (sites that offer data downloads at no cost and without restrictions), fee based geospatial data, online web mapping applications and other great sources of geospatial information (including National, Provincial and Regional levels).

This comprehensive list of open geospatial data, fee based geospatial data, web mapping applications and cartographic products is a valuable asset to many people (… we get hundreds of emails and requests regarding “Where can I find data for …?”) so we continue to update it with new information and sources of Canadian data sets.