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Open Data – Questions and Answers

Open Data: Questions and Answers by George A Duckett

If you have a question about OpenData then Open Data – Questions and Answers will have all the answers you are looking for. It takes some of the most popular questions from the opendata.stackexchange.com website and answers them in detail.

You can use this book to look up commonly asked questions, browse questions on a particular topic, compare answers to common topics, check out the original source and much more. It has been designed to be very easy to use, with several internal references set up that makes browsing in many different ways possible. It covers a wide range of open data sources including North American & International geospatial data sets.

The digital Kindle version contains links to resources and web sites referenced in the answers.

Topics covered include:Open Data: Questions and Answers

Order your copy of this geo-book here …


New and Improved GeoGratis Website

GeoGratis free Canadian geospatial data web portal

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has recently launched a new update to the already innovative GeoGratis website (Note: although it has gone live it is still in beta mode).  GeoGratis is a web portal that provides access to a wide collection of Canadian geospatial data, maps, images, and publications at no cost and without restrictions.

All data accessed via GeoGratis comes with an Unrestricted Use Licence Agreement that grants users a non-exclusive, royalty-free right and licence to exercise all intellectual property rights in the data including the right to use, incorporate, sub-license, modify, further develop, and distribute the data. The various downloadable geospatial data, maps, images, and publications in several different popular formats such as geopdf, geotiff, pdf, shape file and tiff.

GeoGratis Canadian Geospatial Data Portal

Improvements to the new site made go much deeper then just minor cosmetic changes. GeoGratis Website  is now easier to use and allows access to better search tools where one can now view and download all available geospatial data sets consolidated into the same web site.

The new Platform also now better supports developers that want to create unique and innovative mapping applications with Canadian data, images and documents using one of the three available GeoGratis Application Programming Interfaces (API’s). These include the GeoGratis API, the GeoLocation API and also an updated Canada base web map service (WMS) that now also includes Canadian transportation data (Canada Base Map for Transportation – CBM-T).

NRCan feels that the new GeoGratis service is compatible with OpenGIS® Consortium (OGC), innovative and cutting-edge, and will provide a better one stop site for people to obtain Canadian geospatial data, maps, images and publications.

The New GeoGratis Website: An Innovative Geospatial Platform for all Canadians; consolidates several location-based services including The Canadian Geographical Names Database (CGNDB), Atlas Gazetteer, Postal Codes and National Topographic System (NTS) Map search. The CGNDB manages names records for populated places and physical features across Canada. Users can search by geographic location using the map of Canada, name, physical feature, subject, NTS number or product title.

GeoGratis - Search geospatial gis data results

NRCan has been listening to what the geomatics community has been asking for all along. And as a result have taken what was already a pretty good service that offered free data and information and consolidated it together, cleaned it up and then added some more tools as well.

Therefore one should only expect that with all this royalty-free geospatial data and API tools now available that we should start to see more Canadian Cities and Municipalities start to offer web mapping sites and geographic information for their citizens.

Take a look at the new and improved GeoGratis Website for yourself using either the new search interface or simply browse through the extensive directory listing of hundreds of different maps, imagery and geospatial data sets to discover what the Federal Government of Canada has to offer the geomatics community.

OSCAR-js – First Open Source Initiative for CARIS

logo CARIS OSCAR-js

CARIS, an industry leading marine GIS organization based out of Fredericton, New Brunswick has designed and built software solutions for over 30 years. Recently they announced their release of CARIS OSCAR-js (Open Spatial Component Architecture) , their first open source Application Programming Interface (API).

CARIS OSCAR-js, a JavaScript Map API was designed to allow users to create and embed custom web mapping applications into their own websites.

The API was created to help shape CARIS Spatial Fusion Enterprise and includes tools for navigation, measurement, and download, as well as providing a means for developers to create their own custom tools and extensions. OSCAR-js extends the very popular OpenLayers library and utilizes jQueryUI and YUI to help create a feature rich mapping experience.

The API is designed around the creation of map themes. Map themes consist of thematic maps along with optional functionality such as selection, data download or more. OSCAR-js supports the use of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) web services including Web Map Service (WMS), Web Map Tile Service (WMTS), Web Feature Service (WFS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS) for creating these map themes.

In addition to supporting OGC web services, OSCAR-js can connect to CARIS Spatial Fusion Viewer to load map configurations. This allows for centralized site management for your web map infrastructure.

CARIS OSCAR-js websiteThe source code for the CARIS OSCAR-js API is available on GitHub under an Apache License 2.0, enabling users to generate their own development for customization. Creation of custom pages for OSCAR-js also requires a basic working knowledge of JavaScript, HTML and CSS. However like most web technologies, users can learn about JavaScript, HTML and CSS via many great books and sites on the web.

Consider trying CARIS OSCAR-js API with your own spatial mapping data and applications, to get started, visit the OSCAR-js website where you can get helpful documentation, a basic tutorial, code samples, and a blog with all the latest information about OSCAR-js.

And don’t forget to let us know about your web mapping application that you created with CARIS OSCAR-js API.

Software website: http://ucode.caris.com/oscar/

[source: caris.com & company submitted email]