Posts

British Columbia’s DataBC program

Recently I received a few messages updating me about the progress the province of British Columbia has made with their DataBC project witch helps provide the public access to public funded data sets (http://www.data.gov.bc.ca/).

Screen Grab DataBC - online web mapping portal

I checked  DataBC site out and was impressed with the great job that the BC folks have done with sharing their geographic tools and data that in turn should also help increase the use of geomatics in British Columbia.

DataBC – Provincial Open Data

The DataBC program provides public access to provincial geographic information through a single web interface, offering a multitude of geographic data (spatial and non-spatial), applications and tools in order to help their citizens make better informed decisions, inspire change and encourage development of new ideas to improve government decision making & policies. Besides providing the Provincial Open Data initiative they also mange the Provincial SDI/Services Architecture among other things.

They have provided minimal licensing requirements to their data to help broaden the use of the Province’s assets. “You can use our geographic services to help map the data and find tools to help you conduct your own research, analyze statistics, develop apps or to simply satisfy your curiosity.” Open data provides opportunities for the public geomatics community to help changing demands of society.

“BC has rich and varied geography. From the rich farmland of the Fraser Valley to the deep forests of northern BC and Vancouver Island, no two places are alike. This diversity has made BC a geomatics leader in Canada. Since 2003, the Province of BC has provided a Spatial Data Infrastructure, centred on the BC Geographic Warehouse. This shared data store of geographic data greatly increases the availability and use of the Province’s wealth of geographic data. To support this work, we also provide web services, application frameworks and online applications to discover, view, download and analyze geospatial data.

The Spatial Data Infrastructure encompasses all government sectors, providing hosting, transformation and delivery of data across government and to the public. Used extensively to support government decisions, these systems serve hundreds of thousands of users with 110 legislated and mandated line of business applications such as land tenure, transportation, public safety and emergency response systems.

iMapBC is the primary map viewer used to access this comprehensive collection of data.”

[source: data.gov.bc.ca/dbc/geo/index.page]

What type of Open data is available from British Columbia’s DataBC Catalogue?

They provide data in a variety of formats including XLS, CSV, SHP, KML formats for downloading with an optional WMS data connection for loading data sets directly into your GIS software. Since they are now approaching almost 3000 different data sets, (all with Open Government Licence use) it is pretty pointless to list them all here, however here are a few highlights of the data sets are available as WMS services:

  • Administrative Boundaries – This web map service offers seamless, administrative boundary data for the province of British Columbia.
  • Air and Climate – Data relating to patterns of wind, temperature, precipitation, etc., over a period of time, for a specified area.
  • Base Mapping – Seamless, provincial topographic base maps at four scales
  • Geodetic Survey – Data relating to the geospatial reference used for positioning within the Province.
  • Geology and Soils – Data relating to the structure and composition of the earth, its physical and organic history.
  • Imagery – Orthophotography, hill shades and regional imagery covering various portions of British Columbia.
  • Imagery – Spot 15m satellite imagery & Landsat imagery covering various portions of BC.
  • Land Ownership and Status – Data relating to the ownership of land and the parcels into which the land has been subdivided.
  • Land Use Plans – Data resource management direction as well as designation of resource management units for the purposes of
  • Land Use Planning.
  • Mining and Petroleum – Data relating to the inventory, planning, management, and monitoring of the extraction and depletion of mineral, sand, gravel, coal and petroleum resources.
  • Physical Infrastructure – Data about human-made physical structures, which support economic and social activities. e.g.: utilities, communication, transportation, buildings.
  • Wildlife and Plant Species – Data relating to the inventory of wildlife, and/or plant species (including species at risk), and the quantity and quality of a species habitat.
  • And Much More – Click here to check out the rest of the data sets

“Start a project” Feature

Screen Grab DataBC - The "Start a project" feature

The “Start a project” feature on the site was kind of a neat, it helps to inspire or encourage people into generating their own applications, maps and research. The little interactive tool kind of coaches people that need some guidance or a little push to get their projects rolling. It shows how dedicated the team of the DataBC program are as they try to inspire more people to get involved and use what they have to offer.

It is not just the general public and enthusiastic geomatics professionals that have been making use of the DataBC site. various other BC government programs and organizations have also been getting involved utilizing some of the data sets to provide on line mapping services to enhance their own web sites and services.

Some examples are the Ministry of Justice that offers a “BC Court Finder” web map  and BCParks that created the Things to Do & See in BC web map.

Check out what DataBC has to offer or download some British Columbia data sets and get started on your project.

And if you can not find the data you are looking for and want more British Columbia data, then be sure to request the data as the site boasts that they are open to communication (through their web site & social media) and feedback and want to hear from those that get involved or have something to share. In order to continue providing good Open Data Sets they need people to let them know what matters most and what their citizens need access to.

Relevant Links to DataBC program

Here is a summary of some relevant Links to DataBC program documents and services:

Main DataBC Site: http://www.data.gov.bc.ca
Their public facing geographic services website: http://www.data.gov.bc.ca/dbc/geo/
The DataBC concept of operations: http://pub.data.gov.bc.ca/documents/DataBC_Concept_of_Operations_-_V1.0.pdf
Open Information and Open Data Policy: http://www.cio.gov.bc.ca/local/cio/kis/pdfs/open_data.pdf
BC Provincial OG Licence: http://www.data.gov.bc.ca/dbc/admin/terms.page?

Another page describing the other Geomatics related services available from DataBC will follow soon.

Making Maps with Google Fusion Tables

Making Maps with Google Fusion TablesWorking with Google Fusion Tables is a great way for data integration from various input data sources, visualization and collaborative management. Fusion Tables allow you to import various data from files with formats such as CSV, KML, and / or spreadsheets formats (XLS or ODS). The tabular information in the Fusion Tables are then produced into a map through a process known as Geocoding.

Making Maps with Google Fusion Tables

This little informative GIS tutorial takes a look at Google Fusions Tables, shows you how to import geographic data from a web page, and then shows you how to create a map from the data.Basically this method will store your data and create spatial maps for you without having to buy or install any GIS software.

Making Maps with Google Fusion Tables  -Click http://gislounge.com/how-to-import-data-make-maps-google-fusion-tables/ to continue


DataAppeal Provides Highly Effective & Interactive 3D Maps

logo DataAppealRecently a fairly new mapping tool called DataAppeal was brought to my attention. DataAppeal renders art and design with geo-based data into highly effective and interactive 3D maps. Unlike many other GIS analysis tools on the market this one has been designed to be a simplified easy to use tool so, no previous experience or training is required. Simply upload your data and use DataAppeal to transform rows and rows of boring data into fascinating and beautiful 3D images.

“DataAppeal transforms geo-referenced data by allowing users to generate, render, analyze, and share information through highly effective and visually powerful 3D and animated maps, yet is extremely simple to use. It takes the guess work out of generating information by instantly mapping any uploaded data. “

dataappeal Fiery texture with carpet1. Upload Your Data
– sign up to the free service
– download the basic template file
– add your data to the CSV file
– upload the CSV data set
2. Customize Your Map
– click the icon to import the data from your file into the system (if there are problems with the data then the system will alert you here and you will need to check or reformat your file)
– click the icon to load your data into a default map
– customize the look of your data and map with the various available settings and options
3. Share Your Maps
– Use icons provided to share your maps on Twitter, FaceBook, Email or on your own site or blog
– You can also download a Google Earth file

“We just released an updated version of DataAppeal, with new functionality to make it even easier and much faster to use! We added new features to provide new ways to visualize data sets. You now have the option of layering multiple maps so you can quickly compare different data sets. You can also use the new color gradient feature to quickly see common data points- all on the google earth platform.”

dataappeal tree cover Toronto

All these features will continue to be free for a limited time (in beta mode), so you can see how useful they are when analyzing your data.-we also launched a new website, with 3D data-map image samples and demo videos.

“We would love it if your followers would test it and provide us feedback”

The basic features will remain free always with the more advanced features such as color gradients, texture styles, ability to layer maps and the ability to upload larger data sets will be part of the premium service. So now is a good time to sign up with  DataAppeal and create some 3D interactive maps of your own data, and then share your feedback and experiences with other CanadianGIS.com readers.

Here are sme sample data sets that were rendered through the Dataappeal web-based application showcasing some of the various styles and features available.

Toronto Population- http://dataappeal.com/explore/featured-maps/toronto-population.html

Great Lakes Parks – http://dataappeal.com/explore/featured-maps/great-lakes-parks.html