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Government of Saskatchewan Wins Esri Award for GIS Excellence

Government of Saskatchewan Wins Esri Award for GIS Excellence

Esri Canada has recognized the Government of Saskatchewan with an Award of Excellence for its outstanding use of geographic information system (GIS) technology. The Government leveraged GIS for the Saskatchewan Enterprise Geo Database project, a spatial data warehouse that consolidates more than 350 datasets from various government archives and makes the information widely available.

“Saskatchewan’s enterprise GIS is a significant asset for the province,” said Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “With better information sharing, the government and the public can increase collaboration to support various concerns, including economic growth, public safety and environmental sustainability within the province.”

Before the consolidated geodatabase came online earlier this year, all of the Government’s datasets were managed in disparate systems, which greatly inhibited the sharing of spatial data. This siloed approach led to costly data duplication, inaccuracies and productivity losses, as staff struggled to find information and verify its accuracy.

“In the past, it was difficult for end users to locate spatial information relevant to their business requirements because ministries managed their own datasets,” said Ken Yurach, manager, Provincial Office of Geomatics Coordination, Government of Saskatchewan. “With our enterprise GIS, we’re now able to easily distribute vital, location-based information that our ministries and the public need to make timely, informed decisions. The system also provides all of our internal and external customers with a range of sophisticated mapping and data services.”

Government of Saskatchewan GIS

Government of Saskatchewan GISThe Government worked with Esri Canada’s Professional Services team to identify and catalogue the province’s spatial data holdings and deploy ArcGIS technology for the geodatabase. ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online are used to serve up spatial data and mapping services to internal and external stakeholders. As well, the team provided support in establishing a comprehensive set of data governance practices for maintaining datasets in the new system.

The Government has already put its new spatial data warehouse to good use by offering a selection of maps and datasets related to the environment, agriculture, forestry, geology, health and social services, mining, recreation, transportation, wildlife and other topics on its public-facing website.

The Government is also using the enterprise system to leverage all of the province’s spatial data holdings for more detailed, authoritative analysis and map-based application development. ArcGIS provides a secure operational environment in which staff can prepare, test and edit spatial datasets, as well as deploy mapping services on-premises or in the cloud. In addition, Esri’s scalable platform supports the province’s growing library of remotely sensed data and aerial photography.

About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography. The company distributes the world’s leading GIS software from Esri, Schneider Electric, Cityworks–Azteca Systems, LLC and other technology partners. Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada. Esri Canada joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed companies in 2012 and became a Gold Standard winner in 2015.  More information can be found at esri.ca


Bring Spatial Skills to Canadian Children: Become a GIS Ambassador

Do you have a passion for geographic education and recognize the importance of understanding maps, GIS and spatial thinking? Then you should consider becoming a GIS Ambassador

“Spatial thinking involves understanding the relationships between objects based on location and learning the importance of answering the question “where” to understand “why” things occur. GIS technology helps develop spatial thinking by enabling people to visualize information as maps and see patterns and trends from within the data. To help bring spatial skills to children in K-12 schools across Canada, Esri Canada invites professional GIS users, educators and university and college students to volunteer their skills and knowledge through the Program.” [Esri Canada]

Bring Spatial Skills to Canadian Children, Become a GIS AmbassadorEsri Canada’s GIS Ambassador program was designed to inspire geospatial minded people to work together with educators and youth organizations to help them better encourage young people to understand, use and do more with geographic information.

As of April 2016, more than 930 schools have registered into the GIS Ambassador program and more than 125 volunteers have signed up to become GIS Ambassadors (including Esri Canada staff, university & college students, geospatial professionals and many more) – see the map below …

Who can become a GIS Ambassador?

Anyone who recognizes the significance of geography and has an interest in helping young people can join. As a GIS Ambassador you volunteer to work with a school, classroom or a club / organization and provide support that can help educators and youth develop geographic thinking skills.

The program is always looking for new people, so consider volunteering some of your time to help engage the next generation of GIS specialists allowing them to develop a deeper understanding of the world around them. For more details visit http://esri.ca/en/content/gis-ambassador-program or contact k12@esri.ca

Get involved in your community by supporting schools and local youth groups as they explore their world using GIS.

Spatial Thinking is critical to Problem Solving

Geospatial professionals, educators & students encouraged to help youth develop problem-solving skills using technology through the GIS Ambassador Program

Bring Spatial Skills to Canadian Children, Become a GIS AmbassadorTORONTO – September 17, 2015. Spatial thinking involves understanding the relationships between objects based on their location and learning the importance of answering the question “where” to understand “why” things occur.

Geographic information system (GIS) technology helps develop spatial thinking by enabling people to visualize information as maps and see patterns and trends. To help bring spatial skills to children in K-12 schools across Canada, Esri Canada invites professional GIS users, educators and university and college students to volunteer their skills and knowledge through the GIS Ambassador Program.

“Spatial thinking is critical to problem solving,” said Dr. Brent Hall, director of education and research, Esri Canada. “It improves children’s ability to learn other skills such as math, science and engineering and develop a better understanding of the world around them. By becoming a GIS Ambassador, volunteers can help Canadian youth build valuable skills so they can succeed in solving environmental, economic and social problems for a more sustainable future.”

Larisa Johnstone is a GIS Ambassador at the Dr. David Suzuki Public School in Windsor, Ontario. Passionate about geography and GIS, she began volunteering her time by teaching her daughter’s elementary class about basic mapping, cardinal directions and how she uses maps at work. As a GIS/CAD Technician at the City of Windsor, she creates Web apps for MappMyCity, the City’s Web site and provides mapping and analysis services to the local fire, planning and parks departments.

“Using GIS and maps is important because they allow children to see the world beyond the boundaries of their neighbourhood,” noted Larisa. “It encourages them to ask questions about the world in which they live and also to find answers to those questions.”

Larisa’s session was so well-received by both students and teachers that she has been invited by the school to volunteer and teach elementary and high school students how to use GIS to analyze and solve problems. This school year, she is working with a kindergarten class to create a story map that showcases the school’s environmental initiatives. She will also help a high school class create their own story map around the theme of local and global sustainable development. Read more about Larisa’s experience as a GIS Ambassador in this blog.

Esri Canada connects GIS Ambassadors with schools in their community and provides a wealth of teaching resources including lesson plans, tutorials and activities for students. Interested participants may contact the Education and Research group at k12@esri.ca or visit http://esri.ca/en/content/gis-ambassador-program

About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography. The company distributes the world’s leading GIS software from Esri, Schneider Electric, Cityworks–Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners. Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada. Esri Canada has joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed companies and has been named to the Branham300. Information about the company can be found at esri.ca. Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Esri Canada Celebrates 30 Years of Geographic Innovation

Esri Canada marks 30 years of operations this year with a continued commitment to provide innovative enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions based on Esri’s ArcGIS platform. ArcGIS has evolved from a niche technology for mapping professionals into an open, pervasive Web GIS platform that everyone can use. It runs in the cloud, on enterprise servers or both computing environments, enabling users to easily mash up basemaps and data into intelligent Web maps that can be shared within and outside their organization.arcinfo

“Over the past 30 years, GIS has become far easier to use and can now be deployed in the cloud and accessed on mobile devices,” notes Alex Miller, president and founder, Esri Canada. “The technology has also advanced to incorporate real-time data collection and analysis, providing a common operational picture to entire organizations. These developments make it easier for people to use and share maps, data and analytical tools to make informed, collaborative decisions. While access to the technology has changed, one thing remains the same: GIS continues to enable users to solve problems in new ways.”

Esri Canada Celebrates 30 Years of Geographic Innovation

Alex Miller founded Esri Canada in 1984. From a small office in Toronto with six employees, the company has grown into a multi-million dollar business that employs more than 330 staff in 16 locations across Canada. Its customer base of more than 10,000 organizations has expanded from its initial wins in the forestry and agriculture sectors to all industries including government, business and education.  This significant growth is testament to the company’s unique ability in applying mapping and analysis to nearly every concern. In 2010, for advancing the use of GIS technology in numerous industries across Canada, the company received the Ontario Business Achievement Award for Innovation in 2010.

Increasing government efficiency and transparency Alex Miller - Esri CanadaEsri Canada began its foray into the municipal sector in 1985, when it developed the County of Oxford’s Land Related Information System to support land-use planning. The system integrates and provides access to information such as property and infrastructure data from various government systems. It received the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Exemplary Systems in Government Award in 1988 and became a model for Canadian municipalities. Today, Esri’s ArcGIS platform is the GIS standard in all levels of government.

To help local governments deploy GIS quickly, Esri Canada provides ArcGIS for Canadian Municipalities. This series of free app templates helps improve transparency, increase citizen engagement and reduce the costs of disseminating information such as election results and government services. In 2010, the company launched the Esri Canada Community Maps Program, which is succeeding in building a detailed, national Web basemap for Canada using authoritative data contributed by government organizations across the country. The basemap is free for governments and the public to use, and speeds up the creation of mapping apps.

The company also developed the Esri Canada Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) solution that enables real-time tracking of fleet vehicles. The hosted solution improves the safety and productivity of municipal field operations including snow removal, tree pruning, roadside mowing and road repairs. As well, Esri Canada recently introduced Assessment Analyst, which allows assessors to incorporate various data and 3D modeling into their analysis to increase the accuracy of property valuations. These pioneering solutions are helping to revolutionize government processes and create new opportunities for increasing efficiencies and revenues for customers.

Improving business productivity ESRI ArcGIS 10
J.D. Irving in New Brunswick was the first forestry company in North America to use Esri technology for the sustainable management of forests back in 1983. They consolidated numerous GIS apps and datasets across 10 regional offices into a single enterprise GIS in 2010. In addition to centrally managing their forestry operations for watercourse buffers, habitat and growing forests, the system now supports their other business areas including transportation, shipbuilding, retail and agriculture.

Today, Esri technology is used by banks, insurers, real estate developers, manufacturers, airports and hospitals to improve productivity, manage risk and effectively deliver products and services. Esri Canada offers the Esri Business Analyst (Canadian Edition), which enables organizations to use location analytics with demographic and business data to gain a deeper understanding of their customers, competition, market and trends. To make it even easier for business users to incorporate GIS into their daily workflows, the company also provides Esri Maps for Location Analytics. These solutions integrate mapping and analytical tools directly into popular systems for business intelligence (IBM Cognos, SAP BusinessObjects and MicroStrategy), customer relationship management (Dynamics CRM and Salesforce), and productivity and collaboration (Microsoft Office and SharePoint).

Advancing geographic education
Esri CanadaSince 1997, Esri Canada has offered education programs that provide affordable access to GIS technology to publicly-funded Canadian schools from kindergarten to grade 12, as well as universities and colleges. It recently introduced a GIS in Education Grant Program, which awards software and training grants to five K-12 schools every year to expand the use of GIS in the classroom. The company also develops free teaching resources that help educators incorporate GIS courses into their curriculum and enhance students’ critical thinking skills.

To promote the pursuit of GIS careers, Esri Canada awards more than $2 million in cash, software and training grants annually to students in more than 50 Canadian universities and colleges through its GIS Scholarships Program. The company also provides outstanding undergraduate and graduate GIS students with an opportunity to jumpstart their career through the Associate GIS Professional Program. Students are given a 12-month, full-time paid position at Esri Canada where they gain cross-functional experience in areas including professional services, training and technical support.

Building up the community and the environment

“The innovative culture and entrepreneurial spirit we’ve fostered among our staff, as well as the partnerships we’ve built, have allowed us to grow our company and industry over the past 30 years,” continues Mr. Miller. “Whether it’s enabling open government, identifying the best site for a new facility or improving education through interactive learning, our goal is to continue providing solutions that make a positive impact on society.”

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the spring issue of ArcNorth News, Esri Canada’s customer magazine, will focus on the company’s three decades of success. Customers and partners are also invited to celebrate with the company at the 2014 Esri Canada User Conferences, which will be held in 16 Canadian cities throughout the year.

Esri Canada logo

About Esri Canada

Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.  The company distributes the world’s leading GIS software from Esri, Schneider Electric, Cityworks – Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners.  Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada.  Esri Canada has joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed companies and has been named to the Branham300.  Information about the company can be found at esri.ca.

 

Esri Canada Announces GIS in Education Grant Program

Esri Canada Announces GIS in Education Grant Program

GIS in Education Grant Program

TORONTO, November 20, 2013 – The most recent national survey by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society revealed that one-third of adult Canadians are “geographically illiterate” and struggle to read a map. The situation is much worse for young Canadians. To help Canadian students develop spatial thinking skills, Esri Canada today announced the GIS in Education Grant program. The program will award up to five grants of Esri geographic information system (GIS) software and training every year to Canadian schools teaching kindergarten to grade 12.

“We live in a highly interconnected world, where geographic literacy has become as critical as reading and writing,” remarked Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “For Canada to be globally competitive, we need to train our future leaders to think geographically at an early age. With this GIS in Education Grant, we’re providing a solid foundation for developing spatial awareness and critical thinking among Canadian students from kindergarten to high school.”

GIS technology is used in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning of many subjects across numerous disciplines. It helps students describe the location of things and events, examine why things are where they are, and explore “what-if” scenarios to predict change. GIS is an engaging, interactive learning technology that enables students to ask deeper questions about global, regional and local issues. It helps them build valuable spatial problem-solving skills, which are in demand in post-secondary education, in the community and in the workplace.

The GIS in Education Grant program provides Esri’s ArcGIS software and training necessary to implement GIS in the classroom. The Grant provides:

  • desktop and online GIS software for up to 500 computers in a school
  • teachers with the opportunity to install and use the software on their home computer for curriculum development
  • software maintenance for  2 years
  • up to 3 free desk copies of any Esri Press book for every school term
  • access to Esri Canada’s education resources
  • mentoring and support from Esri Canada’s Education and Research group.

The program is open to Canadian schools that do not currently have a license of Esri’s ArcGIS software. The grant can be awarded to a school only once. To submit an application, visit: esri.ca/gisedgrant.  

About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.  The company distributes the world’s leading GIS software from Esri, Schneider Electric, Cityworks – Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners.  Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada.  Esri Canada has joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed companies and has been named to the Branham300. Information about the company can be found at esri.ca.

St. John’s Declaration (Help Improve Geographic Literacy in Canada)

Last month at the Canadian Association of Geographers conference in St.John’s, Newfoundland, a group of concerned geography educators came together to discuss deficiencies in geographic knowledge, work on a strategy and create an action plan to help geographic education in Canada. St. John’s Declaration is a document that resulted from the meeting that will be sent out to all the major educational institutes and professional organizations to seek their endorsements for the cause.

“The Canadian GIS & Geomatics website has been a long standing supporter of Geography & GIS Awareness in Canada, and in support geographic learning, teaching and research that is the foundation of the Canadian geomatics sector, supports the St. John’s Declaration for Advancing Geographic Education.”

Alberta’s Changing Political Landscape

Alberta's changing political web map

On April 23, 2012 thousands of electors headed to the polls for Alberta’s 28th provincial election. In all 87 candidates were elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, 4 more then 2008 due to an increase in the provinces growing population. The Progressive Conservative party won a majority with 61 of the 87 elected ridings.

More information about Alberta general elections can be found at the Elections Alberta website. Instead I will continue to discuss Alberta’s 28th provincial election but as it relates to mapping, but what does a provincial election have to do with mapping?

Well… ESRI Canada has what they refer to as a Public Map Gallery that is a collection of custom web maps created by their mapping team featuring Canadian community maps, Canadian election results, and various census data. Here they leveraged some of their online spatial tools and features available together with public domain data to create an interactive online mapping application of Alberta’s Changing Political Landscape.

The online interactive political map can help people visualize the results from Alberta’s past three provincial elections all together in one interactive browser window. A similar online mapping application like this one was also created for the last federal election in 2011.

“The Esri Canada Mapping Team who is responsible for the construction of a series of Canadian Community Maps and web applications hosted on ArcGIS.com. The Esri Canada Community Maps Program provides a cost-effective and efficient framework for organizations to share their geographic information with the public.” http://maps.esri.ca/gallery/

Alberta's changing political web map

Using the interactive mapping application of Alberta’s Changing Political Landscape a person can view results from Alberta’s 2004, 2008, 2012 elections and when they zoom into an area of interest in one map window, all the other windows will zoom to the same level automatically making it very easy to compare the results from place to place.

An additional information tool is provided that allows people to click on any electoral riding and the basic information for that one appears below the map, containing information such as the elected party, the MLA, the electoral district name, number of electors, voter turnout etc. To check out the online Alberta map for your self go to http://maps.esri.ca/ElectoralMaps/AB_GeneralElections/


Do you know about any Canadian online web maps that are not covered by CanadianGIS.com? Then let me know and I will look into adding it to our database.

Esri Canada Dev Meet Up event in Toronto

Esri Canada

Event: Dev Meet Up event
Date: December 1, 2011 (6:00 PM – 9:00 PM)
Location: The Raq (739 Queen Street West, Toronto – Ontario)

Esri Canada Dev Meet Up event in Toronto

Details:  Join Esri Canada is launching its first Dev Meet Up event in Toronto on Thursday, Dec. 1.  Their aim is to bring together key people from the web development community to help exchange ideas and discuss importance of spatial accuracy in our rapidly evolving online GIS industry.

The Dev Meet Up is planned to be a technical and informal social event for developers with various demonstrations and presentations to help showcase how users have been leveraging geo-spatial technology for their clients and customers. More information on keynote speaker and lightning talks will be available as the event gets closer.

If you are a  web developer who uses the Esri platform or know of someone who would like to learn how they can leverage location-based services using Esri technology for Web development, then please feel free to spread the word.

Contact Info:  Alia Kotb (Marketing Events Lead at Esri Canada)

Note this is a free event but does require registration so go to http://www.meetup.com/EC-Developers-Meetup/

ArcGIS Server & Bing Maps Token Service Update

I received a notice from ESRI Canada recently about Changes that are being made to the Microsoft Bing Maps Token Service next spring and thought that I should share it with others in the GIS community incase someone did not receive it or was not aware of the changes taking place with ArcGIS Server and Bing Maps.

ESRI LogoThe change is mainly related to the move over to ArcGIS 10 Server and should perhaps only affect customers that still using ArcGIS 9.3.1 Server with Bing Maps services. The previous version accessed Bing Maps using a unique Bing Maps user id and password to retrieve a maps token. On March 30, 2012, this Bing Maps Token Service is being discontinued by Microsoft and will be shut down. After this date, all user ids and passwords will no longer be valid, and any applications that were connected to the Bing Maps Token Service will no longer work.

All ArcGIS Server users will then use a Bing Maps key and an ArcGIS Server client that supports Bing Maps keys. A Bing Maps key is a unique identification string and is used in place of the token when making requests. Customers either need to upgrade to ArcGIS 10 Server or request a Bing Maps key from ESRI Canada customer care. Those that upgrade to ArcGIS 10 Server will notice that a Bing Maps key is already included.

For more information on using Bing Maps with ArcGIS Server can reference the ArcGIS Online and Bing Maps guide or contact ESRI technical support at 1-877-441-0337 or support@esricanada.com.