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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 .