British Columbia Receives Special Achievement Award for Exceptional Application of Geospatial Technology

Province's Spatial Data Infrastructure Improves Access to Data for Better Decision-Making  

SAN DIEGO, CA – July 26, 2012 – Esri Canada congratulates the Province of British Columbia for receiving the Esri Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award yesterday at the Esri International User Conference (Esri UC). This award acknowledges the Province's vision, leadership and innovative use of Esri's geographic information system (GIS) technology. The Province has created and maintains a spatial data infrastructure (SDI) that broadens access to provincial data to meet the needs of its citizens.

“Geographic information is a strategic asset for decision-making,” says Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “Through the BC Geographic Warehouse, British Columbia has built a strong foundation for delivering enterprise geographic data and services that empower government, the private sector and citizens to make better decisions and become more productive. It's a significant achievement that will help the Province accomplish its goals.” 

“Our clients and the public increasingly want to geographically enable their data to make use of location in decision-making,” says Elaine Dawson, Director, DataBC. “Our enterprise-wide spatial data infrastructure and geographic platform services enable us to maximize these opportunities. The capacity afforded by our SDI, to provide access to and share data across the province, encourages business innovation, increases efficiencies, reduces costs and improves overall citizen service delivery. It's an honour to be recognized by our peers and the international Geomatics community for our efforts.”

The Province recognizes that to become faster and more efficient, it needs to optimize the use of all its available data assets and social capital, both within and outside of government. Enabling this is the BC Geographic Warehouse, a robust SDI containing more than 3,000 datasets that support effective government service delivery, land-use planning, environmental stewardship, emergency response and public safety, economic development, community health, transportation and infrastructure management. The SDI leverages Esri's ArcGIS technology to enable information to be shared across the government enterprise and with the public as open data, wherever possible. This has improved access to authoritative data for decision-makers and reduced costs through shared data, services and infrastructure.

The SDI has also given the Province the ability to rapidly deploy more than 140 applications, support over 1,700 OGC Web Map Services, and provide a consistent data architecture for decision support staff to access.  Transformation of business processes to incorporate geospatial information began with foundational work accomplished with the Natural Resource sector and expansion continues opening up new analysis and improved service delivery for other traditionally non-spatial sectors of government such as Justice, Health, Education and Social Services. DataBC's introduction of geospatial technologies to these sectors coupled with the proactive release of open data both lead to more informed decision-making and empowers citizens. 

"Each year, the SAG Awards highlight extraordinary achievements and efforts to improve our world," says Esri President Jack Dangermond. "At Esri, we're always deeply impressed with the innovation of our users. This recognition is well deserved for how they've applied geospatial technology to address the needs of their industries and communities. They're defining GIS best practices."

British Columbia joins Canadian organizations Barrick Gold Corporation and Dalhousie University – GISciences Centre, as well as several organizations from around the world honoured at the Esri UC. The honorees span industries including agriculture, cartography, climate change, defence and intelligence, economic development, education, government, health and human services, telecommunications and utilities. For more information about the 2012 SAG Award winners, including project information and photos, please visit


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, Telvent, Cityworks – Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners.  Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada and has been named as one of the Top 250 Canadian IT Companies and Top 25 IT Professional Services Providers in Canada by the Branham Group, as well as one of Computer Dealer News' Top 100 IT Solution Providers in Canada.  Information about Esri Canada can be found at

About Esri
Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS technology, Esri software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at

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