ESRI Canada's Community Maps Program Promotes Broad Sharing of Geographic Information

Program Provides Free, Ready Access to Authoritative Geographic Information, Fostering Innovation and Enhancing the Development of GIS Applications

June 15, 2010 -- CALGARY - Canadian Geomatics Conference 2010 - June 15, 2010 - ESRI Canada today launched the ESRI Canada Community Maps Program, which facilitates the sharing of geographic information among governments and the public.  The program provides free public access to online national and community basemaps, promoting the development of geographic information system (GIS) applications and fostering innovation.  Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada contributed geographic content for the national basemap, and the City of Toronto has become the first municipality to participate in the community maps program.  

"This program provides a cost-effective and efficient framework for governments to contribute their geographic information and share it with the public to collectively address significant challenges, seize opportunities and position Canada for sustainable growth," said Alex Miller, President, ESRI Canada.  

The ESRI Canada Community Maps Program encourages local government organizations throughout Canada to contribute geographic information to be published as community maps on ArcGIS Online (http://www.arcgis.com/).  The community maps are designed to be used as general-purpose basemaps supporting a wide variety of applications, including economic development, disaster management, elections planning and community outreach.  Through the program, participating organizations benefit from reducing the cost of making their data widely available.  Users gain access to high-quality, detailed basemaps that they can integrate with additional data layers to develop new applications.  

Available maps are rendered with uniform cartography, cached and integrated into a World Topographic Map in ArcGIS Online.  The global map is compiled using best available authoritative data from numerous sources worldwide.  Currently, it includes coverage for Canada from a scale of ~1:72,000 down to ~1:18,000, based on information provided by NRCan and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  The world topographic map also showcases geographic content from the City of Toronto, which has joined the program as part of its open data initiative.

ESRI Canada will work with cities and government agencies interested in the program to assemble their data into a standardized geodatabase, which will be used to author a multi-scale map.  This will then be used to generate map caches that will be integrated into ESRI's World Topographic Map.  Members retain ownership of the data they contribute, which include imagery, parcels, digital elevation models, buildings, roads, administrative and city/neighbourhood boundaries, transit, landmark areas and points of interest.  

For more information about the program, please contact Email Contact.

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About ESRI Canada
Founded in 1984, ESRI Canada provides enterprise geographic information systems (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 Miner and Miner, Azteca 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.  Information about ESRI Canada can be found at http://www.esricanada.com/.

Media contact:
Joy Chan
PR Specialist
ESRI Canada
416-386-6488
Email Contact
http://www.esricanada.com/



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