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Geomatics is one of today’s fastest-growing information technology sectors, helping Canadians deal with a variety of important questions, including:
- public safety — by ensuring that police, fire departments, local 911 authorities and other critical care first-responders have access to accurate, up-to-date and standardized location-based information;
- public health — by enabling local authorities and hospitals to track and project pandemics, such as H1N1;
- agricultural production — through improved crop management based on a better understanding of geography, geology, hydrology and climate; and
- infrastructure and resource development — by integrating enhanced mapping and geological information to decision-making processes, which consider economic benefits and environmental concerns.
Geomatics technologies are being developed and improved through Natural Resources Canada’s GeoConnections program, which led the development of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI), an open, online resource that improves the sharing, access and use of open geospatial information — information tied to geographic locations in Canada. Users of this data are able to combine data from diverse sources to enable better decision-making, while enabling the creation of powerful applications and products for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
Canada is also widely recognized for its leadership in open data, through the CGDI and with all mapping products. Open Data is a concept that makes data freely available in useful formats for reuse by governments, citizens, voluntary organizations and the private sector, enabling them to find or develop information that is of value to them. Open Data is a key strategy by the federal government to create socio-economic opportunities and enable citizens to participate more fully in the process of government.
GeoConnections is funding six contribution agreements worth $1.6 million for projects aimed at helping organizations develop tools and policies that will better facilitate geospatial information sharing over the CGDI:
- CuberWerx ($325,000) — A leader in the field of GIS web service standards that will create a shared repository for managing multi-partner imagery;
- OpenNorth ($174,860) — A non-profit organization that is developing an application for reporting road events such as road closures;
- ESRI Canada ($499,999) — An international geospatial engineering company that will create a shared repository for managing geospatial foundation data;
- Canadian Policy and Public Interest Clinic ($180,000) — A non-profit organization that will provide access to legal tools and policy to share and reuse geospatial data;
- National Research Council ($319,900) — A federal agency responsible for research and development that will build geospatial models and tools to support municipal infrastructure; and
- Cybera ($140,000) — A non-profit organization that will create an access portal for partners to share information about water and other environmental data.
To learn more about GeoConnections, visit www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/geomatics/canadas-spatial-data-infrastructure/8906.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Natural Resources Canada
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