DataBC and GeoBC Receive Esri Canada’s Award of Excellence in GIS

VICTORIA, Esri Canada User Conference – May 12, 2016 – Esri Canada has presented DataBC and GeoBC with Awards of Excellence for embracing cloud-based geographic information system (GIS) technology as an efficient means of delivering information and services across the British Columbia Government (BC Government) and with the public. Recognizing the unique value of the technology, DataBC has created a provincial governance model and sponsored a provincial service that enables ministries and departments across the BC Government to leverage ArcGIS Online, Esri’s cloud GIS platform, effectively. Using ArcGIS Online, GeoBC has pioneered numerous Web maps and apps that address the business needs of their clients.

“Data privacy and security are some of the top concerns and barriers to adopting cloud GIS,” noted Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “Organizations that forego the advantages of using cloud platforms because of these concerns essentially impede progress and innovation. We recognize DataBC for their commitment to ensuring that citizens have consistent, high quality and valuable interactions with BC Government data and services in the most effective, compliant and efficient manner possible. As well, we commend GeoBC for using ArcGIS Online to develop Web maps and apps that help the Province deliver better services to citizens.”

DataBC is the custodian of the Province’s spatial data infrastructure and encourages broad data sharing across government and with the public, as open data whenever possible. They manage the BC Geographic Warehouse and the BC Data Catalogue, which provide easy access to government data, applications and APIs. These datasets are under multiple license types, including thousands under BC’s Open Government License.

To facilitate a more open and collaborative environment, DataBC began evaluating Esri’s cloud GIS technology in 2013. As the system matured, they embarked on another feasibility project in 2015 that involved consulting with other organizations that are using ArcGIS Online, evaluating the system’s infrastructure and security practices, completing privacy impact and security and risk assessments, and drafting a governance model and management processes for the deployment of ArcGIS Online as a single service across the BC Government.

Significant effort was put into ensuring that DataBC services respect citizens’ privacy, while also being at the forefront of technology to enable increased collaboration and innovation in support of economic development. By creating this ArcGIS Online framework and data governance model, the Province is widening the sharing of authoritative government data through an additional channel. 

DataBC has launched BC’s Map Hub, a provincial service that establishes one “front door” through ArcGIS Online for citizens to explore, visualize and interact with the Province’s spatial data and maps. BC Data Catalogue metadata is linked with data registered in ArcGIS Online. Content is served up from the government using Web services. The service also features an online collaboration space where internal and external partners can work together on project-based initiatives in a governed, unified manner.

The Province configured the ArcGIS Online security model to tap into its IDIR authentication service, to streamline user management with the intent of providing role-based user access to authoritative content that is fully attributed and provides clear terms of use.

GeoBC creates and manages geospatial information and products, and provides research, spatial analysis and data visualization services across all natural resource sector agencies in BC. With the significant advances in Web and mobile technologies, their clients’ demand for interactive maps accessible through laptops, tablets and smartphones has increased dramatically.

To provide their partners with an efficient and easy way to access and interact with data and maps, GeoBC began leveraging ArcGIS Online in 2013. Since then, they have developed more than 50 Web maps and 10 mobile apps that integrate various types of data in support of better decision-making. These are used to provide the public with valuable information on various topics including road closures and conditions, heritage and culture, transportation projects, agriculture capabilities and land use management constraints in BC. As well, GeoBC has created internal Web maps and apps that improve government planning and operations in areas such as silviculture, emergency response and health care management.                                     

GeoBC’s use of Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform allows the Province to support dynamic client needs in an agile manner and boosts productivity, enabling improved and more efficient communication of complicated spatial information.

To learn more about ArcGIS Online, 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, 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 joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2012 and became a Gold Standard winner in 2015. The company has also been named to the Branham300. More information can be found at Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn


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