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 esri.com/sag.