ESRI Canada's Community Maps Program Gains Ground

More than 40 Government Organizations Contribute Geographic Information to Create a Free National Web Basemap

TORONTO – May 24, 2011 – ESRI Canada today announced that its Community Maps Program is succeeding in creating a detailed, online national basemap of Canada.  The program provides a cost-effective and efficient framework for governments to contribute their geographic information to be shared with the public.  Launched in June 2010, the Web map now includes content from more than 40 federal, provincial and municipal organizations across the country.

“Having free access to a detailed national basemap opens up opportunities for governments and the public to collaborate and develop innovative applications that address community concerns,” said Alex Miller, president, ESRI Canada.  “Governments can reduce the cost of making their information widely available and increase the benefit from their open data by contributing to this program.  It also provides the public with easily accessible, high-quality and accurate national maps that they can use for their own mapping applications.”

The Web map features highly accurate content from authoritative sources including Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Governments of Ontario and New Brunswick, and numerous cities across the country such as Toronto (Ontario), Moncton (New Brunswick), St. John's (Newfoundland), St. Albert (Alberta) and the Township of Langley (British Columbia).  The map provides detailed coverage of both urban and rural areas, and is updated regularly.  It is offered with an open, unrestricted license and can be used immediately to develop new maps or enhance existing applications.  Recently, it was used by Renew Canada magazine to develop, a mapping application that presents Canada's top 100 infrastructure projects.

"Infrastructure is a leading indicator of economic growth, and this mapping application makes it easier to understand which sectors and regions are experiencing rapid expansion,” said Chris Tully, associate publisher, ReNew Canada.  "The free detailed basemaps on ESRI's site allowed us to develop a compelling application without requiring significant resources.” 

ESRI Canada has received positive feedback from members about the program:

“ESRI Canada's Community Maps Program gives you quick access to a free, accurate and visually appealing basemap, as well as a framework to do more with your geographic data. All online maps should conform to this higher standard.” - Jean-Guy Leger, Senior Business Solutions Architect & GIS Coordinator, City of Moncton

“Besides providing direct access to the Township's mapping data, ESRI Canada's Community Maps Program offers a means of distributing data through third-party software developers such as those who develop smart phone applications.  In a time of fiscal restraint, this allows the Township to leverage outside resources to distribute information to current and future citizens, and encourage economic development.”  - Derik Woo, Geomatics Services Manager, Township of Langley

Government agencies can contribute data such as imagery, parcels, digital elevation models, buildings, roads, administrative and city/neighbourhood boundaries, transit, landmark areas and points of interest. They retain ownership of the data they contribute, which is integrated into an online World Topographic Map maintained by ESRI.  To keep the map accurate, ESRI Canada has created the Community Map Exchange, a pilot project that will allow for two-way dynamic updating of data from the contributor's database to ESRI's ArcGIS Online Web site, where the maps are hosted.

Watch a video of ESRI Canada's Community Maps Program.  For more information, 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 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

Media contact:
Joy Chan
PR Specialist
ESRI Canada
Email Contact

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