Analyzing geographical data in British Columbia (B.C.) is a little easier now that the province has launched an improved online tool to help users explore digital maps.
iMapBC 2.0 includes more than 3,000 datasets for sectors such as mining, land use, and oil and gas. It's the newest addition to B.C.’s evolving online project, DataBC, and was showcased by the province at its September 2013 Municipal Information Systems Association Conference in Whistler, B.C.
“Easier access to data means less time searching for information, and more time spent developing projects that will build a stronger economy and create new jobs for British Columbians,” said Minister of Innovation, Technology and Citizens' Services, Andrew Wilkinson, in a September 11, 2013 statement to media from Whistler.
Aboriginal communities in B.C. can use iMapBC 2.0 to stay up-to-date on hunting and fishing activity in their traditional territories. For example, if given referrals from forestry companies about new logging plans, iMapBC 2.0 can be accessed to find planned timber harvest areas and the location of previously logged areas. First Nations can determine whether the logging may interfere with traditional hunting areas.
“Our members are excited about iMapBC 2.0 with access to real-time data that is really oriented to our users,” said Maa-nulth Resource Advisor Ron Frank in the joint statement. “It’s an eye-opener for some of our members to see how much tenure and activity there has been out on the landscape.”
iMapBC 2.0 is a free tool. It’s faster and compatible with more browsers than the first version that launched in 2011. Since that time, the B.C. government has added new datasets to the system on a daily basis.
The upgrade to the system was designed to increase capacity.
In 2012, B.C. became the first province in Canada to release its provincial budget as open data.