Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Promoting GIS Development in Canada

ESRI Canada today announced that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has signed a five-year agreement under the ESRI Canada Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) program to strengthen the development of geographic information system (GIS) technology in the province. The program provides affordable access to GIS software, maintenance, services and training over the term of the agreement.

"We're pleased to be moving forward a project that will further develop GIS in our provincial IT sector," said the Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister Responsible for the Office of the Chief Information Officer, Newfoundland and Labrador. "Provincial Government departments and GIS-related businesses in our province will be provided with further opportunity to improve their GIS expertise and capacity, and provide a solid platform to leverage this technology to benefit government and industry."

Newfoundland and Labrador has applied GIS across government departments for several years. The system is used in the province's water resource portal, which provides public access to valuable information including drinking water quality. GIS is used to locate and manage the province's natural resources such as crown lands, provincial parks, protected areas, wildlife species and mineral resources. It also uses GIS to improve efficiency in business processes such as land-use planning and administering the Mineral Rights Administration Database (MIRIAD), an online system to manage mineral claim stake applications. The ELA is expected to help the province to further utilize GIS for a number of projects in the future.

The GIS community is a growing segment of Newfoundland and Labrador's advanced technology industry. Through the ELA, members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries (NATI), whose primary business is GIS-related, will receive preferential pricing on ESRI Canada solutions for use in the province. Eligible GIS solutions and data developers and consultants based in the province will receive membership discounts for the ESRI Canada Business Partner Program, which provides valuable sales, marketing, service and training support.

"NATI commends the Provincial Government for pursuing partnerships such as the agreement with ESRI Canada, which promotes technological advancement and growth of our local IT industry," said Ron Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, NATI. "This agreement provides significant opportunities for governments and businesses in the province to expand the use and development of GIS, and create opportunities to collaborate on future GIS projects."

To further enhance GIS skills in the province, ESRI Canada will provide annual scholarships over the term of the agreement to students at Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic to promote careers in GIS. ESRI Canada will host an annual conference in the province to provide a venue for local businesses, GIS professionals and vendors to learn and share best practices and further develop GIS capabilities. ESRI Canada will also provide a set number of sponsorships for GIS users, developers and business partners from the province to attend local ESRI training courses, and national and international ESRI conferences.

"Governments need solutions and programs that can help extend the value of technology to their constituents," said James Wickson, Vice President of Sales and Professional Services, ESRI Canada. "Canadian governments such as Newfoundland and Labrador have used GIS for many years to leverage geographic information and create more efficient processes and enhanced services. We are pleased to provide the province with a cost-effective means to expand GIS use and deliver further benefits to its citizens."

For more information about the ESRI Canada ELA, contact your nearest ESRI Canada Regional Office.


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