Monday, January 31, 2011

GeoDiscover Alberta is Up and Running!

*EDITORIAL NOTE 1st April 2011* - After reviewing the GeoDiscover Alberta Portal and its offerings, the author humbly retracts his initial enthusiasm for this project. Ther are a couple of notable flaws with the Portal in its current configuration:

1. The interface is cumbersome, and seems to break or hang up frequently. I once let the map try to reload for over 30 minutes before giving up.

2. Though one can view and read about data (view metadata files), one cannot actually access data through this Portal - any record for which I have sought out "how to obtain data" has just redirected me to AltaLIS, which I assume would mean fee-for-data.

Just thought I'd offer some sober second thoughts. Although the idea is good and it's encouraging that the GoA is interested in joining the open data revolution, it looks like there's still a long row to hoe...


Original Post follows:

Mark your calendars, friends. The winds of change have blown into our frigid province; the era of open data is now upon us.

Please see the announcement below from Morris Seiferling of the Alberta Land Use Framework, regarding the launch of the GeoDiscover Alberta portal for general public use.

I urge you to take a look, and maybe even more importantly to take a minute or two to fill out the survey and offer the LUF some constructive feedback.

If you all received this via email like I just did, sorry for the cross-post!

See you Wednesday,


All sectors need the best possible geospatial information and services, and I am pleased to announce that you can now access more than 140 layers of free land-related data and services through the GeoDiscover Alberta portal.

This portal provides a single window to search and find the credible, up-to-date information needed to better manage activities on the landscape and is the most comprehensive program of its kind in Alberta. The data and map services come from various Alberta government ministries and agencies and include:

· Administrative Boundaries (provincial boundary, electoral divisions, Land-use Framework Regions)

· Alberta Township System (ATS)

· Access (major highways, secondary highways/roads, cutlines)

· Cadastral (urban and rural)

· Mineral Agreements (petroleum and natural gas, oil sands, metallic and industrial minerals, coal)

· Utilities (pipelines, power lines and access facilities)

· Land-Use Management

· First Nations land

· Parks and protected areas

· Land-use Framework regional planning maps and data

Sharing geospatial information will enhance land and resource stewardship and improve service delivery to Albertans. For example, Land-use Framework planners can access information through GeoDiscover Alberta to shape regional plans. Sharing data also brings time and cost savings—users don’t have to look in multiple places for information.

Please visit the GeoDiscover Alberta portal to explore the data and services, training materials and frequently asked questions. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the portal, please take the time to complete the feedback survey so we can make the portal even better to suit your needs.

This is just the beginning, and GeoDiscover Alberta will evolve with time. Current partners include the departments of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Resource Development as well as the Land Use Secretariat and Energy Resources Conservation Board. As more ministries and agencies join GeoDiscover Alberta, there will be more information and tools available for all sectors.

Morris Seiferling
Stewardship Commissioner/Chair, GeoDiscover Alberta Program
Land Use Secretariat

9th Floor, Centre West Building
10035-108 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 3E1

Phone: (780) 644-7978
Fax: (780) 644-1034

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