British Columbia Partners with ESRI Canada to Deliver Broader, Better Access to Provincial Geographic Information

Increased GIS Capacity Will Help Province to Enhance Sharing of Data and Innovations, Reduce Costs and Improve Operations and Services to Citizens

VANCOUVER - March 31, 2010 - ESRI Canada today announced a strategic partnership with the Province of British Columbia as represented by GeoBC that enables GeoBC to expand its use of ESRI's geographic information systems (GIS) to broaden access to provincial geographic data.  This will help improve operations and communication among governments, public sector agencies and the public; drive innovation and new business opportunities; and enhance the delivery of government services across the province.

B.C. has effectively leveraged GIS in many areas including the province's integrated land management initiative; emergency operations for natural disasters such as floods and the avian flu outbreak; and emergency planning and management for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.  Geospatial services are also used extensively in natural resource management and related industries such as forestry, oil and gas, and tourism.  To increase the province's GIS capacity, GeoBC, a shared service established in 2007, has obtained a three-year enterprise license that provides greater access to ESRI technology and further drives value from its existing GIS investment.

"Using GIS as the foundation for sharing provincial information will help us to effectively coordinate efforts between governments, business and the public," said Dr. Mark Zacharias, Assistant Deputy Minister, GeoBC. "This will lead to increased efficiency, transparency and accountability.  The enhanced collaboration among agencies will also allow us to maximize resources, reduce costs and deliver better services to our citizens."

GeoBC provides a single gateway to B.C.'s spatial information and applications, including the province's geographic information warehouse, land registry and data sources for topography, aerial photography and imagery.  The province has a large ESRI install base, and has been using ESRI's ArcGIS software as its de facto standard GIS desktop solution for more than 10 years.  The technology helps GeoBC deliver more than 100 geospatial products and services to support the province's economic development, natural resource management, emergency services, social services and First Nations initiatives.

"Governments need technology such as GIS that can help them manage and share vast amounts of data with their stakeholders," said Alex Miller, President, ESRI Canada.  "All information, whether related to natural resources, public infrastructure, education, justice or health, can be linked using geography and ESRI technology.  Through this partnership, GeoBC has established a collaborative platform that will transform British Columbia into a spatially intelligent and open government."   

For more information about ESRI Canada's ELA program, contact your nearest ESRI Canada Regional Office.

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About GeoBC
GeoBC is a public sector service that allows the BC government, partner agencies, and citizens to create, access, and use provincial geographic information. GeoBC offers experience and technical expertise to guide the BC Public Service towards new, spatially enabled opportunities that serve all citizens of British Columbia. To learn more, visit http://www.geobc.gov.bc.ca/.

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 Miner & Miner, Azteca Systems and other technology partners.  Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada.  Information about ESRI Canada can be found at http://www.esricanada.com/.   

Media contact:
Joy Chan
PR Specialist
ESRI Canada
+1 (416) 386-6488
Email Contact
http://www.esricanada.com/



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