Bringing Together a Country through Crowdsourced Mapping

Esri Canada Builds Web Application that Maps the Trans Canada Trail and Allows the Public to Share Their Experiences    

TORONTO – April 25, 2012 – The Trans Canada Trail is the world's longest pathway.  It will span more than 22,000 kilometres when all the trails across the country are connected by 2017 on Canada's 150th anniversary. The progress of this national project can now be viewed through an online mapping application donated by Esri Canada, a geographic information system (GIS) solutions provider and a member of Chapter 150, a group of visionary and philanthropic business leaders helping to connect the Trail and all Canadians. Through the interactive Web map, the public can explore the Trail, share photos and stories of their Trail visits, as well as walk the Trail.

“Building the Trans Canada Trail is a significant achievement for Canada and we're proud to be part of this historic journey,” says Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “In the same way that the Trail connects all Canadians, our purpose for creating this Web map is to provide a collaborative platform for people across the country to get connected through their Trail experience and help preserve our national heritage.”

Users can explore the map to find places on the Trail suitable for various activities throughout the year including biking, canoeing and cross-country skiing. They can upload photos and stories of their visit and view what others have shared, building a resource of collective knowledge that can be passed on to future generations. They can also download or bookmark their favourite maps.

“This online map makes the Trail accessible to people,” says Deborah Apps, President and CEO, Trans Canada Trail. “Before venturing out, they can use the online map and effectively plan their activities, thus enhancing their experience of the Trail. It's an efficient way of sharing information about the Trail and events happening in or around it. This map helps Canadians from coast to coast work together to make the dream of a national trail a reality.”

The Web map consists of numerous data layers integrated using Esri's ArcGIS technology. Esri technology has advanced significantly to allow the integration of user-generated or crowdsourced content with traditional datasets such as roads or geographic points of interest. The application uses basemaps from The Community Map of Canada, a program initiated by Esri Canada that compiles maps and geographic data contributed by more than 100 Canadian federal, provincial and municipal governments to be used by the public.

The application promotes active lifestyles by allowing Trail users to register for a free account to enter the number of steps or a length of time biked and see how much of the Trail they would have covered. Since the Web map was launched in January 2012, more than 2,600 individuals have created accounts to upload information to the map and use the various tools within the application.

Access the Trans Canada Trail application at tctrail.ca/explore-the-trail.

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About the Trans Canada Trail
The Trans Canada Trail/Sentier Transcanadien is a national non-profit organization that supports the development and use of a national network that links millions of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Canadians and international visitors use the Trail to hike, cycle, ski, horseback ride, canoe and snowmobile. Partnering with all levels of Government, sponsors and donors, the Trans Canada Trail supports the work of more than 400 local Trail organizations and thousands of volunteers across the country through trail development grants and promotion of their efforts to build and sustain the world's longest and grandest recreational trail. For more information, visit tcttrail.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, Cityworks – Azteca Systems, Inc. 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 esri.ca.

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