Putting Victoria on the digital map

City of Victoria's new VicMap has 'tremendous potential' for future applications, say experts

Imagine walking past a construction site in downtown Victoria, pulling out your smartphone or iPad and immediately seeing what that same space looked like last year, a decade or even 100 years ago.

Now imagine panning your smartphone towards the sky and seeing exactly what that building will look like when it’s complete.

Thanks to VicMap, that app and hundreds of others could soon be a reality.

The City of Victoria’s new interactive, multi-layered online map takes massive caches of municipal data and puts them in one place, creating a one-stop shop for information that previously required a trip to City Hall.

From sewage lines to rezoning development applications to parks that allow off-leash dogs, VicMap is intended to simplify data for residents and businesses alike.

“There’s very basic targeted information like property tax (details) or garbage pick-up dates, but what this application does is it allows people to combine information to do some pretty neat things,” said Steve Myhill-Jones, CEO of Latitude Geographics, a Victoria-based IT company that built the program used by the city.

Zoning data can be combined with census and demographic information, for example, to determine the best location for a new grocery store, or the city could easily add the locations of voting stations during the next municipal election, Myhill-Jones said.

CloverPoint CEO Karl Swannie and his team specialize in using geospatial data to create easy-to-use visualized applications (for an impressive example, see Islands Trust’s MapIT application).

Swannie applauded the City of Victoria for getting much of its data online in one place – no small feat in a municipal environment.

“Building the application is almost the easier part, because you’ve got to get years of data together,” said James Fernandes, CloverPoint’s chief technology officer.

“Everything we do is all predicated on good data,” Swannie said. “If we get good data from our clients, then we can build amazing things.”

He holds up his iPad and pans it left and right, displaying a navigable 3-D model of the Victoria International Airport’s newest wing, which hasn’t yet been built.

The interface combines digital architectural drawings to create the feel of being in the space.

“We did a project like Google Street View but on the coast of Alaska, just in case there’s an oil spill, they’re going to know where to land crews,” he said.

Myhill-Jones praised the City of Victoria for developing a version of VicMap that works on smartphones and tablets, something many municipalities are slow to embrace.

“You can actually bring up property and zoning information on the go. It’s the first step, but there’s tremendous potential and I think we’ll see the city develop it,” he said.

To explore VicMap, visit victoria.ca/map.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria-born, 16-time Grammy winning musician David Foster penned a letter to the Greater Victoria School District May 7 urging them not to cut music programs. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Foster joins fight to save music in Greater Victoria School District

‘Music is the great equalizer’ Foster wrote in a letter to the district

‘Nindanikoobijiganag: We are Star People’ by Mississauga Nishnaabe Lucbanin artist Estrella Whetung. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria beadwork exhibit speaks to evolving, enduring nature of Indigenous art

On Beaded Ground features work from West Coast artists and a Cedar Hill Middle School group

Former Victoria HarbourCat and Chicago White Sox player Andrew Vaughn. (Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox)
Former Victoria HarbourCat hits first MLB home run, adds another two days later

Andrew Vaughn is the first HarbourCat alumni to hit a homer in the majors

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)
New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read