Canada’s ISO story, and our future

Canada’s vast geography requires geomatics to manage the nation. Standards are core to enable interoperable data and analytics in the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI). CGDI leverages standards and governance processes from ISO, Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).

These standards support activities and decision making for managing Canada’s land, climate, and oceans with regional Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) and leadership in geodetics registries.

Canada, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, U.S.A. and the Kingdom of Denmark are developing the Arctic SDI, a Digital Arctic twin.

Standards are imperative to enable data flows across diverse jurisdictions.

ISO/TC211 standards used

ISO 19115 Geographic information — Metadata and
ISO 19139 Geographic information — XML schema implementation
Metadata and their encoding in XML, formed the basis of a previously defined profile of 19115, and parts 1, 2, and 3 are also used. 19115 is used for sharing RADARSAT imagery in Canada’s Earth Observation Data Management System.

ISO 19128:2005 Geographic information — Web map server interface for sharing maps on the web, such as through the Federal Geospatial Platform and Open Maps.

ISO 19142 Geographic information — Web Feature Service for interoperable access to feature data.

ISO 19123 Geographic information — Schema for coverage geometry and functions series on coverages for providing data on the web, such as Canadian Hydrographic Service bathymetry products.

ISO 19156:2011 Geographic information — Observations and measurements, forms the basis of sensor web enablement, and is used for transportation of goods to market by rail. For example, companies use sensors to enable rail supply chain optimization for delivery of goods to market like Potash.

How the standards are used in our processes/projects

Land and water administration, including flood risk management.

Building energy optimization and greenhouse gas modeling.

Weather and climate monitoring. 

Bringing product to market (rail, vehicles, etc.)

Benefits for the user

With standards Canada is able to share and integrate data and information from multiple sources across vast geographies and cultures. 

The use of standards continues as we are confronted with challenges as well as opportunities related to the environment and in building our economies sustainably.

Standards, including those from ISO, OGC, W3C, and IHO amongst others, form the infrastructure of the CGDI, and will continue to do so into the future. ISO standards are a fundamental core for sharing of information and data for sustainable management of Canada’s natural resources and infrastructure. Canada will continue to operationalize geospatial technologies and standards for safely and effectively monitoring and managing the land, water, infrastructure, oceans and the environment. 

Canada + Circumpolar countries for Arctic SDI.

Natural Resources Canada

Contact person
Graham Wilkes, Activity Leader, October 2020

Examples of Canada’s Work in ISO Standards