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Government of Yukon Wins 2016 Esri Special Achievement in GIS Award

July 4, 2016  
Posted by: Jacqueline O'Hara
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Esri Canada congratulates the Government of Yukon for receiving the 2016 Esri Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award. The government was chosen from thousands of Esri customer organizations worldwide for their effective enterprise implementation of geographic information system (GIS) technology to deliver better services. The technology supports the government's goal of making location-based data as widely available as possible, to both government staff and the public, to enable better decision-making and outcomes.

Geomatics Yukon is a small team that manages the territory's geospatial data and applications. Their mandate is to provide the official, single source of truth for Yukon government geospatial datasets while ensuring the data is comprehensive, current, useful and widely accessible.  The Government of Yukon began its corporate spatial data infrastructure journey with a small and specific data sourcing project. This was followed by strong departmental interest and adoption, which made clear the need for an enterprise-wide implementation. Today, the datasets are made available to both internal government staff and the general public.

"The Yukon government's success is a great example of what's possible when everyone is pulling in the same direction," says Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. "Their geomatics team may be small, but they're impressive. Not only have they created an environment where GIS use by both internal and external stakeholders is pervasive, they've also transformed their operations and increased collaboration within and beyond government." 

That collaboration has been critical, according to Lauren Crooks, spatial data administrator, Geomatics Yukon. "We started by building our core GIS infrastructure, focusing on GIS and the professionals within our own government. Implementing Esri's complete ArcGIS system was a natural next step; it enables us to view, manage and share data."

With their enterprise ArcGIS implementation, Geomatics Yukon is set up to serve the widest possible audience with a range of needs. They provide access to nearly 300 internal datasets including land ownership and legal surveys - information that helps government staff save valuable time, eliminate redundancies and improve data consistency. They also manage a wealth of valuable data that is accessible to the public through their GeoYukon application. In fact, roughly 90% of datasets in the Government of Yukon's spatial data infrastructure is served up as open data. Targeted web apps - such as the Yukon Mining Map Viewer and Yukon Lands Viewer ­­- help businesses make better, more informed decisions.

Geomatics Yukon's objective has moved from data discovery to data distribution, and the numbers prove that they are hitting both targets. The government had 30 internal GIS users in 2006 as compared to 450 users in 2015. When reviewing how the public and businesses have embraced GIS technology, the number of visits to their interactive web applications is just as impressive - from 18,000 sessions in 2006 to 150,000 in 2015.

View a complete list of the 2016 Esri SAG Award winners at esri.com/sag.

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