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Canadian city makes GIS data available to public

The city of Surrey, B.C., Canada recently launched a new online mapping service, called “COSMOS” which allows residents and businesses cost-effective access to spatial information maintained by the city, including data on land development, utilities, parks and land use.

The goals of COSMOS are to improve flexibility to meet the city’s changing business needs with regard to GIS data; to make it easier for the public and city staff to access geospatial data by creating one access point for all the data; and to allow the public to retrieve the documents themselves.

COSMOS will allow users to quickly locate specific address or points of interest (parks, libraries, schools, etc.); view high-resolution aerial photography; browse and query infrastructure data such as water, drainage, sanitary, and transportation; browse zoning and office of city planning boundaries; create custom maps, and print or add them to an email; and retrieve as-built drawing numbers.