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What is the National Forest Information System (NFIS)?

NFIS provides Web tools, ranging from simple portrayal to sophisticated analyses, to users from anywhere in the world. It means users can discover, integrate, and display this current, authoritative and accurate information on Canada's forests and on sustainable forest management.

What are the featured applications of NFIS?

NFIS is proud to support an array of applications including:

What is Geospatial Data?

Geospatial data answers the question "Where on earth is it?" whether "it" is a thing, a concept, an idea, a direction or a trend. Geospatial data includes details about characteristics, relationships to other things or ideas, and the dimension of time as it relates to all of these. For example, Geospatial Data can not only show where are the forest stands, electoral districts, census areas, shorelines, ports, and so on; but also reveal how they interrelate, and how that interrelation changes with time. GeoSpatial data can be used to plan and predict by extrapolating trends and postulating changes.

What are Geospatial Data Sets?

Geospatial data sets, in layperson’s terms, are collections of information that can be mapped, or located, so that people can use computers to research, analyze and plan. Geospatial Data Sets are much more than maps: they allow users to mix and mingle data by time as well as space, concept as well as location, relationships as well as values.

What is Geospatial Data, and who uses it?

Geospatial Data relates to the location of, and relationships between, geographical information. The primary uses and applications of Geo-info are to support services and business activities. Examples include:

  • Information technology sector (geomatics)
  • National Defence
  • Resource industries (forestry, mining, energy, agriculture and marine)
  • National Register of Electors
  • Transportation by land, sea or air - Intelligent transportation systems
  • Climate
  • Weather reporting
  • National emergencies and disaster relief - Emergency response (municipal)
  • Rescue
  • Policing and security
  • Education and school curriculum
  • Land development and planning
  • Environmental monitoring and reporting
  • Regulatory assessment
  • Monitoring agencies
  • Recreational industries
  • Business geographics (business expansion, location analysis and marketing)

What do NFIS partners contribute?

NFIS would not survive without the contributions from NFIS partners. NFIS partners provide much of the data that has been compiled for use within this site including the data displayed through the interactive maps. NFIS partners also control the content, format, access security levels and other necessary information relevant to their proper interpretation and use.

What is the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI )?

The Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) is the technology, standards, access systems and protocols necessary to harmonize all of Canada's geospatial databases, and make them available on the internet. Geospatial databases include: topographic maps, air photos, satellite images, nautical and aeronautical charts, census and electoral areas, forestry, soil, marine and biodiversity inventories. CGDI is facilitated by GeoConnections.

What is the role of the partners in NFIS?

The role of the partners in NFIS includes providing data from their province or territory for NFIS.

What is the fee for NFIS services?

The National Forest Information System is being developed with investments from many different partners, and can be accessed through the internet for free. However, the various provincial, territorial, academic and private sector partners in the NFIS offer their raw data and application services either free or on a cost-recovery basis, according to their various policies.

What are Data Integration Services?

The NFIS Data Integration Services are a set of services that help creators and users of geomatics information work within existing international and industry standards so that Canadian geo-info can gain strength, momentum and recognition. The main source of the related standards are the ISO TC-211 and the OpenGIS Consortium.

What is Canada's international position?

Canada's investment in geospatial technology leverages work in international standards technology that is presently under way in the international community through the International Standards Organization (ISO). The Canadian initiative gives our firms the advantage of being early adopters with the potential to export to other nations.

What countries are active in geospatial technology development?

The United States has defined and funded a vision for a national geo-information infrastructure. The UK, Australia and New Zealand, and France also have a vision for a national geospatial infrastructure. Pilot projects and demonstrations are under way at different levels of involvement and application.

What is WIKI?

Wiki is, in Ward's original description, The simplest online database that could possibly work.

Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks between internal pages on the fly.

Wiki is unusual among group communication mechanisms in that it allows the organization of contributions to be edited in addition to the content itself.

Like many simple concepts, "open editing" has some profound and subtle effects on Wiki usage. Allowing everyday users to create and edit any page in a Web site is exciting in that it encourages democratic use of the Web and promotes content composition by nontechnical users.

Who uses NFIS Geospatial Data Sets?

Governments use them to manage resources and create policy. Anyone with internet access can use geospatial data sets to plan a holiday, find a new place to live, or just satisfy curiosity about the world in which we live. Geospatial Data Sets allow users to mix and mingle data by time as well as space, concept as well as location, relationships as well as values. GeoSpatial data can be used to plan and predict by extrapolating trends and postulating changes. It can also be used in emergencies when snow, water, ice or weather obscure conventional landmarks, to track health concerns, climate and habitat changes – indeed, the uses are as varied and extensive as the questions raised by users.

Who is involved in developing the National Forest Information System (NFIS)?

With guidance from the NFIS Steering Committee, NFIS partners, and other Government and department agencies, NFIS works to produce GIS based web applications that provide ready access to the most current, consistent, and reliable forest resources information.

How does NFIS fit with "Connecting Canadians?

Canada On-Line (Infrastructure and Access for the 21st Century) gives Canadians access to a world-leading information technology infrastructure. Highlights of this initiative are:

  • Smart Communities. Already, 20 Canadian communities qualify as world-class "smart communities" because of their level of access to information technology.
  • Electronic Commerce is a vital factor in making Canada a location of choice for developing commercial electronic products and services.
  • Canadian Governments are On Line, offering single-window access to government services and information.
  • Promoting a Connected Canada to the World is consolidating a sustained electronic presence for Canada in the world.

In this context, CGDI contributes to these goals by offering:

  • access to a world-leading infrastructure of geospatial data and content (Canadian Government On Line);
  • a tool for smart communities that lets them use geospatial data that helps them develop and grow (Smart Communities);
  • single-window access to federal geospatial services and information (Canadian Government On Line);
  • access to geospatial data and content holdings of the federal, provincial and territorial governments, academia and the private sector (Canadian Government On Line); and
  • increased availability to international geospatial content on line. (Promoting a Connected Canada to the World)

It will also significantly enhance the capability of participating parties to:

  • present an accurate picture of Canadian forest practices;
  • make national and international statements on sustainable forest management practices;
  • provide the strategic context for provincial, territorial and federal agencies to easily and reliably address regional, national and international challenges to Canadian forest practices;
  • support provincial, territorial and federal commitments to open participation in forest policy to citizens by making available the necessary information for informed debate; and
  • enable agencies to better deal with cross provincial, territorial and other jurisdictional issues.
Last Updated:  26.05.2009