It is now even easier to access provincial information thanks to the BC Physical Address Geocoder web service and the iMapBC 4 Mobile application.
iMapBC 4 Mobile helps British Columbians create customizable information maps on tablets, phones and laptops, while the geocoder makes it easy to locate and standardize British Columbia civic addresses within web pages and applications.
“Government is working to provide access to consistent and accurate address location and mapping information, which in turn supports services and programs throughout the province,” said Minister of Advanced Education Andrew Wilkinson. “The BC Physical Address Geocoder and iMapBC 4 Mobile are delivering real value to British Columbians by helping them visualize and use data.”
The DataBC geocoder uses high-quality address data from government sources to process B.C. addresses provided by a user and pinpoint locations and standardized addresses. Provincial ministries, agencies, schools, web designers and more can use the geocoder to improve their services and data. For example, BC Registry Services uses the geocoder in an online tool that enables British Columbians to change their addresses with the B.C. Medical Services Plan and other provincial agencies.
“Elections BC has been able to capitalize on DataBC’s ongoing improvements to the geocoder, saving time and money across government agencies,” said Tim Strocel, director of voter registration and boundaries with Elections BC. “The geocoder provides Elections BC with significant performance benefits in the processing of large volumes of address data.”
The geocoder has processed more than 80 million addresses since its launch in January 2013, and the public-facing web service is currently averaging 2.8 million addresses per month. Those numbers are expected to grow as more new users embrace the service.
“The BC Centre for Disease Control recently conducted an evaluation of this tool against other geocoding services; the DataBC Physical Address Geocoder performed amongst the highest in terms of geocoding success and positional accuracy,” said Sunny Mak, senior medical geographer with the BC Centre for Disease Control. “Inputting data into the geocoder is a simple copy and paste procedure. The geocoder is a very powerful and valuable resource for the public.”
iMapBC 4 Mobile offers the ability to mix and match more than 1,800 layers of public geographic information on any desktop browser or mobile device that supports internet connectivity. Users can use the tool to visualize data on schools, health services, the environment and more. iMapBC 4 Mobile can help users make informed decisions, for instance, Aboriginal communities can use the application to combine information about hunting and fishing activity in their traditional territories.
iMapBC 4 Mobile technology supports a government mandate to improve accessibility to services and information. More than 1,000 unique users per month have initiated almost 9,800 sessions since government introduced iMapBC 4 Mobile in January 2015. With the move from desktop to mobile computing this number is expected to grow over time. The iMapBC desktop application has been available since 2013.
These measures are part of a government commitment to reduce red tape for British Columbians by streamlining and simplifying processes to make it easier and faster to access government services.
iMapBC 4 Mobile application: http://www.data.gov.bc.ca/dbc/geographic/view_and_analyze/imapbc/index.page
BC Physical Address Geocoder: http://www.data.gov.bc.ca/dbc/geographic/locate/geocoding.page