A City of Cornwall employee has been recognized for his efforts in creating a unique on-line mapping site for the City.
GIS Applications Specialist Denis Lalonde was recently awarded the gold medal prize in the Best Web GIS category of the Best Geographic Information System Challenge Awards. The awards are organized by the Ontario chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA).
Mr. Lalonde’s winning entry was for the CornwallMaps program, which is accessible through the City website. The program was built with open source (free) software, and it allows site visitors to access a wide variety of up-to-date geographical information, including City-based businesses, Cornwall Transit routes and times, property lines, addresses, subdivision plans, zoning, municipal utilities, points of interest, historical air photos of the City and more.
“Denis has been a tremendous asset to the City and has shown great initiative in bringing GIS and other web-based uses to municipal departments across the Corporation,” said Steve Wintle, Division Manager of Infrastructure Planning. "We have and continue to build a large inventory of municipally related information for use by city staff on our internal GIS. It has been a department objective to share some of this information with the public, for business and personal use."
Mr. Lalonde created the program about a year ago.
CornwallMaps provides an easy-to-use public interface with our GIS system, helping people locate answers to questions about properties in the City,” he said. “That’s the biggest goal of this project, to engage the public.”
The program is quite interactive, as users can zoom in on specific areas of the City and customize the information they want displayed. It is also a quite useful tool for some commonly requested information, such as getting a general idea about a property line or finding out what time the bus arrives at a specific stop.
Mr. Lalonde has even made use of it himself. He was trying to convince his father that there had been a sidewalk in front of his home at one time, and he accessed one of the historical air photos to help prove his point.
The mapping program is still in its infancy, and the City will be continuing to look for ways to enhance it and provide even more data and information in the future.