GeoNB is the name adopted by the Province of New Brunswick to describe its corporate approach to the creation, maintenance, and distribution of geographic information. GeoNB encourages the creation of corporate geographic information resources collected, maintained, and distributed to accepted standards and shared amongst all users within the Province to support decision making and to reduce duplication of effort.GeoNB is a dynamic, constantly evolving geomatics-based infrastructure that is intended to become an interface to “all things geographic” in New Brunswick. The primary goals of GeoNB are:
- Providing all users with easy access to geographic data, value-added applications and maps
- Reducing duplication and costs through collaboration and the sharing of geographic data and infrastructure
- Promoting and increasing the use of geographic data and maps
The concept for GeoNB originated as a result of a provincial geomatics review that was undertaken in 2005 with the support of Deputy Ministers of the provincial departments most engaged in geomatics. At that time there were increasing indications that New Brunswick, once a leader in land information, was not keeping abreast of the advances occurring on a number of related fronts, and as a result was missing opportunities. A study was undertaken to examine the situation and make recommendations if appropriate. The study involved wide stakeholder consultation, it confirmed the suspicions, and identified a number of issues to address. The key recommendations were:
- Articulate a strong geomatics vision for New Brunswick.
- Determine the components and function of the New Brunswick Land Information Infrastructure (NBLII).
- Determine the governance model
- Define the roles and responsibilities
- Establish a corporate entity to coordinate activity and steer policy. This entity must comprise senior representatives and have adequate human and financial resources to effect change and enforce standards.
- Continue to allow departments to focus on their respective areas of expertise and assigned responsibilities related to their specific geospatial information. Define and develop governance and agreements for sharing services, data, etc.
- Develop a communications strategy
The New Brunswick Land Information Infrastructure (NBLII) Vision was developed in 2006 through a systematic process that has included broad input from New Brunswick stakeholders across all sectors. It included:
- Identification of current deficiencies through the review of the geomatics environment circa 2005;
- A best practice review that has captured best practice methods and critical success factors (implementation principles) from other jurisdictions, as well as pitfalls to avoid;
- A business requirements analysis of stakeholder needs for a renewed NBLII that has identified priorities for Land Information, services and applications; and
- A visioning workshop that presented initial Vision concepts and gained additional feedback from stakeholders that served to refine the Vision and identify options for governance.
A number of Critical Success Factors (CSFs) were identified that had to be satisfied in order to complete the New Brunswick Land Information Infrastructure (NBLII) Action Plan:
- A focused and empowered Lead Agency - that has a primary mandate for provincial Land Information management, and the authority and accountability to oversee the implementation of the NBLII Vision.
- An executive level champion - that will drive the implementation.
- A collaborative approach - a commitment by GNB agencies and other stakeholders to embrace the collaborative principles embedded within the NBLII Vision and to work together to implement it.
- Sustained funding - that is adequate both for the construction of the NBLII and its ongoing evolution / maintenance.
- An effective governance framework - to ensure that clear priorities are established and outcomes can be measured and monitored.
- An effective communications strategy - to ensure that stakeholders remain informed and engaged throughout the plan implementation period.
- Project Management - a strong Project Manager is needed for the duration of the plan (through the completion of Year 5 in March 2011) to ensure the successful completion of plan activities.
The governance framework proposed and implemented to oversee the New Brunswick Land Information Infrastructure (NBLII) implementation and its ongoing operation consists of the following framework components:
- A decision framework for approval of NBLII resources, projects, policies and standards; and
- An accountability framework that defines how NBLII stakeholders interact – this consists of policies, standards, Service Level Agreements and audit.
Experience gained within other jurisdictions suggests that there are substantive benefits to be realized through embracing the principles embodied within the NBLII Vision:
- Elimination of duplicate services – through a strategy of “collect once, store once, maintain through proactive collaboration and widely share”;
- Improved support for decision making – through transparent and convenient access geospatial information, services and applications;
- Improved service delivery – through “GeoEnabling” GNB agencies and the broader stakeholder community to leverage the NBLII without the need to make substantive individual investments in geospatial technologies, data and support staff; and
- Improved business opportunities – for New Brunswick’s private sector and others, through a leveraging of the NBLII to create innovative products and services, and through the provision of expertise to GNB and the NBLII Lead Agency to implement the NBLII Vision.
Most activities identified in the 2006-2011 Action Plan have been completed or are well underway. The work has led to the development of a provincial Spatial Data Infrastructure which has been coined GeoNB.
As we move forward a new three year Action Plan has been developed and approved by the Executive Committee. The 2012-2015 Action Plan is a continuation of the effort to identify collaborative opportunities to reduce costs and duplication associated with geomatics activities in New Brunswick. SNB has engaged key GNB stakeholders to ensure the plan addresses GNB priorities and meets GNB expectations.
There are five major activities proposed for 2012 - 2015. These are:
NB Hydrographic Network (NBHN)
A continuation of the development and maintenance of the hydrographic database for New Brunswick in partnership with ERD which meets the needs of stakeholders and ensures the long-term sustainability of the NBHN.
|The single authoritative water base layer for NB, maintained by ERD|
NB Road Network (NBRN)
|Development of a consolidated road network for New Brunswick through identification of an appropriate Data Custodian and formalized signed agreements that leads to the creation of the NBRN and ensures its long-term sustainability.||The single authoritative road network for NB, maintained by DPS|
|Development of, and commitment to, a corporate approach to the acquisition, storage integration, dissemination of imagery for NB||A repository for all imagery in NB which adheres to agreed-to standards and policies|
|A redesign and expansion of GeoNB to include the next generation interface to allow GeoNB to become the portal for access to all things geographic. This would include both the graphic (map) interface (Map Viewer) as well as a non-graphic entry point to access GeoNB information, data and applications.||An easy to navigate design framework built to accommodate the expected data, applications and functionality growth of GeoNB required from partners wishing to publish data and applications.|
GeoNB Expansion & Integration
|The addition of content, both data and applications, to GeoNB. This would result in increased data, services and functionality available through GeoNB as well as establishing committed user bases in application-specific areas of interest.||GeoNB becomes a key access point to a variety of geographic data and related applications partners commit to serving up through this gateway|
The initial five-year New Brunswick Land Information Infrastructure (NBLII) Action Plan described below was developed based upon a gap analysis conducted against the NBLII Vision strategic objectives.
Plan PrioritiesThe plan is focused upon an initial five year period and has the following priorities (as established within the Vision document):
- Within one year:
- Establish Lead Agency organizational structure, secure funding, appoint staff, and implement governance framework.
- Within three years:
- Build the infrastructure foundation: standards, technology, maintenance processes – and update some datasets; and
- Provide access to enhanced and integrated Land Information datasets for GNB and others who are ready in support of more effective governance and improved delivery of services and decision making.
- Within five years:
- Extend NBLII access to other NB stakeholders;
- Expand NBLII content to include thematic (business) data from GNB agencies and other stakeholders; and
- Re-evaluate and adjust the Vision and update the strategy.