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Presentation by Léon Robichaud
Presentation by Robert Sweeny
Presentation by Laurent Richard
Links mentioned during the discussions

In light of the Session 4 discussions, will we see the development of powerful tools to meet the needs of different publics?

What projects are out there now, and what projects used to exist? How can we manage projects created with outdated technology? How can we ensure their future and preserve their data?

Presentation by Léon Robichaud (Université de Sherbrooke)

Short presentation of various resources used to make geographic data available online.

Two major companies offer products designed for working with geospatial data:

Many products are supported by foundations, for example:

There are also several new Web-based tools developed by small companies:

Some solutions are free and open, but require that researchers store them on their own server space, for example:

Others provide a research infrastructure:

Some tools available online specialize in the visualization and georectification of historical maps:

This list is not exhaustive and a more detailed list is forthcoming. However, with so many projects to choose from, what tool or tools should we use? Should we start from scratch? To answer these questions, we must consider several factors: the needs of the project and the type of data to be put online and analyzed.

Presentation by Robert Sweeny (Memorial University)

MAP Montréal l’avenir du passé

This presentation provides an overview of the “Montreal l’avenir du passé” project and the issues that have arisen with regard to data sharing and the longevity of the technologies chosen. This research infrastructure project includes a number of georectified historical maps of Montreal dating from the 19th  and early 20th centuries, to which have been added numerous variables from different sources, such as census returns, tax rolls and Lovell’s city directories.

Data sharing

Most of the sources used were digitized. These data may be accessed on the project Website or a CD (upon request). Some maps are also available for download.

Ensuring longevity

Since the project began in 2000, several applications and file types in use at that time are no longer up-to-date. For example, some databases will only open on 32-bit computers and the interactive maps run on an old version of Esri Map Explorer. The members of the MAP project are now examining the issue of selecting technologies for the long term. 

Presentation by Laurent Richard (Université Laval)

GEORIA: Georeferenced Databases for Accessing Historical Data

A partnership between Université Laval and University of Toronto, this project is more than a decade old. Its goal is to develop and disseminate georeferenced databases of environmental, social and health-related data in Canada, over time, for study in an historical context. In addition to providing thematic maps, the tool enables users to create their own maps. To facilitate the use and creation of maps and data, the project partners have tried to make everything accessible for free online, without the need for a plug-in.

However, the project has not been as successful as originally hoped. Does the public really want this type of tool? Wouldn’t it be simpler to just let users download data, both raw and georeferenced?

Links mentioned during the discussions