Proceed to GeoCommunity Home Page

SpatialNewsGIS Data DepotGeoImaging ChannelGIS and MappingSoftwareGIS JobsGeoBids-RFPsGeoCommunity MarketplaceGIS Event Listings
HomeLoginAccountsAboutContactAdvertiseSearchFAQsForumsCartFree Newsletter

Sponsored by:

Today's News

Submit News

Feature Articles

Product Reviews


News Affiliates



Email Lists


Editor's Corner

SpatialNews Daily Newswire!
Subscribe now!

Latest Industry Headlines
Orbit GT and Geosense, South Africa, sign Reseller Agreement
TC Technology Announces MIMS 2017
Public-Private Partnership to Open Geodata Access for African Resource Development
CoreLogic Launches SkyMeasure Mobile App for Roofing Industry
TCarta Marine to Introduce Gulf of Mexico Streaming Basemap Service at Esri Petroleum Conference

Latest GeoBids-RFPs
Cartography Training-VA
A & E Services-OR
Remote Sensing-UT
Surveying and Mapping-WA
GPS Locators-MN

Recent Job Opportunities

Recent Discussions
DEM to DTM in Inroads
GZ File
LiDAR-derived DEM
space syntax
DEM data for Israel
  • LIMM
  • FRBC
  • "Spotlight" On The Inner Coastal Natural Resource Center Stream Habitat Mapping Project (ICNRC)

    I was recently re-introduced to a project developed in British Columbia know as The Local Information Mapping Model (LIMM). A posting to the GeoCommunity discussion board got my wheels turning so I contacted the author for more details. As it turned out, Jess Gordon (the author of the thread) was a Tech Manager for Location Technologies at AXYS Consulting in Victoria, B.C. from 1991-96... the same company I worked for several years prior to starting up The GeoCommunity (small world eh). Jess put me in touch with Mike Berry, Project Director for LIMM (and the principal reason for its reality) and the local R.P.Bio in Alert Bay, BC. Mike has provided us with details of the LIMM project and points out that there has been a great deal of volunteer effort (especially the "local knowledge" input), there has also been a lot of money and "in-kind" contributions to the project (from Fisheries Renewal BC, DFO, and others). The project is a fine example of inter-agency cooperation, endless hours from volunteers, partners, and a project "champion" with the desire to see things through to the end. It doesn't end there though. The project is also having problems growing due to a lack of funds and problems obtaining data at a reasonable cost - Glenn Letham

    Thanks Jess Gordon and Mike Berry for their contributions to this feature
    The Inner Coast Natural Resource Center (ICNRC) Stream Habitat Mapping Project (the Local Information Mapping Model or LIMM Project) began in February 1999, and has been almost three years in development. Funding was provided by Fisheries Renewal BC to develop an interactive on-line stream habitat data entry and mapping tool primarily for the use of Northern Vancouver Island Stewardship Groups. The web map site can be viewed via and is located on the website.

    The BC Ministry of Environment Lands and Parks and Fisheries and Oceans Canada both have map display web sites and associated fisheries information databases. The ICNRC web map site is different in that it allows password-authorized users to enter new stream habitat and fish distribution information directly while on-line. Federal and Provincial sites have no such data entry capability; rather, new information must be sent as hardcopy to the various agencies and it sometimes takes considerable time for that information to be displayed on maps and for the updated information to become retrievable. New information put into the ICNRC streams database is immediately viewable as points or zones on the maps and associated data reports.

    The ICNRC mapping project started by visiting archives of both DFO and MoELP (B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks) to retrieve existing information about impacted stream habitats. Much of this information was poorly stored in warehouses and was not available for public use. The intent of the project was to compile the existing data and add new “local knowledge” stream information into a readily accessible catalogue. The stream habitat database is to be used as a tool in setting priorities for restoration projects in the Combined North Island Fisheries Center area, and to catalogue new fisheries related information collected by local stewardship groups and individuals. To date (April, 2001) the impacted habitat database contains approximately 700 records of impacted stream habitats, and new records are being added continuously.

    The ICNRC web map site is now linked to the joint DFO/BC Fisheries “Fish Wizard” database so users of the site can access Fisheries Information Summary System (FISS) reports and other information relating to the stream of interest. The ICNRC site uses Autodesk Canada’s “MapGuide Viewer”TM to display stream maps and the site visitor is able to zoom into areas of interest to view reports or add new information. Some of the North Island and Mainland Inlet area has 1:20000 orthophoto coverage that can be switched on or off. This layer allows the user to more accurately pinpoint impacted habitat or fish observation sites, especially in those streams that are not accurately represented on the BC Watershed Atlas basemaps.

    The ICNRC web map site was initially designed to display stream habitat and fish distribution information. In the near future we will be adding a marine layer or theme to the mapping site that will allow stewardship groups and individuals to enter such things as inter-tidal species observations, nearshore habitat observations, and marine species point or polygon information.

    The project has been developed on the ICNRC theme of “Linking Local Knowledge With Science”. Local resource stewards can easily access information and, by being able to instantly view their own data inputs in map and report formats, they will hopefully develop a more active sense of stewardship of local resources.

    This project has been developed in cooperation with an informal group of “Community Stewardship Mappers” who share a server and other resources on the website. The server is maintained by the BC Conservation Federation in the lower mainland, as North Island internet speeds are prohibitively slow to serve out large map files locally.

    The ICNRC LIMM mapping and database project was conceived and championed by Michael Berry (project Coordinator) and Jess Gordon (project GIS Advisor) and is designed to explore a new approach that allows local knowledge as well as the traditional scientific process to create input to maps and databases using the Internet. There were no templates to build on, agency “buy in” has not always been immediate, and much of the historic data has been gathered from some fairly dusty archives.

    The ICNRC would like to thank Brad Mason M.R.M., (Habitat Inventory Coordinator, Information Management Unit, Habitat and Enhancement Branch, Fisheries and Oceans Canada) for his tireless support (mostly on weekends and in evenings) of this project. His knowledge and support for Community Stewardship has helped this and many other Local Stewardship projects throughout BC.

    Thanks are due to Ms. Suzanne Richer who developed the interactive web mapping tools. Even working out of Halifax she has quickly dealt with the inevitable “glitches” involved in developing new technology and has invested many hours to produce the result seen on the website.

    The part time data entry technicians, Brian Svanvik and Shannon Bleasby, and the project GIS advisor, Jess Gordon, have been most patient in helping the project grow from vision to reality.

    All interested Parties are encouraged to use the ICNRC LIMM web map site - it has been developed to provide a living archive of North Island Stewardship efforts.

    Michael D. Berry (ICNRC LIMM Project Coordinator)

    Using the the ICNRC Stream Observation Mapping Tool

    Innitial welcome screen from the MapGuide app

    Area with Orthophotos displayed - click for larger image with contours displayed

    Users can zoom in to anywhere past a 1 : 50,000 Scale to view streams and habitat impact data. The streams and habitat impacts are selectable

    Right-Click and Select "View ==> Report" will cause a pop-up window telling you to choose a report.

    A sample FISS Report

    Users having access priveleges can use the system to digitize data, link it to a piece of the blueline atlas, and add attribute data.

    What's Next

    This project required the participation of a number of players, however, as is often the case, some agencies are not always eager to get on board. The project is currently using the TRIM roads and contours layers thanks to a (temporary) agreement with B.C. Energy Mines and Resources as a permanent agreement regarding the use of TRIM data could not be worked out with GeoData BC. Berry tells me that having additional TRIM data as well as forest cover data would be a real boost for the project, however, at $425/sheet [1:20,000 scale] for 170 required sheets [and that's just for the North Island/Central Coast] it likely won't happen in a hurry.

    Berry would like to expand this project to include nearshore and marine themes but the current "loan" agreement from the current provider of bathymetric data restricts web publication. He would also like to link directly to various Provincial and Federal datasets but notes that the project will have to be "sold" to executives before any agreements are reached.

    If you have any ideas or suggestions for data sources or data sharing, please contact Mike Berry at

    About Fisheries Renewal B.C.

    FISHERIES RENEWAL BC is a Crown corporation created to lead the renewal of British Columbia’s fish resource. The corporation will work with partners to make strategic investments in programs that improve fish stocks and habitat; develop new fisheries; diversify and market products and services; create jobs; and strengthen fishing communities through training, education and technological development. The mandate extends to all fish (finfish and shellfish, crustaceans, aquatic animals and aquatic plants) all waters (fresh and marine) and all sectors (commercial, Aboriginal and recreational). Funding is available for works on all lands (public, private and First Nations). You can visit their website at

    Some useful weblinks

    Are you working on a project and having prolems getting data? Got any interesting tales to share or comments regarding data cost recovery, the cost of obtaining "public" data, or data sharing... I'd love to hear from you. contact

    Sponsored by:

    For information
    advertising rates
    Click Here!

    Copyright© 1995-2014 MindSites Group / Privacy Policy

    GeoCommunity™, Wireless Developer Network™, GIS Data Depot®, and Spatial News™
    including all logos and other service marks
    are registered trademarks and trade communities of
    MindSites Group