The Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC) compiles, maintains and distributes information on natural species, plant communities and spaces of conservation concern in Ontario. This information is stored in a spatial database used for tracking this information. The data in these databases is received from internal and external partners and undergoes a vetting process which includes spatial corrections, generalization, etc. and is then posted to the Land Information Ontario (LIO) warehouse. Information from LIO is extracted to fulfill information requests to clients all over the province. The information in LIO (FGDB) and the NHIC data repositories (Biotics – ORACLE, Central Holdings – Access) must be reconciled on a regular basis.
The NHIC is undertaking a project to migrate its internal MS Access format repository to a newly developed Central Repository based on a geodatabase. As part of this development and migration process, new routines must be developed for data integration, data export and data reconciliation with other databases, as well as extraction for information requests. Additionally, NHIC business requires that data be subject to both automated QC checks and manual review by qualified biological staff. NHIC staff had begun the process of creating a central repository and some data management processes using FME, however, due to staffing constraints the Provincial Geomatics Service Centre (PGSC) was contracted to assist with the work.
This project led to the development of a centralized authoritative source for provincially tracked species information in Ontario. This represents over 700,000 records that span across 6 related tables. NHIC staff are now able to extract, create and edit data using FME workspaces to ensure a quality product to serve ministry clients, stakeholders and staff.
Jim Mackenzie, Geoff Andrews
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
FME World Tour 2018