Data Sharing Gets a Boost With Community Maps & Community Addresses

Have you heard about the Community Maps Program yet? A couple years ago, Esri and the ArcGIS user community joined forces to build multi-scale base maps of the world. Using the best data available from GIS professionals who work in all kinds of organizations: cities, counties, countries, and companies. If you are an Admin Tools for ArcGIS Online user, this is something you might want to participate in! 

Community Maps Data Prep Tools

Registered organizations are encouraged to participate. After registering you will need to be validated. Once accepted, your organization can contribute your data to the community. The Community Maps Program accepts base map layers, imagery, land elevation, bathymetry, hydrology, and stream gauges.

This week, Esri announced a new tool designed to improve geocoding efforts in their blog. This tool is part of an effort to include accurate addresses for properties, parcels, and businesses. From the Esri blog… “The Community Maps Program uses best available address datasets to support ArcGIS World Geocoding Service. Included addresses represent comprehensive and accurate locations for many countries, and are available to search against and provide the most accurate geocoding results. You can now contribute point and polygon address data to enhance the geocoding experience of your users.”

Esri has established criteria for sharing of address information. In order to share your data, content must adhere to the following:

Comprehensive and Accurate Point and Polygon Addressing Data located at

  • Primary entrance points to a building or unit (preferred),
  • Rooftop points – central location on the rooftop of a building,
  • Offset from the street at a location where a vehicle would arrive at the address,
  • Offset from the street at a location in front of the building or parcel,
  • Parcel centroids

Should include complete address attributes:

  • House number
  • Apartment or Unit Information (if available)
  • Building Name (if available)
  • Complete Street Name
  • Administrative Addressing Information such as City or State
  • Postal Information (recommended)

Users are encouraged to register and to use the Community Maps Data Prep Tools

Source: Esri blog by Shane Matthews

Benefits of Participation:

  • Host your basemap data for free! This results in reduced costs associated with making your data widely available.
  • Significant time and cost savings in developing high-quality community basemaps.
  • Free and easy access to detailed, accurate, and high-performance online community basemaps.
  • Users inside and outside your organization can leverage data to develop innovative GIS applications. You can use them to support areas like economic development, disaster management, elections planning, and community outreach.
  • Promotion of your organization’s valuable GIS work.

See more about Esri Canada Community Maps program.

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