The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre carries on winning tradition with a Communication Award from ESRI Inc

November 05, 2008 -- Washington, DC – The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre’s (SSMIC) Community Geomatics Centre (CGC) received a Communication Award for excellence in map presentation, visualization and communication from ESRI Inc. in Washington, DC during the 2008 International ESRI Health GIS Conference.

GIS Analyst/Technician Holly Harten created a West Nile Virus surveillance map that was selected from among other prestigious and international organizations such as The National Library of Medicine (United States of America), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The University of Texas School of Public Health and the Palacky University (Czech Republic). The map was co-authored by GIS Analyst/Technician Angela Piaskoski and created using ArcGIS 9.2 and Adobe Photoshop CS2.

“These exemplary people and organizations set the bar and inspire all of us to do better in our daily work,” said Bill Davenhall, Global Manager for Health and Human Services, ESRI Inc.

“I am very happy to have my map chosen for its communication value. I believe that GIS can accomplish a lot in the way of public education and knowledge,” said Holly Harten. “In health care, the geographic extent of an issue can often tell us a lot of information about the determinants of the problem. Having the ability to communicate this clearly to the general public allows them to make their own informed decisions.”

“We are very proud of Holly and our GIS team for this incredible achievement at the international level,” said Tom Vair, Executive Director, SSMIC. “It is a great honour to be recognized by our colleagues in the Health GIS field while being able to represent Sault Ste. Marie and showcase our local talent.”

The SSMIC works to develop strategic clusters in the IT sector by coordinating funding and developing partnerships that build on their communities’ strengths. The SSMIC’s GIS team operates one of the most advanced municipal GIS implementations in Canada. Their award-winning GIS implementations serve as a model for other communities. Based on this expertise, the SSMIC GIS team formed the Community Geomatics Centre (CGC) to work with other community groups and members of the private sector to advance the use and adoption of GIS.

The CGC has won several awards including the ESRI Canada Special Achievement in GIS Award (2007), Leadership in the Field of GIS in Ontario (2006), ESRI Award of Excellence for GIS in Health Care (2006), Best Municipal GIS in Ontario (2003 & 2006) and the Most Comprehensive Municipal/Utilities GIS in Canada (2003).

About Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre was founded in 1999 as a catalyst for economic development activities in the IT and knowledge based sectors in the Algoma District. It works closely with community partners to enhance and improve IT sector opportunities.

The Innovation Centre is focused on three core areas: the operation of a business incubator to encourage the establishment and growth of technology start-ups; the provision of support services to the SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) IT community and the development of strategic markets such as the highly successful GIS project. The Innovation Centre has developed and implemented an award-winning GIS product, which serves a number of municipal customers and is responsible for the growth of private sector GIS firms in the Algoma District. For more information, visit

About ESRI Canada
Established in 1984, ESRI Canada is a Canadian owned company specializing in geographic information systems (GIS) solutions. ESRI Canada distributes the world's leading GIS software including solutions from ESRI Inc., Miner and Miner, I.S.M. International Systemap Corp. and Azteca. In order to provide organizations with complete industry-specific solutions ESRI Canada has established an extensive business partner program that includes more than 130 Canadian organizations. ESRI Canada also provides professional services including consulting, training, technical support, and enterprise GIS implementation. ESRI Canada is a leader in providing world-class enterprise GIS solutions for many industries including public works, land management, utilities, defence, public safety, business demographics, education, natural resources and transportation. ESRI Canada has fifteen regional offices across the country, with headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, please visit or call 1-800-447-9778.

Media contact:
John Waite
GIS Marketing Specialist
ESRI Canada
T: 416-441-6035 Ext 6375
E: Email Contact

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