Member Story: Resort Municipality of Whistler


Resort Municipality of Whistler Adopts ParcelMap BC

About Whistler & its Team

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is a destination resort community, local government organization and leader in providing municipal programs, services, progressive planning and infrastructure for almost 12,000 residents and three million annual visitors. Situated in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Whistler’s vision: to be the premier mountain resort community as we move towards sustainability.

Whistler Village Photo by: Mike Crane Courtesy of Tourism Whistler

Dual Mountain Photo by: David McColm Courtesy of Tourism Whistler

The RMOW became a member of the ICI Society (Integrated Cadastral Information Society) in 2008, but have had some component of GIS in place since the early 2000’s. Vanessa Pocock is the GIS Coordinator for the RMOW. Reporting to the Information Technology Manager at Whistler, Vanessa’s main role is providing support to internal departments through the creation of dynamic mapping products, the use of which allow the organization to better serve the community at large. Examples include the creation and maintenance of public-facing mapping products on the Whistler website like the Whistler Parking and Winter Valley Trail Maps.

Benefits of ParcelMap BC Adoption for Whistler

With the support of the ICI Society, GIS at the RMOW recently chose to fully adopt ParcelMap BC (PMBC) as their primary cadastral layer.  The RMOW have now completely discontinued their use of the Integrated Cadastral Fabric (ICF), produced by GeoBC’s Parcel Fabric section on behalf of ICI Society. ParcelMap BC improves the speed and efficiency of land-related research, planning and business decisions through a current, complete, and trusted spatial representation of the cadastre in British Columbia. ParcelMap BC integrates nearly 2.2 million titled and Crown land parcels across the province, making it one of the world’s largest and most complex applications of survey-aware fabric.

Prior to the adoption of PMBC, the RMOW used a combination of automated, but primarily manual processes to bring together BC Assessment, zoning, parcel and address information. “The integration process is now almost completely automated. With PMBC as our new base, it is now much easier to create a script that brings all our property data together, allowing us to remove almost all the previously manual steps,” states Vanessa Pocock.

Measuring the success of PMBC adoption has been easy for Vanessa and her team. “A clear measurement for us is the ease and speed of updating data cleanly with just a few keystrokes,” says Vanessa. “Our ability to provide regularly maintained, powerfully attributed, trustworthy data has improved ten-fold.”

An example of how PMBC has facilitated progress can be seen through enhancements to critical business processes performed by the RMOW’s FireSmart program and Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The integration with PMBC allows the members of these groups to make more informed decisions relating to critical infrastructure identified for emergency preparedness and wildfire prevention. Specifically, PMBC facilitates a more granular analysis of ownership information that becomes the catalyst for identified next steps, further discussion and decision making. Prior to PMBC, this first-step analysis information was not readily available.

Working with the team at ICI Society has also made the adoption process much easier for Vanessa and her team. The PMBC information and FAQ’s on the Society’s Members’ site are great ways to access information in real-time. There are also various ways to directly access support at both the Land Title & Survey Authority of BC (LTSA) and ICI Society.

What The Future Holds

Vanessa and her team are excited to see what will become available next in PMBC. “Being an organization that does not have the resources to maintain its own cadastral fabric, there is considerable value in using PMBC now vs. waiting for it to be perfect. Improvements to the parcel attribution are just one reason why PMBC is now our sole source of parcel information,” remarks Vanessa.

Whistler GIS and ICI Society Operations have worked together to define a custom GeoShare package—including ParcelMap BC—that meets Whistler’s specifications. The GeoShare package is delivered once-per-week, and includes the latest PMBC snapshot with parcel identifiers custom formatted to streamline integration with Whistler’s existing municipal software and datasets. The package also includes the ParcelMap BC Real World Changes and Spatial Improvement products for the prior week, and other useful GIS layers from the ICI Society database, such as BC Hydro, FortisBC, Shaw and TELUS infrastructure.

“Overall PMBC software has made it easier for us to work with and share property-based information pertinent for our community and organization. It has given us an enhanced ability to combine the use of some key layers of spatial data, which results in more meaningful information for our operations and planning.”

Mike Furey,
Chief Administrative Officer
Resort Municipality of Whistler