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Science Communication - Making Information Accessible using Spatial Tools and Open Data

On 25 September 2013, the Laurentian Chapter hosted the first Southern Ontario Pub Night of the season at Shakespeare Arms in Guelph. Back by popular demand, the speaker was François Prévost, who provided an excellent overview of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s data access initiatives, including the provision of open data and interactive maps. These data offerings are meant for unrestricted use by the general public as well as more technically adept users of environmental data. François also provided an introduction to the province-wide, multi-ministry (including OMAF, MNR, MTO, MOE, etc) open data catalogue. Datasets include, but are not limited to, permit-to-take-water, well water records, sport fish consumption guidelines, Great Lakes near shore index stations, provincial water quality monitoring network, Ontario benthos biomonitoring networks, the Ontario forest monitoring network, etc. There was a wealth of data and information provided in his presentation, but you can find all the data in the links that François has provided to us below. More datasets will be added to the list over the next few years and many of the existing datasets are updated frequently. As the government does not publicly advertise that this information is available, please share these links with others that may find it useful.

Ministry of the Environment Interactive Maps:  Go to or Google: “MOE Interactive map”

Ministry of the Environment Data Downloads:  Go to or Google: “MOE data downloads”

Ontario Open Data Catalogue:  Go to or Google: “Ontario Open Data”

OPEN Portal: If you are part of a conservation authority, a public health unit, or a municipality, the sign-on for the OPEN Portal is at

Ontario Public Service Users:  If you are part of the OPS, go to the MOE intranet page and click on “GIS and Open data Services” to access internal tools as well as future public apps For more information about open data, please contact François directly using his contact information below. François Prévost, B.Sc. M.Sc. Biol Project Leader, Environmental Modelling, Analysis & Science Facilitation / chargé de projet, modélisation et analyse environnementales et facilitation des échanges scientifiques Bilingual / bilingue Environmental Science Facilitation and Reporting Unit / Unité de facilitation des sciences environnementales et de production de rapports Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch / Direction de la surveillance environnementale Ontario Ministry of the Environment / Ministère de l’environnement de l'Ontario 125, chemin Resources Road Etobicoke, ON  M9P 3V6 tél. / Phone: 416-235-6769 courriel / e-mail:

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