Infographic: Mapping your community through crowdsourcing

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Title: Mapping your community through crowdsourcing
Mapping your community through crowdsourcing

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Statistics Canada is launching a new pilot project, and we need your help! Crowdsourcing data collection was suggested by a Statistics Canada employee as a way to improve how we collect information. Be among the first to collaborate with us on this project by mapping buildings in Canada. Participating in this data-gathering project will improve your community’s knowledge and understanding of buildings and their uses and help to inform future community and regional planning and policy.

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What is crowdsourcing? Crowdsourcing involves collecting information from a large community of users. It relies on the principle that individual citizens are experts within their local environments. Think of Wikipedia, which is written by volunteers. Similarly, project contributors will create a free and open source of information of Canada’s buildings.

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Crowdsourcing can save lives. Often used with great efficiency during humanitarian crises, crowdsourcing by volunteers can pinpoint disasters, water distribution centres, road closures and much more. By providing data about locations, contributors can support the efforts of first responders, relief organizations and governments.

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Mapping Canada—one location at a time. Using your knowledge of your neighbourhood and an online mapping tool called OpenStreetMap, you and others in the general public will input the location, type of building, physical attributes and other features. This will provide Canadians with a comprehensive source of information on commercial, industrial, government and other buildings in Canada.

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An eye on the future. Currently, there are no accurate statistics on buildings and their attributes at the national level for comparison of specific locales. The information you submit will help to fill existing data gaps and provide new analytical opportunities that are important to data users. As well, the project will teach us about the possibilities and limitations of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing data collection may be a new way for Statistics Canada and other organizations around the world to collect much-needed information by reaching out to citizens.

It all starts with you. The project will focus on the Ottawa-Gatineau region, as a pilot. If you have a discerning eye and a willingness to help us navigate through your world, then we want you! Visit Crowdsourcing for more information or email us at

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