Holonics Inc.



Project at a Glance

Holonics developed a GeoPortal for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to provide a common entry point for the marine and DFO communities to access, extract, integrate and disseminate location intelligence. Strategic and tactical use of geospatial information allowed the entire community to operate more efficiently. Adaptable to add community-specific functionality in a quick way, the GeoPortal allowed stakeholders to publish and share information, build pro-forma queries, apply or modify data at source, create map views with contextual data layers and access discrete, national and international views enabled by the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure. Since its initial implementation in 2002, the GeoPortal has provided key services to the marine and freshwater communities in Canada.



A wide range of organizations collect and disseminate marine data in Canada.  As the hub of the marine sector in the country, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recognized the need for the efficient distribution of data, as a means of providing improved access to information and resources for the planning and decision-making support of its community.

To this end, DFO undertook an initiative to develop a common marine data access point, or ‘GeoPortal’, that allowed all DFO users, as well as marine stakeholders outside the department, to access a wide range of marine-related information. This was also part of a larger national initiative to build the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI).

Solution Detail

Holonics adopted the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards at the outset and made data available to a variety of government and private sector applications. It also allowed DFO data to be used in conjunction with external data to provide a more comprehensive view of the freshwater and marine environments in Canada. The solution consisted of an automated extract-transform-load (ETL) process to populate a main data warehouse, which was viewed through a feature-rich web map viewer application to visualize and query spatial data. The user interface was fully integrated with internal and external web services.


The DFO GeoPortal provided the following benefits:

  • Data made available for discovery, visualization and dissemination through a centralized portal
  • Increased leverage of spatial software components and expertise
  • Reduced cost for disseminating spatial data holdings
  • Increased data integration through standards-based interoperable services