Mapping, Cybersecurity and Beach Pilot Highlights City Council Innovation Update

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Artificial intelligence, digital mapping and aerial imagery will help prepare Bruce County for climate change and infrastructure growth. Becky Smith (bottom center), director of the Center for Municipal Innovation, updated Bruce County Council on the center’s plans during a virtual meeting Feb. 3. [YouTube screen grab]

Artificial intelligence and aerial imagery will provide Bruce County with accurate, up-to-date mapping to help build resilience to climate change and track rapidly growing communities, including Saugeen Shores, which is leading the way with development record.

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Becky Smith, director of the Center for Municipal Innovation, publicly unveiled the mapping during an update from Bruce County Council, which met virtually on February 3, and said the Municipal Innovation Council (MIC) has partnered with Ecopia AI on a digital mapping solution for municipalities.

Data will include: a 3D vector map of land cover including all building footprints, roads, railroads, bridges, sidewalks, driveways, forests, grass, water, bare land, parking lots, sidewalks, swimming pools and sports fields, as well as a terrain model and digital surface model throughout Bruce County.

Smith said using Ecopia’s AI-powered technology to produce this data would save “countless hours, months and years of internal work.”

The mapping project is funded by the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP), a federal money program for flood mitigation projects, in combination with funds allocated by the City Council of Innovation.

Mapping is a game-changer for Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau, who said so, and a beach pilot is the “reward” he hoped for when the MIC was created three years ago. He said the beach project is near and dear to his heart and to other riverside municipalities.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of being able to get good, high-quality maps of the entire county and our watersheds,” Charbonneau said, noting that the new mapping would replace the maps created on the desktop computers in the 1970s, and predicted that the project would create huge benefits for landowners.

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“Thousands of acres of land could potentially be exempted from applying for conservation permits to develop because we will know with great precision where the hazards are and where they are not,” Charbonneau said, adding mapping. up to date. is even more important in rural areas where there are no accurate maps of farms, rivers and streams.

In other projects, Smith said an ongoing joint IT activity analysis review will help municipalities defend against cyberattacks.

“The pandemic has forced us all to dramatically change the adoption of technology with digitalization around the world, and I think we have heard too often of municipalities that have fallen victim to cybersecurity attacks…”, Smith said, pointing to the city’s $250,000. of Wasaga Beach was forced to pay the cybercriminals who held the town’s servers hostage for seven weeks.

She said they used funding from the municipal modernization program to hire a consultant to look at improving cybersecurity, a shared-service model for IT support and efficiency in purchasing hardware, recognizing that the eight members of the MIC are at different levels of “digital maturity”.

A pilot project starting this year at Station Beach in Kincardine is designed to prevent drownings by identifying safety risks and promoting sustainable beach behavior, Smith said, adding that they want something that could be “scalable along the coast in the future”.

Assisted by Dr Chris Houserlead researcher from the University of Windsor, the Smart Beach Project is a three-year beach safety program that includes remote sensing, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT) and public education on water hazards.

Becky Smith, director of the Center for Municipal Innovation, updated Bruce County Council on ongoing projects — mapping, joint IT review to combat cyberattacks and a pilot project on the beach — during her virtual meeting on February 3.
Becky Smith, director of the Center for Municipal Innovation, updated Bruce County Council on ongoing projects — mapping, joint IT review to combat cyberattacks and a pilot project on the beach — during her virtual meeting on February 3.
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