Global award puts York Region on GIS map

York Region is the first organization in Canada to receive a prestigious award for making a positive impact using data-informed decision making.

The 2020 President’s Award from Esri is the highest honour given by the global leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence and mapping.  “York Region’s work represents a pattern that’s worth repeating across Canada as well as the world,” says Esri Founder and President Jack Dangermond.

“Their innovations exemplify how geospatial data can be shared and integrated, help improve communities and serve as important milestones for GIS users globally.”

GIS is a framework for gathering, managing and analyzing data. GIS technology uses geography to organize and integrate data, revealing patterns and relationships to help users make smarter decisions, develop partnerships and communicate more effectively. York is a pioneer in the use of GIS to support Regional planning and development and GIS is now used widely to support all Regional service areas.

Whether they’re routing emergency vehicles in new neighbourhoods, prioritizing inspections, forecasting development fees or avoiding emergency repairs on watermains, trusted data allows people to do their jobs better, the York explains on its website at

“I’m thrilled York Region has been given this award because it’s a reflection of how they are ahead of the rest of the world – ahead of the rest of the country – in a level of collaboration that is not easy to do,” says Esri Canada President Alex Miller.

This recognition is the result of York’s 25-year focus on employing GIS technology to work collaboratively with partners and using data to solve problems and make a difference in communities. “On behalf of York Regional Council, I am proud the Region has received such high recognition for its use of data to support better decisions and deliver more effective services,” says York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Our approach makes it easier for residents, businesses and municipal partners to interact with trusted data.”

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