• NII

“Mapping our Future” project launched by Municipal Innovation Council

Digital mapping solution will help ready the region for climate change

Deemed the costliest severe weather event in British Columbia’s history, late last year’s extreme flooding has put into perspective the need for smart planning and being prepared for the effects of climate change.


To help build climate change resilience and keep up with growing communities here in Bruce County, the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) is pleased to share that the Municipal Innovation Council (MIC) has partnered with Ecopia AI to deliver a digital mapping solution to municipalities.

Using artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art machine learning and aerial imagery to provide an accurate and up-to-date digital representation of Bruce County, this information will provide MIC member municipalities and their partners with 21st-century data for greater efficiency and better-informed decision making.

“As we continue to support sustainable growth in the County, monitoring environmental conditions and changes over time will require innovative thinking and new tools,” said Town of Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau. “Some of our current flood maps haven’t been updated since the 1970s—this new solution will give residents and planners more clarity and help us prepare for the realities of climate change.”


The data will include: a 3D land cover vector map (including all building footprints, roads, railways, bridges, sidewalks, driveways, forests, grass, water, bare land, parking, pavement, swimming pools and sports grounds), as well as a digital terrain model and digital surface model across Bruce County. Using Ecopia’s AI-based technology to produce this data will save countless hours of manual in-house geographic information system (GIS) work.


“Speaking on behalf of the Municipal Innovation Council, we’re excited to partner with Ecopia AI to leverage their innovative technology, which will bring valuable data to the MIC member municipalities and local conservation authorities,” said Kara Van Myall, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Saugeen Shores and Chair of the Municipal Innovation Council. “This project will create staff efficiencies, improve service delivery and support our municipal decision-makers with improved data to make better-informed choices.”


The new data can be used to support a wide range of municipal activities, including:

  • Municipal planning and engineering

  • Road and pavement management

  • Stormwater management

  • Flood mapping

  • Land use analysis

  • Ecosystem mapping

  • Forest cover analysis

By using Ecopia’s 3D data to enhance flood mapping efforts, County planning, lower-tier municipalities and conservation authority staff can better identify flooding hazards and make data-informed decisions around risk mitigation.

The mapping data will lay the foundation for future land use planning to help protect residences, businesses and vital infrastructure.

“Ecopia is proud to empower stakeholders in Bruce County with high-precision 3D mapping data that will be leveraged to support a wide range of applications including climate resilience and public infrastructure planning,” said Jon Lipinski, Co-Founder and President of Ecopia AI. “The data will be generated through the use of our AI-based mapping systems and will offer a highly accurate digital representation of the built and natural environment across the County.”


Funding for this project was made possible through the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP), a federal program that provides financial support for flood mitigation projects, in combination with funds allocated from the Municipal Innovation Council, managed by Becky Smith, Director of the Centre for Municipal Innovation at NII. The NDMP program is administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) in Ontario.


Learn more about the municipal innovation happening in Bruce County at: nii.ca/municipal-innovation.