FBS Year In Review 2016

Another year has flown by quickly

At First Base Solutions, we're wrapping up our 16th year of serving Ontario's top companies with aerial imagery and geographic services. Here's just a few of the highlights:

Jet Setting

We've upgraded our technology with a new camera! We were busy flying and collecting aerial imagery around the GTA including Simcoe, Peel, York, Toronto, and Durham. The new imagery is available for sale on MapWarehouse and added to the collections in VuMAP.

New 2016 Aerial Imagery Coverage

Wheelings and Dealings

Our parent company, J.D. Barnes, has solidified some important new relationships this year. A merger with Black, Shoemaker, Robinson & Donaldson Limited will enhance surveying services to Guelph area clients. OnSite Locates Inc, specialists in underground utility locating services, has joined us in our Markham office.

For First Base, we've acquired two new major data partners. Tarin Resource Services of Alberta has the largest geospatial database in Western Canada. Their Alberta imagery will soon be available for sale through MapWarehouse and added to the MapCast service. From Airborne Imaging Inc. we've acquired a set of LiDAR based digital elevation models covering Toronto and surrounding area. We'll let you know more about this acquisition in the coming year.

Customer Focus

2016 was a good year to be an FBS customer. We relaunched our FBSWMS service under the new name, MapCast. New back end features allow for automatic bandwidth top ups so subscribers will never run out in the middle of a project.

For our MapWarehouse users, we permanently dropped the price of all older tiled imagery. In areas where land use hasn't changed, the non-current data sets can still work well and provides options for budget savvy companies.

We've made some changes to our printing services to reflect how modern mapping data is consumed. We retired our plotter, but continue to offer hard copy maps through a professional printer. We've also launched a new large format print product, the Downtown Toronto Photo Wall Map. We've created a 1:5,000 print layout of our orthophoto with every street labeled over the imagery.

Last but not least, we relaunched our corporate website with several new learning resources for customers including a complete set of downloadable product samples, industry focused use cases, and a video library of tutorials, product demos, and quick tips.

Personal Touches

We had the pleasure of meeting with our customers face to face at a number of events this year. We traveled to Montreal in the Spring to sponsor the Just For Law event through the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario, and also hosted a Law of the Land learning session for our local customers.

We went to Guelph in June for the Conservation Authority Collaborative Information Sessions to demo our new and improved MapCast service to environmental management and planning groups.

The last stop on the tour, we exhibited at the Solar Canada CanSIA show in Toronto. Renewable energy companies in Ontario have been some of the biggest users of our VuMAP service in recent years, especially during the first stages of a project to assess a site's potential. 

What Will 2017 Bring?

Our plans for 2017 are ambitious. Over the coming year, the new LiDAR DEMs and Alberta imagery will be rolled out. These plans are already underway. We'll be out flying new aerial imagery as always, but there's a chance you might also see more satellite imagery, and new third party feature data as well. With the help of new partners, we're expanding our data coverage to include select locations across Canada. Ask us about it in person if you happen to be in Niagara Falls February 1st. We'll be at the ORCGA Damage Prevention Symposium.

Our biggest project is to add even more improvements to our MapCast service, this time on the front end. Continuing off the work we did through 2016, the next major release of MapCast will feature more data sets across Canada, new administration and reporting tools, and a new website full of resources including a free trial! You'll hear a lot about very soon.

We hope all our customers' 2016 was as successful as ours was. Wishing all our customers a Happy New Year and a wonderful 2017.


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