Sudbury

Interactive map lets northerners view region's infrastructure

A new online map is offering a snapshot of northern Ontario's railways, roads, and even rest stops.

With a few clicks, users can view and compare rail, highway, airports, even localized tweets and posts

An interactive map from the Northern Policy Institute will allow people to view different 'assets' in the region. (Northern Policy Institute)

A new online map is offering a snapshot of northern Ontario's railways, roads, and even rest stops.

The Northern Ontario Infrastructure Map shows passenger rail and bus routes, major highways, border crossings, airports, and more. Users can click on the interactive map to compare each route along with nearby cities, towns, and First Nations reserves.

The publicly available map, commissioned by the Northern Policy Institute, also shows the Ring of Fire and the far north's ice roads.

The aim is to more clearly illustrate infrastructure that is often discussed, but sometimes not understood, according to Mike Commito, research coordinator with the Northern Policy Institute.

"You can see where the ice roads are and how far they go," he said, "but then you can see really how far a lot of these communities are up north, and the challenges they face due to the fact of where they're located."

Commito said the hope is by presenting the north's infrastructure in an easy to understand form, it can be used as reference for everyone from the public to policy makers.

"Certainly infrastructure is tied to all sorts of other issues like accessibility with education [and] health care services," Commito said. "For people that are in remote communities, how do they get to these service hubs to do a lot of these things that many of us here in Sudbury would take for granted?"

Commito said the institute plans to update and add to the map as more information becomes available. You can email map updates to the institute at mappingthenorth@northernpolicy.ca.

packaged by Casey Stranges

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