June 2012    Print this article

Improved viewing of documents in E-Sigeom Examine

Caroline Thorn,
Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune

Since January 2012, a new version of the function that lets you view Examine documents has been online. Faster and more flexible, with a larger window for better viewing, it is a whole new experience.


In November 1999, the first Examine documents (nearly 400), were made available on the Internet. This imaging project resulted from the need expressed by the mining industry for better access to the Examine information holdings at regional offices. At the time, the information holdings were only available on microfiche and in hard copy. Scanning and electronically disseminating the documents looked like the best solution. In developing and applying this new imaging technology, Géologie Québec was breaking new ground. Since then, over 70,000 documents consisting of more than 3,000,000 pages and 450,000 maps have been digitized and are available online. Today, it is the most popular way to view documents from information holdings, all over the world.

However, the application used has not been updated since its implementation. It has therefore aged and needs many improvements. Many customers have commented that the window is small, that there are delays and that Java versions have been causing problems since 2010, because newer versions are not compatible with the application developed in 1999. In addition, new display technologies have emerged over the past 10 years. A choice had to be made; either retain the existing application and attempt to improve it or migrate to a commercial product already installed at the MRNF.

Lizardtech, a logical choice

LizardTech is a leader in the dissemination and management of imagery. In addition, since it is already under contract to the MRNF, the latter has developed expertise. This technology was the best option. Everyone’s needs are met by the performance and functionality it provides.

To view the images, the “ExpressView Browser Plug-in” must be installed on the computer. Compared to the Java application, this plug-in provides a wider range of tools for navigation and control, which makes viewing much more enjoyable.

In the dissemination process, the data has to be compressed into a new image format, JPEG 2000. With millions of files to convert, it will take a little over a year. However, as soon as a document is converted, it is made available with the new version of the viewer.

Recent documents are being converted first. Here are some figures on the conversion, as of May 1, 2012:

So please take another look at Géologie Québec’s geoscience information holdings, and experience the improvements provided by this new viewing technology for yourself.


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