Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Geomark Web Service?
The Geomark Web Service is a free web service for public and government users to store an area of interest or shape, called a “geomark”.
Why should I use the Geomark Web Service?
Use the Geomark Web Service if you need to:
Create and share a geographic point, line, or area of interest with others.
The people you need to share with have software systems that require different spatial formats and projections.
The people you need to share with need assurance they are all looking at the exact, same geography of interest; geomarks are stored centrally and, once created, cannot be changed.
Simplify the process of submitting a tenure or interest application to FrontCounterBC. FrontCounterBC accepts geomarks as the spatial extent of your application.
Use freely available tools to create geographies of interest; geomarks can be created in Google Earth.
What do I need to do to start using the Geomark Web Service?
To use the Geomark Web Service, you must have access to the internet and have Google Earth 5.0 or higher loaded on your computer. Google Earth is a free internet service you can use to view information about the earth. If you do not have Google Earth loaded on your computer, you should follow the Getting Started instructions.
I’m not comfortable using Google Earth. Is this the only way to get my area of Interest to a FrontCounterBC office or other government agency?
What are the other ways of getting an area of Interest to a FrontCounterBC office or other government agency?
There are several other options for submitting your area of interest with your application. These options include: i. Sending a shape file via email ii. Sending a hard copy map.
What are the file formats that can be converted to a geomark?
There are seven different file formats that can be uploaded and converted to a geomark. Click here to access the different file formats supported and their corresponding descriptions.
What is a shapefile?
Click here for the definition of a shapefile.
What is a coordinate system?
Click here for the definition of a coordinate system.
What coordinate systems are supported by the Geomark Web Service?
There are seven coordinate systems supported by the Geomark Web Service. Click here to access the different coordinate systems supported and their corresponding spatial reference samples.
I am having trouble using the Geomark Web Service. How can I get help?
If you need help, please call the Service Desk’s Toll Free service at 1-866-952-6801. A representative is available Monday through Friday (except Holidays) from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (PST). Please leave a voice message is you are calling after hours and a representative will return your call the next business day. You can also E-mail the Service Desk at NRS.ServiceDesk@gov.bc.ca. A representative is available Monday through Friday (except Holidays) from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (PST).
How can I learn to use the Geomark Web Service?
There are a number of tutorials to help you get started using the web service. These are located at Geomark Tutorials.
What should I watch for when drawing my area of interest in Google Earth?
There are a number of points to keep in mind when drawing your area of interest:
i. The area of interest should be drawn in a clock-wise direction.
ii. Avoid creating ‘loops’ – overlapping lines while drawing
iii. An area must have greater than 3 points in order to close the shape.
iv. If drawing multiple areas, do not overlap the areas.
I can only access the internet using dial-up. Can I still use the Geomark Web Service?
Yes, you can probably use the Geomark Web Service; however, it may be very slow to respond. You may want to consider using a public computer access terminal at your local library.
My Geomark Web Service stopped working, what do I do?
Exit Google Earth / Geomark Web Service and re-enter the service.
I got an error while creating my geomark. What does this mean?
If there was an error creating a geomark, then a HTTP status code and message will be returned. A list of codes and their corresponding messages and descriptions can be found here.
How do I change my application area of interest if I’ve already submitted a geomark?
Just create another geomark and email it to FrontCounterBC with a note saying what application your latest geomark is associated with.
How long is a geomark stored?
If a geomark accompanies an application to any ministry, then the geomark will be stored for as long as the application / tenure is in effect. If the service is used for personal use or information / data exchange, then the geomark is only stored for 90 days. In order to access the geomark past the 90 day mark, download the file to your personal directory within the 90 day timeframe.
If I delete my area of interest or geomark in Google Earth is it deleted from the Geomark Web Service?
No. The area of interest or KML is only a representation of the geomark in Google Earth, it is not the actual geomark. Therefore, you can delete the representation or KML file but the geomark still remains in the service. However, you must keep the geomark URL in order to get access to the geomark again.