The Government of Canada’s Program for the International Polar Year (IPY) issued a request for proposals in June 2010 to establish the IPY Data Assembly Centre Network (DAC Network). Two years of funding were provided to store and manage the data produced from the Canadian IPY program with an explicit mandate to ensure the availability of these data for current and future generations. A funding envelope of $2 million over two fiscal years was available for this initiative. The proposed requirements of this Network were to:

  • Accept thematic datasets in the originators format and ensure that they are accompanied by complete metadata to allow for future use.
  • Provide secure storage of the data and information as received and provide inventory and access to these data online.
  • Incorporate data into established archives of departments/data centre/research library etc.
  • Support other IPY data assembly centres in the network by providing a back-up function to IPY data.
  • Nominate point of contact from the data centre to participate on an IPY Data Centre Committee.
  • Maintain the archive post-IPY in a low maintenance mode.

Six institutional proposals were accepted and the the successful applicants were informed before the end of July 2010. The original members of the DAC Network were:

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, as the manager of the funds, was also a member of the DAC Network.

In April 2011, Natural Resources Canada withdrew from the Network upon realizing that they could provide portal access to IPY data without being a member of the DAC Network. At the end of the second fiscal year in March 2012, the DAC Network was functioning as a cohesive entity with the common purpose of preserving and providing access to Canadian data collected as part of the IPY.

As of March 31, 2012, the DAC Network has consisted of the following member institutions:

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada continues to be an ex-officio member in the Network. With the completion of IPY funding for the DAC Network at the end of March 2012, the Network changed its name to the Canadian Polar Data Network (CPDN) to represent its current and future mission and goals.

Photo: Manitoba Historical Maps