Prince Edward Island Schools Map

I had a request from the Executive Director of the PEI Home and School Federation earlier this week for a map of schools on Prince Edward Island. The Federation is putting together an “info kit” for local home and schools and wanted a map to include as a resource.

I went looking for the information in a couple of places – the province’s GIS Data Catalog, the Eastern School District and Western School Board websites, for example – but found nothing. The closest I came was the School Finder on the Department of Education’s website.

As most of the data required to make a map appeared to be buried inside the HTML of the School Finder, I set out to scrape the data out of that page and into a format suitable for mapping. The primary challenges in doing so were related to the poorly-formed HTML of the page, which made automatically pulling out certain elements more challenging, and the poorly-formed and somewhat inaccurate civic address data – addresses like “3326 Trans Canada Highway Route No 1” that conform to the Civic Addressing Standards (the proper form would be “3326 Trans Canada Hwy — Rte 1”).

But with a mixture of manual and automatic data wrangling I ended up with a CSV file of civic addresses that I could then match against freely-available civic address data to get the latitude and longitude of each school.

The result of this process was a CSV file of school locations which I then ran through the excellent KMLCSV Converter application to make a KML file of schools suitable for mapping.

You can see the result overlaid on a Google Map or overlaid on a CloudMade-powered OpenStreetMap:

My next challenge – only because I think it’s information that should be freely available – is to find GIS data for the “school zone boundaries” that indicated which kids from which neighbourhoods go to which schools.  For the time being this information for the Western Board, is only available as a textual PDF file of School Attendance Zones, for the French Language School Board as a series of PDF files of “territory served” by school, and for the Eastern District has PDF maps by “family of schools” (Bluefield, Charlottetown Rural, Colonel Gray, Montague,
Morell, Souris).

As we’re inevitably going to have to take the Eastern District through a “rezoning” exercise – it’s been put off for far too long – it behooves we parents to equip ourselves with the planning tools now so that we can make meaningful contributions to the process.


sgarrity's picture
sgarrity on October 12, 2011 - 17:46 Permalink

I contacted the Eastern School District this summer asking about rezoning and was told that “there are no plans to rezone or close any of the Charlottetown schools.”

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on October 12, 2011 - 18:07 Permalink

From a January 2009 Powerpoint from the Eastern School District:

A detailed rezoning report will be made public prior to December 31, 2009 with implementation occurring September 2010.

This obviously never happened – it fell victim to the school-closing debacle – but it’s going to have to happen eventually, and you’d have to imagine that getting this out of the way early in the new government’s mandate would be a good idea politically.

Ann Thurlow's picture
Ann Thurlow on October 12, 2011 - 18:38 Permalink

Is there really just the French school in Souris?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on October 12, 2011 - 20:23 Permalink

Zoom in: there are three schools in Souris, they’re just so close together they appear on top of each other on the map.

Jodie's picture
Jodie on September 8, 2015 - 15:02 Permalink

Thank you for this!!