Development of videotex communication technology in Canada was an outgrowth of the nation's work on satellite communications. Originally begun as military research, the seeds of the new technology were transferred by 1969 to the Communications Research Center of the federal Department of Communications.
     In the 1970s and 1980s the Canadian government invested about $9 million in research and development on Telidon videotex software, which was easily among the best in the world for its time. Telidon (from the Greek words tele "distant" and idon "I see") was the first videotex software to employ alphageometric graphics, a much less "blocky" improvement over the alphanumeric graphics used in Britain and most of Europe. Telidon, combined with developments of AT&T in the U.S. in the early 80's evolved into the North American Presentation Level Protocol System (NAPLPS), the industry standard until the invention of the World Wide Web and Hypertext Markup Language.
     Experimental use of Telidon began in 1977 and the first bona fide field trials began in 1979. Commercial market trials began in early 1981 with Project Ida, conducted by the Manitoba Telephone System. This evolved into a partnership between Manitoba Telephone and Infomart, Canada's main videotex software and service provider, to create Project Grassroots in rural Manitoba in 1982. Grassroots, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was North America's first alphamosaic commercial viewdata service with regular subscribers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northern Ontario. Its specialty was farm-related information and services and it was extended into the Northern United States by 1985.
     Source: Hurly

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