The ArcGIS Book

The ArcGIS Book - Mobile GIS

The ArcGIS Book: 10 Big Ideas about Applying Geography to Your World

ArcGIS Book – ArcGIS, a popular geospatial software from Esri is an integrated set of mapping and GIS analysis tools available on desktop, server, mobile, and online. The latest book from the Esri Press series is a comprehensive hands on guide dedicated to the popular ArcGIS software. The ArcGIS Book It is a detailed compilation containing new ideas, detailed instructions,  large colorful graphics, photos and plenty of diagrams.

There are two versions of the book available,  a hard copy paper version and a digital PDF version that offers interaction with an accompanying website.

The book was written for a diverse range of readers, including young GIS professionals just starting out, right  up to more experienced technologists, as well as programmers, web designers, and anyone who can appreciate how maps play a major role in our society.

The digital copy is compatible with  tablets, desktops, laptops, and smart phones. There are several samples and various step b step lessons that allow the reader to tryout all of tools discussed (via ArcGIS Online), while learning about 10 key ideas about digital mapping, data analysis, and problem solving with GIS.

Download the free PDF digital version, a new book that helps make it easy for anyone to engage GIS, click here go to the ArcGIS Book website to engage with different lessons and interactive activities,  or click here to order a traditional paper copy.

 


Northern Policy Institute launches ‘North by Numbers’

NorthByNumbers Exploring Northen Ontarios Communities

Northern Policy Institute, Northern Ontario’s independent research think tank located in Thunder Bay and Sudbury, has launched a new interactive online mapping application called North by Numbers. Their new interactive  data tool can be used to display census data from Northern Ontario for the years 2001 to 2011. 

NorthByNumbers Exploring Northen Ontarios CommunitiesData layers can be customized by selecting various topics using available options provided in several drop-down lists.  First users select a Topic, then a Variable, then a Year, and finally define the Geography of interest.

The results using several data sources from Statistics Canada or the National Household Survey of 2011 will appear in the map window with a small legend  near the top right of the screen. Data layers are displayed using a sequential color scheme quintile approach made up of 5 different colors, except for Aboriginal Identity variables that uses a natural breaks classification method instead.NorthByNumbers - export data layers to Google Earth

Export Data Layers in tabular format or Google Earth

They also provide users the ability to print or export the results. You can download the corresponding tabular data for the entire layer in comma separated values (CSV) file format file to use with MS Excel, Open Office Calc, Notepad, etc. You can also download the actual layer itself to be viewed in Google Earth, where you can add other data layers to further customize your results.

Check out North by Numbers yourself: http://NorthByNumbers.ca

 

 

 


Spatial Thinking is critical to Problem Solving

Geospatial professionals, educators & students encouraged to help youth develop problem-solving skills using technology through the GIS Ambassador Program

Bring Spatial Skills to Canadian Children, Become a GIS AmbassadorTORONTO – September 17, 2015. Spatial thinking involves understanding the relationships between objects based on their location and learning the importance of answering the question “where” to understand “why” things occur.

Geographic information system (GIS) technology helps develop spatial thinking by enabling people to visualize information as maps and see patterns and trends. To help bring spatial skills to children in K-12 schools across Canada, Esri Canada invites professional GIS users, educators and university and college students to volunteer their skills and knowledge through the GIS Ambassador Program.

“Spatial thinking is critical to problem solving,” said Dr. Brent Hall, director of education and research, Esri Canada. “It improves children’s ability to learn other skills such as math, science and engineering and develop a better understanding of the world around them. By becoming a GIS Ambassador, volunteers can help Canadian youth build valuable skills so they can succeed in solving environmental, economic and social problems for a more sustainable future.”

Larisa Johnstone is a GIS Ambassador at the Dr. David Suzuki Public School in Windsor, Ontario. Passionate about geography and GIS, she began volunteering her time by teaching her daughter’s elementary class about basic mapping, cardinal directions and how she uses maps at work. As a GIS/CAD Technician at the City of Windsor, she creates Web apps for MappMyCity, the City’s Web site and provides mapping and analysis services to the local fire, planning and parks departments.

“Using GIS and maps is important because they allow children to see the world beyond the boundaries of their neighbourhood,” noted Larisa. “It encourages them to ask questions about the world in which they live and also to find answers to those questions.”

Larisa’s session was so well-received by both students and teachers that she has been invited by the school to volunteer and teach elementary and high school students how to use GIS to analyze and solve problems. This school year, she is working with a kindergarten class to create a story map that showcases the school’s environmental initiatives. She will also help a high school class create their own story map around the theme of local and global sustainable development. Read more about Larisa’s experience as a GIS Ambassador in this blog.

Esri Canada connects GIS Ambassadors with schools in their community and provides a wealth of teaching resources including lesson plans, tutorials and activities for students. Interested participants may contact the Education and Research group at k12@esri.ca or visit http://esri.ca/en/content/gis-ambassador-program

About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography. The company distributes the world’s leading GIS software from Esri, Schneider Electric, Cityworks–Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners. Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada. Esri Canada has joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed companies and has been named to the Branham300. Information about the company can be found at esri.ca. Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

New Venture Focuses on Image Processing & the UAS Industry

The GPS Group Focuses on Image Processing Services & Consulting to The UAS Industry

TORONTO, Ontario (August 30th, 2015) – A group of geospatial veterans have identified the need to address the global commercial UAS/drone mapping market and have formed The GPS Group to meet the needs of this rapidly expanding segment within the geospatial and mapping industry.

the GPS GroupThe GPS Group takes a unique approach to delivering custom image processing services. Many companies are supplying products derived from “black box” solutions that don’t permit operator intervention or incremental editing of the results, The GPS Group goes a step beyond and provides fully customized products and solutions using commercial-grade photogrammetry software products.

“Drones offer a timely, high resolution alternative to conventional imaging platforms and have the ability to get very high quality geospatial information in front of decision makers quickly and affordably,” said Mike Agnes, managing partner of The GPS Group “However, what must also be considered as part of a successful UAS implementation are the techniques and tools used to create those products”

Although they are a new company, its founding partners have well-established track records in the industry. Each member of the team brings complementary and extensive geospatial experience to their clients projects, including commercial UAS operations, remote sensing + GIS, consulting, and geospatial software solutions.

In addition, the company provides coaching and managed services to meet the unique needs of its target market. “UAS professionals and those thinking about embracing this technology, with all of its nuances and special needs, require the same level of sophistication, if not more, than the rest of the commercial mapping industry; we strive to provide these services from a single trusted source,” adds John Dobson, partner and technical operations manager“ By providing option of managed services, this gives our clients the ability to leverage our expertise and experience at a fraction of the cost of implementing them alone.”

The GPS Group brings a deep understanding of the photogrammetric process and are excited to apply their knowledge to the UAS community. In fact, the partners view their service capabilities and market knowledge as having significant value to anyone seeking to establish a UAS solution within their organizations.

Being a good corporate citizen is also important to the company. Hence, they plan to devote a percentage of its available resources to supporting non-profit groups who are seeking to incorporate UAS for the betterment of their organization’s goals.

About The GPS Group:

Every day, The GPS Group helps companies who are seeking to add insight and clarity to the geospatial products they develop for themselves and their clients. The GPS Group specializes in custom image processing services for UAV / drone operators who are looking for a higher standard of accuracy for their terrain and orthoimagery products.

Learn more at www.gpsgroup.ca or by emailing contact@gpsgroup.ca.

Contact: Mike Agnes, Partner

Email: agnes@gpsgroup.ca
Web: www.gpsgroup.ca
Twitter: @thegpsgroup

GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam for the GISP Certification

The new GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam for GISP Certification is coming!

Des Plaines, IL (August 27, 2015) The Exam date will be announced in the next few weeks and a signup procedure will be provided on the GISCI web site (www.gisci.org)

Exam Foundations

The GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® is based on a complete job analysis, guided by the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM), and informed by the GIS & T Body of Knowledge.

The GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® is open to all individuals interested in attaining the GIS Professional certification.  GISCI will offer the Exam to individuals independent of the application for the portfolio review process.   This means that GISP applicants can start the certification process by completing an application and taking the examination any time prior to attaining the professional experience required for the professional portfolio.

Exam content will cover the following knowledge areas

  • Conceptual Foundations
  • Cartography and Visualization
  • GIS Design Aspects and Data Modeling
  • GIS Analytical Methods
  • Data Manipulation
  • Geospatial Data

The exam will be administered by an exam delivery company providing test locations around the US.   The Inaugural Exam will be offered by the end of 2015 and test preparation materials will be available on the GISCI web site several weeks prior to the initial examination date.

 About GISCI The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization, established in 2004, to manage and operate the most overarching professional certification program for the GIS Profession and to promote ethical conduct among GISPs. GISCI offers participants from the first years on the job until retirement, a positive method of developing value for professionals and employers in the GIS profession.  GISCI has certified over 7,000 GISPs, worldwide, and the GISP is increasingly viewed as a preferred certification in job descriptions.

Media Contact:  Bill Hodge GISP, Executive Director GISCI

bhodge@gisci.org


Top 5 Skills for a Successful Career in GIS

Top 5 important GIS skillsWhat are the top 5 important GIS skills that a successful professional in the geomatics sector should have?

According to Wikipedia, GIS is a broad term that can refer to a number of different technologies, processes, and methods. It is attached to many operations and has many applications related to engineering, planning, management, transport/logistics, insurance, telecommunications, and business. Therefore, GIS and location intelligence applications can be the foundation for many location-enabled services that rely on analysis and visualization.

Top 5 important GIS skills for a Successful Career

Joseph Kerski from Esri has created a 3 part video series where he presents new ways of thinking about important GIS skills in your career because  “skills alone will not guarantee success, but are a fundamental part of it … “. 

[Post originally published October 2014]

Explore The Power of Maps – Geography Awareness Week

Explore The Power of Maps - Geography Awareness Week

Explore The Power of Maps – Geography Awareness Week

Geography Awareness Week (GeoWeek) is celebrated every third week of November.

Celebrate and explore the power of maps November 15 – 21, 2015. Spatial thinking through maps is one of the most important skills that students can develop as they learn geography, Earth and environmental sciences, and so much more.

This year’s theme of “declaring your interdependence” promotes geo-literacy and explores the idea that one is constantly making connections all over the world through the things they buy, the foods they eat, and the decisions they make. To find out more go to www.geographyawarenessweek.org

See how National Geographic is celebrating 100 years of cartographic history. Check out a suite of resources all about geography as a field and discipline and even more tips and tools to plan your own GeoWeek celebrations!

 

Geomatics Analytical Technician – Working in Canada

Geomatics Analytical TechnicianGeomatics Analytical Technicians typically have working knowledge with demonstrated experience using GIS software, development of specialized cartography products, and provide support to other GIS users. They also need to have excellent analytical, problem-solving and organizational skills to assist in the maintenance, management, updating and preparation of spatial data and information products.

Want to know what a Geomatics Analytical Technician job entails?

Here is a video by ” Working in Canada” featuring Kevin Watson, a Geomatics Technician with the Ontario Government, he is a graduate from the Geomatics Institute at Fleming program. It is a little dry, but very informative and help provides a little insight on what a Geomatics Analytical Technician may entail, for those that are interested in pursuing a GIS career.

To learn more about occupations in Canada, visit Working in Canada (http://workingincanada.gc.ca), a source of free and useful information that can help you to decide where to live and work.

[Originally posted Jan. 28, 2010]

 

Questions You Should Answer Before You Buy A Laser Scanner

Critical Questions To Ask About Laser Scanners

Before You Buy Laser ScannersChoosing 3D laser scanners should be a quantitative process with significant ramifications for your project deliverables, project workflow, resources, personnel, time and cost. The initial step is to define your deliverable’s specifications and the necessary workflow to create the 3D model, and then match these with the laser scanner specifications.

Before making the final decision to invest in laser scanning technology, be sure to ask the following seven questions to ensure that you have a clear understanding of how the 3D laser scanner specifications, workflow and upfront cost will impact your long-term operations and productivity.

This free digital book by Robert Gardiner, a laser scanner and 3D computer modeling specialist helps answer seven must-ask questions will help you choose the right laser scanner for your business.

Before You Buy: Seven Critical Questions To Ask About Laser Scanners – Robert Gardiner

Download Book

 


the Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP)

Over the past few years the term GISP (geographic information systems professional) has become pretty popular as more and more geospatial professionals look for a way to demonstrate that they have become more established in their geomatics careers. We originally published this article after applying for GISP certification ( after several years of putting it off and procrastinating) so we could document the process involved as a way to help others who have considered but not yet applied for certification.

Since then I have received my GISP certificate and there has been some major changes made to the GISP certification process by the GIS Certification Institute, so we have included details about the changes below the original article.

[We are always interested to hear from those that have applied for GISP so if you want to share anything about it then let us know. It is always a debatable topic in GIS themed social networking groups].GISP

A GISP is a certification status awarded to a geographic information systems (GIS) professional who has met the minimum standards for ethical conduct and professional practice as established by the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI). Thousands of professionals in GIS & Geomatics (mostly in the US) have obtained certification and are currently making the most of it to help achieve career aspirations.

There are many benefits to obtaining a GISP

Employers have started recognizing GISP certification and some are starting to prefer (and sometimes require) professionals with GISP certification when they have a GIS position that needs to be filed. A recent survey done showed that employees who have certification on the average earn more than their counterparts who do not. Still, the geomatics sector needs to emphasis the importance of GIS certification much more before the real value of having a GISP becomes recognized by the geospatial community.

It is not just in the area of earnings and wages that having a GISP certification is beneficial. A GISP is a certification status awarded to a geographic information systems (GIS) professional Many certified professionals say that the process of getting themselves certified was extremely helpful. Some have even said that the certification helped them to not only advance their careers but to redefine it as well. They are rightfully proud of their accomplishment and feel that the certification will only continue to become more valuable as time goes by, as it is the most recognized certification for a person in the GIS field.

To qualify for the GISP certification, you must meet certain benchmarks in your education and professional experience set forth by the GISCI, as well as various contributions to the profession.

The application itself is point-based; you will be given points for different and specific activities in the three categories under consideration. After you have gotten to the minimum point requirement and you have worked for at least four years in the GIS industry, you can then submit you application and start on the process to become a certified GIS Professional.

At first glance the Application may seem Intimidating

The first thing to do is download the application form from the GISCI website. my GISP ApplicationYour first glance at the application may be intimidating (as the GISCI application process can be rather lengthy and often confusing), however if you have any problems along the way, the GISCI are willing to help. Downloading the form is the simple part. You can either fill it electronically (with PDF version) or you can print it out and fill it out.  I imported the application into a word document and typed all my information into it so that it looked more professional when it came time to print it.

Next, read through the GISCI Code of Ethics & Rules of Conduct Acknowledgment Form, a document that explains the organization (and you as its certified professional) code of ethics and rules of conduct. It is mandatory to sign an acknowledgement form and include it with your application.

GISP certificate and GISP pinThe GISCI Procedures Manual should be your next stop, it takes you through the preparation for the application process systematically. There are great tips on the first couple of pages that will benefit you throughout the process. The rest of the document takes you through each component of the application. It is advisable to have your application on hand at the same time so that you can review both documents.

The bulk of the work involved in filling out your application is gathering the necessary data. You will need to not just be able to answer, in detail, questions about your education, professional experience, and professional contributions but also to provide documentation that supports the information you included in the application. This was a challenging task for myself as I moved several times over my career and lost documents along the way.

I would recommend that people start scanning and saving copies of certificates, receipts, badge tags, etc. that can be used in the application as you get them and not wait till it comes time to apply. After sending in the application, we received digital confirmation that the application was received, and then about 4 to 5 months latter a GISP certificate and pin arrived in the mail.

After your certification as a GISP, you are required to re-certify every five years. All you need for the re-certification is too prove that you continued working in or participating in the field of GIS. The components are also similar to the original certification application component. They are; Course and Conference (the educational), Contributions to the Profession and Work Experience. Renewing your certification should be a walk in the park provided you have remained active in the geomatics industry.

GISP certification now requires a Technical Exam

Apply for your GISPAs of July 1, 2015, people applying for the GISP certification will be required to take and pass a GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam, as well as meet all the current standards for certification via a portfolio based review based on ethics agreement, education, experience, and professional contributions.

The new GISP certification process will incur a $ 100 application fee, $ 250 exam fee, and a $ 100 portfolio review fee and individuals will be certified for a 3 year period instead of 5 years. Annual renewal fees of $ 95 will be due on the anniversary of an individuals initial certification and be required to be paid in full prior to re-certification. All professionals that were GISP certified or recertified before July 1, 2015 will remain certified under the current 5 year policy and then begin the new 3-year renewal process after that. See GISCI.org for exact details on fees and procedures.

There are 342 registered GISPs in Canada

According to the GISP Registry on the GISCI website there are now 8110 people who have qualified for GISP certification and 94% of those are from the USA.  In Canada there are 342 GISPs registered (119 Ontario, 111 Alberta, 78 British Columbia, 9 Saskatchewan, 7 Manitoba, 7 Nova Scotia, 4 Quebec, 4 New Brunswick, 1 Newfoundland, 1 PEI & 1 Nunavut).


[A GISP is not the only recognized certification program in the GIS industry, the Canadian Institute of Geomatics & Esri both have certification programs as well].