Giant Canadian Floor Map Series

Giant Canadian Floor Map - CGCRT June 2014 - Giant Floor Map 2Giant Canadian Floor Map Series

Canadian Geographic is providing Canadian educators (K to 12) with a new innovative hands-on creative way to teach Canada’s rich geographic history to younger generations.

Their “Giant Floor Map Program” is a free resource that teachers can borrow to help enhance students’ geography experiences through a hands-on, fun creative way to learn. The large giant floor maps of Canada, are created from a heavy-stock vinyl material and cover an area of just over 84 square meters (roughly half the size of an elementary school gymnasium). Each map series also comes with an activity trunk that includes a Teacher’s guide, media kit and pre-planned activities with all required materials.

It is really hard to appreciate the true size, resolution and quality of these maps through photos on the web, however one of the maps were displayed at the June CGCRT national workshop that I attended and I must say, these giant floor maps are just as impressive as they sound and certainly will provide many young people with a new perspective for mapping and the spatial extent of Canada.


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The Giant Floor maps are available on loan for 3-week periods throughout the school year and by special request during the summer.

The following Giant Floor Maps are available:

  • The War of 1812 – a historical map depicting the main theaters of war set on a backdrop stretching from Fort Detroit to the western tip of Newfoundland and as far south as Baltimore.”
  • Parks Canada: Places and Spaces for Everyone – a topographic map of Canada, highlighting Canada’s national parks, marine conservation areas and historic sites.”
  • Canadian Boreal Forest – a topographic map depicting the vast and valuable boreal forest within Canada’s borders. This map shows all of the aspects related to the groundbreaking Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, including woodland caribou range, aboriginal treaties and protected areas, as well as forest-product company tenures.”
  • Canada’s Energy: Production and Transmission – a topographic map that shows Canada’s main energy transmission lines, areas of production and energy infrastructure. Students have the opportunity to investigate the critical role that energy plays in Canadians’ lives and how the energy landscape will change in coming years.”
  • Canada from Space – comprised of images taken by Canada’s RADARSAT-2 and is the first of its kind. Explore how Earth observation satellites monitor Canada and can be used to protect and prepare Canadians. Through ten curriculum-linked activities, students will learn first-hand how pollution and natural disasters impact our country, the importance of Canada’s arctic ice, and the scientific phenomenon of the northern lights. They also get a chance to see Canada from the International Space Station, through the eyes of the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.”

For more information on the Canadian Geographic Education’s giant floor map program or to book one of these amazing maps, go to Canadian Geographic

[Image sources: &] Adds New Categories Adds New Categories

Geomatching - compare geomatic and hydrographic productsLemmer, 29 October 2014 –, the independent geomatics product comparison site that features detailed spec-based comparisons with user reviews for more than 750 geo related products. The site helps guide users through the maze of product specifications and provides them the opportunity to compare products from different suppliers and read other professionals’ reviews in order to reach a balanced judgment before buying.

Recently has added several new categories to the site including Gamma Spectrometers, USBLs, and Hydrographic Processing Software.

Medusa Sensing is the first supplier in the Gamma Spectrometer category showcasing the product MS-4000. In addition to general specifications, detailed information is given about sensor characteristics, electronics, embedded processing and environmental specifications. To see the Gamma Spectrometers category, visit

 The newly added USBLs category currently features 5 CTD systems from 2 different manufacturers. In addition to general specifications, detailed information is given about the system parameters, speed of sound, motion compensation, interfaces, transponders, deployment and maintenance criteria. To see the UBSLs category, visit

Eye4Software and CARIS are the first suppliers in the Hydrographic Processing Software category. In addition to general specifications, detailed information is given about the system parameters, speed of sound, motion compensation, interfaces, transponders, deployment and maintenance criteria. To see the Hydrographic Processing Category, visit

Visit to browse through the products, upload a product or leave a review. Feel free to contact for more information.

Geomares is an initiative of Geomares Publishing, an international publisher of magazines, websites, newsletters, books and more relating to Geomatics, Hydrography and adjacent industries such  as electronic navigation. Geomares Publishing, Nieuwedijk 43, 8531 HK Lemmer, The Netherlands, Phone +31 (0)514 561854, email:

Houston GIS Training Company Expands to Calgary

GIS Training Company Expands to Calgary

TeachMeGIS, a Houston based GIS training company, has recently announced a decision to expand its public petroleum based GIS training classes to Calgary, Canada. This expansion has been expedited by the growing demand for geospatial skills in the industry.

Calgary and Houston are among the top oil and gas cities in the world not only as current, but also future petroleum hot spots., an online news source for the oil and gas industry, states: “The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers expects more than 5 percent of global oil production to originate in Western Canada by 2025”. Because of Calgary’s proximity to many large oil and gas plays in Canada, the implications for the city’s growth are very substantial. However, a movement towards growth and increased production indicates a need for expanded expertise – in a field that can be difficult to find training for.TeachMeGIS - GIS Training Company

Jennifer Harrison, the president and owner of TeachMeGIS believes the decision to bring petroleum-specific geospatial training to Calgary is a natural one:  “Over the years we have had a lot of students travel down to Houston from Calgary to take our classes. The feedback we have gotten after they have returned to work and had a chance to put their new skills to use has been fantastic. Although we have taught private classes in Calgary for years, it has always been a goal of ours to start offering public classes there as well. To me, there has always been a sense of camaraderie between the two cities, so it’s really exciting for us to be able to offer our public petroleum-based GIS training to the general public in our sister city of the north. “

The fact that TeachMeGIS has decided to offer training in Calgary is good news, especially for an industry where maintaining competitive position is key. Their core training, which will be available to the public, includes Fundamentals of ArcGIS for Petroleum, and Intermediate GIS Concepts for Petroleum.

Classes will begin in Calgary on December 8th of this year.

To learn more about the classes, please contact: TeachMeGIS

Michelle Tuller, Client Relations
3000 Wilcrest Suite 195, Houston TX 77042
Office: (713) 278-7883

Initial Flights with Airborne Hydrography AB Chiroptera II system

Bathymetric LIDAR - LiDAR Survey Studio smooth constant 3D viewing of LIDAR points

Earlier this year the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) announced that the Government would invest over seven hundred thousand dollars through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) that would help researchers at the Applied Geomatics Research Group (AGRG) unlock some of Nova Scotia’s coastline mysteries known as the “white ribbon gap” from the challenges involved with mapping shallow water coastal areas. The project also made them the only college in Canada with a research bathymetric Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) device.Applied Geomatics Research Group (AGRG) Bathymetric LIDAR

Bathymetric LIDAR equipment provides the ability to measure subsurface topography in shallow water, offering a safe, cost-effective and efficient means of collecting data in difficult-to-access areas. This bathymetric LIDAR equipment is unique to most others as it can be mounted in an fixed wing aircraft to scan down into the water or can be mounted sideways onto a boat to also measure the coastline details.

Last month, Leading Edge Geomatics (LEG), one of the industry partners involved with the project, worked along with staff from the NSCC / AGRG to install the Airborne Hydrography AB Chiroptera II system into a Beechcraft King Air 90C fixed wing aircraft, to perform the team’s first ever data acquisition with the Topobathymetric system.

Leading Edge Geomatics, Bathymetric LIDAR Wayne Richardson, a Positioning/Project Manager with LEG has provided us with a general overview on the initial data acquisition Flights using the AHAB Chiroptera II topobathymetric system along with some sample data from their test flights of Sable Island.

Bathymetric LIDAR –  System

The state of the art Chiroptera II system combines a 500 KHz topographic scanner and a 35 KHz Hydrographic scanner with a 60MP Leica RCD30 photogrammetric camera. The purpose of this system is to collect the littoral boundary and shallow water where it is difficult and expensive to capture with side scan or multi-beam systems, due to the navigation difficulties in shallow waters and harbours.Bathymetric LIDAR - Chiroptera II with cover

This system has the potential to provide a wealth of data for Inland waterways, where currently only physical measurements of the bottom of lakes and rivers are possible. The Chiroptera II is designed to penetrate to depths of up to 1.5 x Secchi depth. Depending on water clarity, it should be reasonable to expect that this system can penetrate to 15 m. While this type of system does present initial challenges to a team accustomed to flying strictly topo sensors, with foresight and good planning (and good weather), it is possible to overcome these challenges.


The installation of the system began bright and early Monday morning with few issues. The team was impressed with the Chiroptera’s construction and system integration. Considering that the sensor head contains two laser scanners, an RCD30 camera, and a second quality control camera, it is extremely small. The design and construction of the system is extremely efficient and robust.

Installation of the system went very smoothly and after lunch a calibration flight was scheduled. The system had been calibrated after assembly in Sweden and these bore site values were used as the starting point in the calculations of the misalignment angles. Impressively, after being shipped across the Atlantic in a crate and sitting untouched for months, the original calibration was relatively unchanged. With only minor tweaks to the calibration, the system was pronounced ready to acquire data that afternoon.


Anyone who has ever attempted to fly aerial surveys in the Atlantic Region of Canada will realize that it is extremely rare to find two consecutive days of cloud-free conditions. Even given the low altitudes that the system is meant to acquire data at (400 m), we were not expecting to move this initial project along as quickly as we did. Fortunately, the initial flights were launched during an uncommon consecutive series of sunny, clear days, some of the best flying weather in our collective memory.

The favourable weather allowed us to collect all of our priority projects in less than one week. The Chiroptera system is very user friendly and easy to learn. The team was able to run several operators through training during the collection, and all reported an easy to learn and operate interface. A few areas that were planned had to be recollected due to turbidity in the water column. The system allows the operator to review waveforms sampled during acquisition to determine the strength of the returns in order to ensure that the submerged ground is being sampled. This enables operators to quickly make decisions on the possible success of a mission and save precious flight time and expenses.

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Data Processing

The processing application provided by AHAB is called LiDAR Survey Studio (LSS). Having used several other vendors’ proprietary LiDAR data processing applications, the team found LSS to be easy to configure, process, and output final data. The application combines a trajectory (processed with any SPAN capable inertial suite) with the raw waveform, and presents it in an intuitive and well laid-out interface.

Processing parameters are set via configuration files for system settings, processing settings (classification method), and calibration (sensor misalignment). The results of the processing provide positioned and fully classified LAS data. The user then examines the classification of the bottom hits and the derived water surface to determine if the classification was successful. If some modifications are required, changes are made and the data is run again until the classification represents the data appropriately.

The full 3D view displays the points quickly and smoothly, allowing the user to examine the processing results easily and manipulate the data to represent it as required. The tools for display provide a myriad of perspectives for representing the results. Selecting an individual return will bring up the corresponding waveform data and image.

These views aid in the determination of the accuracy of the data classification. The only limitation is the lack of manual classification tools. It would be useful to be able to change the classification of points based on the wealth of data contained in the full waveform and the rapidly available QC images. In practice, this may make it easier to determine if a return is in fact a bottom hit or submerged vegetation, instead of doing the classification clean up in a third party application without access to the waveform information.


Bathymetric LIDAR - Petter Kullenberg from AHAB and Jonathan Wickens from LEG receive the red carpet treatment in Halifax.The Chiroptera II is a well-built, solid solution for shallow water collection. Our team was able to achieve excellent penetration results, but as expected, the system is heavily dependent on good water clarity.

Areas such as the St John River would immediately block return data when entering from a tributary. This was not unexpected and murky water will remain an obstacle to this system. However, in areas where the water clarity is acceptable, the system performs admirably. The estuaries on the New Brunswick Northumberland shore yielded excellent results with almost all of the sea bottom mapped.

The Sable Island data showed surprising clarity with penetration to 15 m. The topographic scanner (sold stand alone as the Dragoneye) was tested on Sable Island in isolation from the bathymetric scanner.

This scanner performed well at 1400 m and provided ground sampling at better than one point per metre. The multiple look angle of the nutating scan pattern ensures minimal LiDAR shadows in the data, which could possibly eliminate the need for multiple passes. Overall the Chiroptera is an extremely capable, flexible and well-designed Topo-Bathymetric system.

For further information about the Initial Flights with the AHAB Chiroptera II, please visit, or contact

How to use OpenSteetMaps

How to use OpenSteetMap?

Free OpenStreetMap User GuideFor people exploring various places in the neighborhood, it is similar maps as other online map information with zoom and pan, but the real power of OpenStreetMap rests in the hands of developers who can access all the data behind the maps for customizing to their own. What it means that, with OpenStreetMap, you can not only view various spatial locations, but add also your own custom locations and information  to the database which can then be used by other users. All you need to do is to query the map database in any one of various possible ways, thereby extracting information which can later be used to create custom maps. The output of a database query is an XML file with various description of information about local areas, directions, routes, etc. Using all this information, it will be easier to create custom based maps.

With over a million contributors, most of them use GPS units in performing ground surveys. On collecting the data, the information needs to be uploaded into the system using the project website. Once the data is added, they need to be edited to make it user friendly and at this point, all the above mentioned software plays the role. Even though GPS units are needed to add a data for the first time, the subsequent editions of data do not require any additional hardware, making it possible for anyone who have the local knowledge to update the information. The majority of the new information has been added by dedicated contributors while millions of other users simply update the maps. For users who wish to view the map tiles, they can do so with the help of web browsers, GNOME maps and Marble. The only requirement for adding data to the maps is to sign up for a free account.

Data Formats:

OpenStreetMap represents physical structures in the ground using tags that are attached to various data structures such as nodes, ways and relations. Nodes are simply the coordinates of the geographic position which represent the exact location. They use both latitude and longitude values for data representation. A collection of nodes can be called as ways which represent various polygonal areas such as streets and roads, parks and lakes, etc. Relations are the combination of both nodes and ways which can represent restriction present in roads, various ways for a route etc. All the above said information are stored in the map in the form of tags. Any attribute present in the map can be tagged for information, thereby helping anyone wanting information. Considering all the factors, OpenStreetMap was already popular, but is gaining even more popularity everyday with number of contributors growing to new heights. All the information provided in this article gives you an overview of what is OpenStreetMap, but there are lots to explore with respect to its features and supplements.

And if you are more interested about this wonderful mapping experience, don’t miss out attending the annual conference of the OSM community named, State of Map Conference. All new ideas related to the maps are discussed here, along with launching updates and new contents.

Also check out some of these OpenStreetMap & Open Data related Topics:

How do you compare geomatic and hydrographic products? - compare geomatic and hydrographic products

How do you compare geomatic and hydrographic products?

Geomatic and hydrographic tools and applications are advancing at a rapid pace, making it difficult to gain a clear overview of all the land surveying and hydrographic products currently available on the market. is the first independent product comparison website for professional hardware and software for geomatics, hydrography and related fields. brings together suppliers and users on a global scale and simplifies the market research and buying process. enables users to search for and compare products based on technical specifications to find the right product for them, and to request quotations and further information directly from suppliers. currently more than 700 geomatic and hydrography-related products in 25 categories, thus representing the ideal one-stop shop for product comparisons.


Surrey launches Open Data Program

Surrey launches OpenData Program

Surrey, BC –The City of Surrey launched its open data program today as part of its commitment to an open, transparent and accessible government. The new Open Data Catalogue comprises more data sets than any other municipality in Canada, and will increase efficiency and productivity for staff and public by making the data available to everyone on the City website.

Surrey OpenDataMore than 300 data sets comprise the catalog including City information often requested by the public such as:
• Crime statistics
• Restaurant inspection reports
• Statement of Financial Information
• Sustainability indicators
• imagery (orthophotos) & LIDAR

“The City of Surrey is committed to pursuing innovative best practices to allow for transparency and efficiencies through technology,” said Mayor Dianne Watts. “As a progressive City, the launch of the Surrey Open Data Program will empower our citizens by providing them with even easier access to City reports, statistics and information.”

Open data is the idea that certain data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.

“Providing open data improves the public’s ability to easily access, download and utilize City information,” said Councillor Bruce Hayne, Chair of the Investment & Innovation Committee. “It also provides the additional benefit of eliminating the costs associated with related information requests.”

The City’s Open Data Program is a component of its ‘Smart Surrey Strategy’ which seeks to build a city that uses technology and innovation to transform life and work within its region in significant and fundamental ways. Using new and existing technologies and information, the Strategy identifies and implements systems to inform decision-making, create efficiencies and maximize its resources.

For more information, or to access the City’s Open Data Catalogue, visit

Updated Pan-Canadian Geomatics Community Strategy

Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table - Geomatics Community Strategy

CGCRT day 2 - Geomatics Community StrategyThe Canadian Geomatics Community Round table (CGCRT) Geomatics Strategy, Action, and Implementation Planning Workshop took place on June 9 and 10 in Ottawa. The scope of the two day CGCRT event was to provide opportunity for organizations and individuals from the geomatics industry to examine issues facing the Canadian geospatial community and to help develop a Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy that could support, strengthen and help guide the geomatics sector for years to come.

I was fortunate enough to be part of the 100 plus  geomatics leaders (from academic institutions, professional associations, NGOs, government, and private industry,) from all across the country that came together for the event. A summary of the two day event is available here and more details about the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy and the 7 dimensions that it is comprised of are available from the various documents on the CGCRT website.

Geomatics Community Strategy

Now the CGCRT finalized this Strategy based on the many discussions and consensus reached at the workshop that took place in Ottawa and working groups have been created to start moving the Strategy forward. The updated version of the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Community Strategy document that reflects the discussions and input from the June “Team Canada” Workshop that took place in Ottawa. To download the updated strategy document

First commercial version of Spatial Manager Desktop released

June 1, 2014 – Opencartis, SL today announced the release of the first commercial version of Spatial Manager Desktop™, a spatial data manager Windows software

The software come to market in three editions, Professional, Standard and Basic, offering each user the best value for money. Moreover, it is possible to download the free trial version which will run for up to 30 days from the installation date and allows testing any edition

 What is Spatial Manager Desktop?

Spatial Manager Desktop™ is a desktop application designed to manage spatial data in a simple, fast and inexpensive way. Developed by a group of professionals working in the areas of GIS, Planning, Infrastructure and Civil Engineering, it provides the user with powerful tools to address the most common tasks of management and operation in the world of spatial information

In a nutshell:

  • Windows desktop application
  • Read and write spatial data using a wide range of file formats and spatial servers
  • Transform geometries between CRSs
  • Easily create and print maps
  • Use Tasks to automate any import and export process
  • Lightweight, easy and powerful

Main features:

  • Fast display of graphic and alphanumeric spatial information coming from the most frequently used formats and data source types
  • Easily open spatial data from spatial data files (SHP, GPX, KML, OSM, MIF/MID, TAB, E00, SQLite, SDF, ASCII points, etc.), spatial database servers or data stores (SQL Server Spatial, PostGIS, WFS, etc.) and spatial ODBC points or WKB connections (Excel, Access, dBase, etc.)
  • Drag and drop spatial data to the maps
  • Easy development of maps and easy to use styling methods
  • Advanced systems for information access, such as shortcuts and user data sources that can store connection parameters or source configuration
  • Systems for selecting and filtering spatial information
  • Alphanumeric and spatial queries
  • Editing of alphanumeric data and partially edit spatial features
  • Find and replace data
  • Management of the layers in the map and their storage
  • Make new layers from selection or queries
  • Separate layers in new layers for thematic or data discrimination analysis
  • Smart systems for map opening when modifying data sources
  • Tools for importing and exporting between different formats or storage systems of spatial data
  • Geometries transformation based on different coordinate systems in the import and export processes
  • Incorporates a new and revolutionary import/export internal engine and it uses its own data Providers
  • Projection of layers. Coordinate system for maps and layers
  • Background base maps (roads, satellite, hybrid)

Product web page:


Spatial Manager Desktop™ is available now, and may be downloaded through our Web site at:


 Spatial Manager™ web:

Blue Marble Releases Global Mapper v15.2 with New Automation for Creating Features

Blue Marble Releases Global Mapper v15.2

Blue Marble Geographics is pleased to announce the release of Global Mapper version 15.2. This minor release features new functionality to automate the “New Feature Creation” process, as well as the addition of numerous new online datasources including OpenStreetMap vector data links via Web Mapping Services (WMS). Blue Marble’s geospatial data manipulation, visualization and conversion solutions are used worldwide by thousands of GIS analysts at software, oil and gas, mining, civil engineering, surveying, and technology companies, as well as governmental and university organizations.

Global Mapper is an affordable and easy-to-use GIS application that offers access to an unparalleled variety of spatial datasets and provides just the right level of GIS functionality to satisfy both experienced GIS professionals and mapping novices. This minor release features a variety of updates to both the Global Mapper base product and the Global Mapper LiDAR Module. In particular new functionality has been added to allow the user to automate the “New Feature Creation” process. Users may now create a series of features that share the same attribute structure, target layer, and other characteristics without having to repeatedly confirm these settings in the “Modify Feature Info” dialog box. This release also features the addition of free online data sources including full access to the Maine GIS catalog, as well as access to Aviation Charts and OpenStreetMap vector data via WMS.

Blue Marble Releases Global Mapper v15.2 - 3D LiDAR point cloudOther enhancements include support for creating buffer areas around line features with variable width from beginning to end and for creating buffers on just one side of a selected line feature. Powerful new scripting functionality has been added to allow conditional (IF/THEN/ELSE) processing within a script file. 3D models from Collada DAE files have been updated with the option to load BMP, JPG, PNG, and TIFF images with no geo-position information directly, improved 3DPDF support, and enhancements to CityGML.

“These great new features and functions will streamline the user’s workflow, as well as save them time and money with the ease-of-access to a growing list of cloud based publicly available data,” stated Blue Marble President, Patrick Cunningham “This release is another great example of our mission to deliver a low-cost and easy-to-use GIS solution for everyone.”

Enhancements to the LiDAR Module in v15.2 include added support for the transformation (shift/rotate/scale) of LiDAR point clouds and the option to filter selected LiDAR points to a certain elevation range and/or set of colors. A new LIDAR_CLASSIFY script command for classifying ground points in a script has been added. Users now have the option to keep the original file offset/scale, or to specify a new one when exporting to LiDAR LAS/LAZ files. They also now have the ability to crop to a selected area when specifying the bounds to import from a LiDAR point cloud and the ability to export point cloud to Esri File Geodatabases (GDB) as normal 3D point features. These LiDAR enhancements are a great addition to an already powerful module for those interested in adding advanced LiDAR functionality to Global Mapper.

For a complete list of new features and enhancements be sure to visit or download Global Mapper today for yourself!

About Blue Marble Geographics:

Blue Marble Geographics of Hallowell, Maine is a leading developer and provider of software products and services for highly accurate geospatial data conversion solutions. Blue Marble is known for their coordinate conversion and file format expertise and is the developer of The Geographic Calculator, GeoCalc SDK, Global Mapper, LiDAR Module for Global Mapper, Global Energy Mapper, and Global Mapper SDK. The company has been writing GIS software tools and solutions for over twenty years and currently serves hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.

Contact Information:
Heather Poirier
Marketing Manager
Blue Marble Geographics
Hallowell, ME, USA
+1(207) 622-4622

Source: Blue Marble Geographics