A History of Canada in 10 Maps: Epic Stories of Charting a Mysterious Land, by Adam Shoalts
The City of Vancouver Archives (official repository for the records of the City of Vancouver) contains over 4000 Vancouver historic maps and plans that they have repaired, restored and scanned in JPG and TIF formats (TIF versions available for download via FTP), and made them freely available to the public to use. The collection is searchable and view-able in full resolution through their online database.
Canada is vast, boasting a diverse range of distinct regions and landscapes. Living in one of the northernmost and largest countries in the world, helps provide Canadians with a unique perspective on our country’s geography. To help showcase Canada’s dynamic Arctic landscape, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) released an updated version of the North Circumpolar Map.
This unique bilingual map map is viewed from a different angle then most maps, using the azimuthal equidistant projection with the geographic North Pole serving as the central point of the map. We encourage all Canadians to take advantage of this free high resolution map available for download from NRCAN and help promote a unique perspective of our prodigious nation.
The Cartography & Geographic Information Society’s Map Design Competition, open to all map-makers in the United States and Canada for maps completed or published during the current calendar year (2016).
The purpose of the competition is to promote interest in map design and to recognize significant design advances in cartography. Submit entries by January 31, 2017.
Access Nova Scotia Online Civic Map Viewer
Most people are aware that every home and business in Nova Scotia is assigned a civic address consisting of a street name, civic number, community and county names but what they are not aware is often how to find out what their proper civic address is.
So the Provincial Government came up with the Nova Scotia Civic Address Project (NSCAF) witch is a geo-referenced provincial digital civic address data file that has been combined with user-friendly online web applications. The online mapping tool is managed by the Nova Scotia Geomatics Centre as they do for the rest of the Provinces maps.
The Access Nova Scotia Civic Viewer is the online mapping application used to view civic map information, with a free public viewer version and another version containing more information for certain parties that need more detailed information and the ability to update the information of the Nova Scotia database.
The free public viewer version comes with the large interactive map viewer window (with typical online mapping tools, such as zoom, pan, information and measure), a civic search tool with drop down style selection and also a second search tool with free style selection criteria. They have made the online map really simple to use so that almost anyone in the general public with an Internet connection can make use of it.
After searching for a particular property civic address, the map window gets populated with a zoomed in map of the surrounding area, showing common roads, waterways and properties. The civic centroids are shown as small red squares, with currently selected civic address shown highlighted as a green circle. Using the information tool can then provide the basic public information for that point. One can then print the map they have configured in the browser.
More details on the online tool can be obtained from the Access Nova Scotia web site.
The Access Nova Scotia Civic Viewer free public version has very limited ability to do much more then provide basic information about a civic address but then again that can often be all that one is really looking to achieve sometimes.
The information obtained from the simple viewer can then be used to contact a local municipality office to obtain more detailed information about that address such as property information. You can also use it with other similar Nova Scotia online viewers such as the Nova Scotia’s Online Property Assessment Information online tool to gather more information about it.
Have you ever thought where you would end up if you drilled a tunnel through the center of the Earth and climbed out the other side? Well that location is considered an antipodal point. The antipodes of any place on a globe is the point on the surface which is diametrically opposite to it. Two points that are antipodal to each other are connected by a straight line connecting through the center.
Mathematically, the geographical coordinates of an antipodal point can be calculate as: the latitude of the place you want to find the antipodes must be converted to the opposite hemisphere (eg: 45° North will be 45° South or -45°); the longitude of the place you want to find the antipodes must be subtracted from 180° and the result will be converted to opposite hemisphere (eg: 25° West will be 180° – 25° = 155° East or -155°).
The majority of locations on land do not have land-based antipodes.
In 2013 I wrote an article for GoGeomatics magazine about an interactive maps that revealed what the Antipodes for any given location was. It has turned out to be one of the busiest articles in the magazine, attracting a lot of attention, perhaps because many geomatics people have not taken many geography courses.
The site that I was referencing to in the article seemed to have disappeared some time last winter, therefore no one could use the interactive antipodes calculator. Well now the site is once again active and people can once again learn a little bit of geography in a funny and simple way.
So check out http://www.antipodesmap.com to have a little fun exploring their interactive antipode calculator map.
What3words … because words are much easier to remember
What3Words is a relatively new geocoding system that is actively being used around the world to help make it easier to describe the spatial location of an area. According to the United Nations about 75 percent of the world (almost 4 billion people) has not been properly addressed, making it hard to locate where people live, something that we take for granted here in Canada.
This geocoding system differs from other alphanumeric location systems and GPS navigation by encoding geographic coordinates into 3 common dictionary words instead of long strings of numbers (for example, the center of Parliament Hill is situated at scales.balance.bonds). The three words have no combined contextual meaning but are simply three words derived from a database used to describe a specific location. Unlike most traditional mobile mapping applications that rely on postal addresses, this one makes use of a grid containing 57 trillion squares, each 3 m x 3 m with a unique 3 word identifier and covering the entire planet.
What3Words provides an online mapping application and mobile web apps for smart phones (Android os and iOS) that people can use to identify any location on the globe using distinctive three word combos. Considering at least 5 billion people on earth do not have a proper home address, What3Words could be considered a useful tool for people living way from the modern grid.
What3Words also provides API code to web developers so that they help the geospatial community by developing handy third party applications. By default the What3Words website runs off of Google maps, however now Esri has made the service available in ArcGIS Online and for ArcGIS for Desktop, so you can use the application with other base maps and even your own data. To configure the What3Words Locator for ArcGIS see the instructions provided here.
To determine what your 3 word address is, or determine where you are Located using the What3Words geocoding system simply:
- Go to the What3Words website – https://map.what3words.com
- Either your current address or GPS coordinates into the search box found at the top of the map, or use the mouse with the map to navigate to your location (e.g. enter 301 Front Street W, Toronto, ON M5V 2T6 and you will be at dearest.rebounds.grandson)
- Find your unique 3 phrase What3Words address appear at the bottom of the screen
You can also type any three words into the search box on what3words.com and it will navigate to that unique 3 m x 3 m block (e.g. type cool.geography.maps into the search box and you will end up somewhere along the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland).
7 Maps that show how important Canada is [source: Business Insider CandianGEO.info/1XWPndh]
Wheelmap – Wheelchair Accessible Maps
Wheelmap is an online mapping application by a German non-profit association, to help promote wheelchair accessible places (currently more than 550,000 points of interests in eighteen different languages have been added) and allow people to find out if a location is accessible or not. Wheelchair Accessible Maps help provide answers to questions such as:
Can some one in a wheel chair reach a specific restaurant? Does a popular pub have an accessible washroom?
It is a crowd source driven application so anyone can contribute to the project by tagging public places according to their wheelchair accessibility, and add new locations if they know of ones that have not been added yet. The OpenStreetMap based site provides online tools to help people plan their trips more efficiently. Users can use the mapping application to learn about accessible places and share relevant location based information with others. Users can also download wither the Wheelmap iPhone or Wheelmap Android app to use with their smart phones to help them while out and about.
The quality of information on the online mapping application varies from place to place and seems to be more popular in European countries but has been gaining use here in Canada.
It is also hoped that with public awareness raised through the use of Wheelmap, that more owners of public buildings will be encouraged to improve their location’s accessibility.
Visit www.wheelmap.org and help promote wheelchair accessible places in Canada.
Interactive Tweet Map
Connect with The International Space Station and People From all Around The World!
[Originally published Jun 10, 2014]
Last year Dave MacLean (@DaveAtCOGS), a GIS instructor from the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Nova Scotia combined Chris Hadfield’s (@Cmdr_Hadfield) amazing collection of aerial photos that he captured while commanding the International Space Station into an interactive online map. The Interactive Tweet Map quickly grew traction and popularity all over the world and allows users the ability to locate the places in each photo while interacting with Hadfield and the other astronauts as they rotated the earth around 18 times a day.
Now a new joint project between NASA, COGS, and Esri was recently kicked off by Reid Wiseman (@Astro_Reid), one of the astronauts currently living on the space station by tweeting from the Space Station. The new map (http://bit.ly/SpotTheStation2) is sort of an inverse idea to the original one, as this one is maps the many locations around the world where people have spotted the International Space Station. The community driven project is open to all and anyone can contribute.
— Reid Wiseman (@astro_reid) June 4, 2014
How can you contribute?
- First spot the Space Station in the sky as it flies over your location (easiest to locate just after dusk or near dawn – Space Station schedule http://www.isstracker.com)
- Then tell the world about it by … tweeting your location (town, country-or-prov-or-state) and include the hashtag #SpotTheStation (include a picture, if you’d like)
- e.g. “ISS just flew over head here in Merigomish, Nova Scotia #SpotTheStation”
Where were you when you saw the Space Station? Tweet #SpotTheStation & add your location then go to http://bit.ly/SpotTheStation2
Canadian GIS Education Programs
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