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Helping Children Learn the Art of Mapping

Helping Children Learn Cartography

Where in the world are you? Learn to read, understand and create maps

Recently at a yard sale, we discovered this simple book for kids that teaches them about the Art of Mapping called “Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids” and thought we would include it in our Geo-Books section for others to discover and use when they are trying to introduce kids to maps.Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids

  •  Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids
  • Authors: Laura Peetoom & Paul Heersink
  • Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2011.
  • 38 pages, paperback
  • ISBN 978-1-4431-0493-7
  • Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10
  • “Best Books for Kids and Teens” by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre in 2012.

Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids

Children can learn to read, understand and create maps using this easy to follow Scholastic book by Laura Peetoom & Paul Heersink.

Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids helps introduce children to the basic elements used when reading a map including map scale, symbols, and colours. It makes use of vibrant colors, simple diagrams, and various pictures to help children easily understand the process of creating and reading maps.

It shows them how maps are made, how they work and teaches them how to read maps including basic principles of navigation and how early explorers were able to chart the world, and Canada in particular.

The book then goes beyond the basic elements of maps providing some deeper aspects of cartography such as the minimum amount of colors to use when creating a map to the meaning of contour lines on topographic maps. It also includes a special section about explorer David Thompson highlighting some of his achievements as a great Canadian cartographer. This is a really great resource to use when introducing your children to what maps are, and how to create one.

Click here to order yourself a copy of Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids

Maps and Mapping for Canadian Kids “maps are inspiring: there’s nothing like reading a map that makes you want to get out and explore!” (p. 2)

A map is a picture of a place, but not like a painting or a photograph, which shows us what a place looks like. A map is a picture of information about a place. (p. 4)

The earliest known maps of Canada were drawn by seafaring explorers from Europe. Our whole continent was a surprise to them. When they found it, they were looking for something else – an easy passage to India and China.

So early maps of North America highlight information useful to readers looking for a way through: the shape of coastlines, the location of waterways and how far they travelled into the land. (p. 14)

The word “map” comes from the Latin word ‘mappa,’ meaning cloth. In earlier times, maps were drawn on animal skin or cloth. “Cartography” was borrowed from French: ‘cartographie’ means “map drawing.” (p. 16)

Geomatics Acronyms and Abbreviations

[List updated May 2016] Geomatics has become a pretty common term in Canada lately and includes many different disciplines such as  geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, cartography, land surveying, global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), photogrammetry, geography and other related forms of spatial mapping.

Using acronyms and abbreviations is commonly practiced in the Geomatics industry and most of the time people just assume that everybody else knows what every acronyms and abbreviation stands for. Well that is obviously not the case most of the time and over the years I have created myself a little digital cheat-sheet of geomatics acronyms and abbreviations that I use with my work in my writing.

Here is a large collection of common acronyms and abbreviations that you may when working in the Canadian Geomatics industry.

Canada Explained in 7 Maps

Maps‬ that show How Important Canada isMaps‬ that show How Important Canada is

7 Maps that show how important Canada is [source: Business Insider CandianGEO.info/1XWPndh]

Canada is one of the top energy producers in the world. Our country is simply huge, with a sprawling vast wilderness landscape. This video will show you how truly expansive Canada is with 7 maps

 

GIS Conference and Events in Canada

Attending a geomatics event or professional conference is a great way to keep update about what is currently happening in the Geomatics industry and also an opportunity to have a good time while networking and mingling with others.

Many organizations across Canada offer great conferences and events, so the Conference and Events section provides free information about the various GIS related conferences, events, workshops, training and webinars that are available to or could be of related interest to other Canadians.

Some upcoming geomatics related conference and events in Canada include …

Wheelmap – Wheelchair Accessible Maps

Halifax Wheelmap- Wheelchair Accessible Maps

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.

Essential Tips for Starting a Canadian Business

Essential Tips for Starting a Canadian Business

There are many of us out there that often say we would love to work for our selves and probably many more of us that actually think that. Thanks to many advancements in software, computers and technology as well as the way that we do Geomatics these days we are seeing more individuals starting to work for themselves. The excitement of starting a  business in Canada can often leads to many questions.

Where do you begin?Essential Tips for Starting a Canadian Business

What steps are essential?

Are there any hidden tips to be aware of?

How much will it cost me and how much can I make?

Today we were submitted some helpful helpful tips about starting a business, some of witch may surprise you as most people never think of everything when they come up with an idea of starting their own business.

Know What Your Good At & Do What You Love

Choose a business where you can use your best skills or interests; if your not very good at programming then you obviously do not want to start an applications business (although there is always out sourcing and other methods that you could consider). It is important to not just look at the amount of money people that you could make. Know what you love to do and go for something you’re good at, then allow your expertise draw in your customers.

You do not want to spend all your time doing something you find boring or outright distasteful no matter how much financial potential that it has (actually this is often what drives most people to quit their regular jobs and start working on their own). The point of being in business for yourself is to be able to wake up eager to get to work. If you only care about the money, then just get yourself a new job some where else.

Have a Business Plan and Stick to the Plan

Have an Overall Plan. Decide in advance what, where, and how long you intend to do the business. Will it be an ongoing venture, an online business or just a summer project? With an overall plan, you can make the rest of your decisions accordingly.

Probably the most popular tip and most important is the Business Plan, everyone who starts working for themselves should have one. Unlike the general overall plan, this one covers the specifics of the business. Do market testing to figure out the prices you can charge, who is most likely to buy your product or service, and most importantly, whether you can make a profit. If the answer to the last one is no, then you need to change your plan – a viable business must be able to turn a profit!

Time Management

It’s easy for a business to eat up all of your time. Conversely, some people find it hard to dedicate enough time to the business. Set a schedule that dedicates plenty of time for your business, but not so much that your entire life is consumed. Do expect to put a lot of your life into your business during the first couple of years.

Keep It Under Control

Take control of your brand right from the start. The fact that no one knows your brand when you first open your doors doesn’t mean that you don’t have a brand. You do – right from the start. Engage your target market on Twitter, Facebook and other areas to nurture that brand and ensure that people think positively of your product, service and company.

Have a Backup Plan

Consider an exit strategy. Selling your business may or may not be your initial end goal, but if you’re successful, you’ll eventually get an offer. Think wisely about each offer rather than either accepting or denying it in a knee-jerk fashion.


Amy Coleman – Amy has carried a briefcase to school since first grade because she wanted to be the boss. She holds an MBA from Wharton and works for a Fortune 500 company where she has her eye on the corner office.

[Originally Published Aug. 2008]

Ontario Trail Maps

 

Ontario Trail Maps

Ontario Trail Maps

Ontario Trail Maps: The Ontario Trails Council is a charity that was created to promote the development, preservation and management recreational related trails in Ontario. Several Ontario trail maps have been created to help people find cycling routes and loops with descriptions, hiking and walking trails, and other recreation related trails such as ATV, snowmobiling, canoeing and many more.

Ontario Trail MapsOntarioTrailsMap.com is an Ontario Trails Council online mapping application that has a quick selection menu with search functionality that allows users to quickly narrow down their search to any region in Ontario and desired trail type. Details about the various trails provided include trail type, trail lengths, difficulty rating and other details such as photos and descriptions.

OntarioTrailMaps.ca provides users with a series of of easy-to-read full color regional maps featuring recreational related trails in Ontario. Their maps are published by AdverMap and available in paper hard copy or scanned digital versions. AdverMap has distributed more then 100,000 trail maps throughout Ontario

Start exploring trails in your area, or venture out and explore some of Ontario that you have never been to before …

 

Trans Canada Trail – interactive web map

Trans Canada Trail Map

The Trans Canada Trail is the worlds longest networked multi-use recreational trail system that consists of more than 16500 kilometers of the fully operational trails across Canada. It is currently about seventy three percent of the overall proposed routes and when fully completed should span over 22500 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic Ocean, across every province and territory, connecting thousands of communities and all Canadians. “The Trans Canada Trail inspires Canadians of all ages to get active and keep fit and helps educate individuals of all ages about Canada’s history and cultural and natural heritage”.

 

Every day Canadians and international visitors use these trails to walk, bike, ski, canoe and snowmobile along. Several information Pavilions have been established across the system to provide information about sections of the trail helping people to experience Canada’s unique landscapes. The Trans Canada Trail Organization does not actually own or operate any of the trails but provides a non profit organization to helps run and manage the community based project with the different sections owned and maintained by various local organizations, provincial and national agencies and a multitude of municipalities.

The Trans Canada Trail Map web site offers an interactive Trans Canada Trail map based on ESRI technology that provides users with a new way to explore and learn more about the Trans Canada Trail System. The interactive site encourages public input providing functionality allowing Canadians to place points or lines on the map marking different parts of the trail that they may have explored or places that they wish to explore as well as opportunities to upload photos and stories to help share their experiences with other Canadians. The online web map offers users the ability to explore the trail system for areas that may be more suitable for different activities such as biking, canoeing and cross-country skiing as well as search tools to help find parts of the trail network near you.

There is a disclaimer on the site recommending that the map works best in Fire fox, Safari or Google Chrome, but I did notice that the map browser can sometimes still be some what problematic in these browsers. Either way I am sure you will quickly notice that this online web map is a great little way to way to explore and learn more about the Trans Canada Trail System. – Trans Canada Trail map


[Article originally published on June 23, 2013]

Professional Geomatics Associations & Groups in Canada

Professional organizations are great ways to network and discuss GIS topics with others in the same industry. Here are the professional geomatics related associations, groups and organizations in Canada …

Canadian Geospatial Directory

The Canadian Geospatial Directory contains basic information about the various Geomatics related companies found in and around Canada (with some from abroad) including many key aspects such as the companies basic info, contact info, web site info and geographic location.

We started adding content to the directory using our own database of 1000+ Canadian companies and organizations from coast to coast that work in the geomatics field. However, it is time for the Canadian Geomatics community to help us further fill out the directory by contributing more information to existing listings and adding new listings for companies and services that have yet to be included.

All this is free, so find out how you can help add information about your Canadian company or organization …