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Town of Banff Online Maps and Apps

As many of you already know or perhaps may have recently discovered, CanadianGIS.com has been high-lighting places in Canada that have an online web mapping site or application in order to help better provide information to their residents.

Town of Banff

Now this month the Town of Banff is featured as they too have now joined the spatial ranks of several other Cities and Municipalities in Canada with the launch of their own online mapping site (Simply check out the Web Maps category link or the site search tools along the right side to find many other great Canadian Online Map sites featured).

Their new Maps and Apps website created by the Town of Banff GIS and IT departments now provides free public access to maps and geospatial applications that help the Town of Banff provide better services and connect with it’s own citizens in a new way.

Through pre-made web served maps created from a collection of over 200 different layers of geographic information, people can find local services, learn more about projects, explore regions of Banff or create their own maps. The various geospatial applications also provide a new way to allow citizens to get more involved by providing them with interactive tools, such as better ways to report street light outages or problems with transportation.

Using Esri Canada’s Community Maps Program and ArcGIS Online, Esri’s cloud-based GIS solution, the Town of Banff has been able to serve detailed accurate base maps, provide several pre-made maps and value added applications. This mapping solution has allowed them to efficiently produce more than 25 free maps and applications (online, mobile & PDF) such as the Bike Banff mobile app or the interactive Heritage Walking Tour application. The pre-made free maps and applications make it easier for residents and visitors to quickly find the information they need to help make better decisions.

 

Town of Banff Online Maps

 

 The maps and apps are organized around city services and the information you need to do business with the Town of Banff on a daily basis. You’ll find maps and apps provided by the Town’s departments of Corporate Services, Engineering, Operations, Planning, and Community Services.The site will also highlight innovators and innovations that demonstrate a more collaborative and open government.

The various maps and apps available on BanffMaps.ca are supported by the following browsers: Firefox 3.5+, Chrome 4+, Internet Explorer 7+, and Apple Safari 3+.

If you have an application that is not listed in the Maps and Apps gallery or can think of a great idea of one using Town of Banff data, then they have a section on the site where you can submit your map or application.

Town of Banff are also further exploring their mapping capabilities by planning to deploy several staff with iPhone smartphone devices, providing them with the ability to access and update GIS data from outside the office. This could provide value added management where staff can track snow-plow locations, report accidents and traffic congestion as well as many other time sensitive tasks.

Now while this site may not be as robust or great as some other online map applications that I have covered, it still is a pretty easy to use mapping site with plenty of  free maps and applications making it easier for residents and visitors to quickly find the information they need to help make better decisions. So keep an eye on this site as it will no doubt grow much larger as more people discover it and get involved.

If you know of an online web mapping site that should be included in the CanadianGIS.com collection of Canadian Online Map Sites then I encourage you to contact me.

Languages of Universities Interactive Map

These days, people are starting to make the Internet their primary source of everyday information and more people are becoming aware of how valuable spatial data and maps can be, as a result there have been more webs sites containing interactive web mapping applications appearing. And as you can see from some of the many great mapping applications covered by CanadianGIS.com in the web mapping section, some of them can be pretty robust applications containing a wide variety of data sets and customization possibilities while others can still be relative simple mapping applications while still providing added value.

Perhaps a good example of a relative simple mapping application that is well done and does a good job of combing spatial and basic information is one I recently came across on the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages web site.

Map - University Language Programs in Canada

Here they use an online interactive map to demonstrate where the various English, French and Bilingual universities across Canada are located while providing basic information about each. The map allows its users to select predefined maps either by clicking on the map directly or by using the pull down selection box that returns either a list of possible schools or an exact school. Of witch when clicked provides a more detailed map and then information about the language skills provided at that institute.

Canadian Maple Leaf - half

Here, we see no extra tool bars, printing functionality or user customization provided, just the basic information about the intended language topics and then a link to the domain of the University where someone can find more detailed information about that particular University featured on the map. And although maybe not that impressive to a cartographer or a geomatics person, sometimes that is all that is needed with a simple mapping application.


Here is the link
to check out the mapping application for your self:

http://www.ocol-clo.gc.ca/twolanguages_deuxlangues/index_e#

CanadianGIS.com has been exploring the web and exposing some of the many great online web mapping applications for the past year covering various regions and topics in Canada, if you know of one that has been missed or not listed on the site yet then let me know. I will take a look at it and then consider adding it the site for CanadianGIS.com viewers to learn more about and share with their networks.

GeoManitoba 2012

Event: GeoManitoba 2012
Date: September 30 to October 3, 2012
Venue: Fairmont Hotel downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba

GeoManitoba 2012

GeoManitoba 2012Manitoba is not often considered a hot bed for GIS in Canada but it certainly has shown some increased potential lately as this is the second Geomatics related (Although it may be more Geotechnical based then then Geomatics) event submitted to the site this summer about events scheduled to take place in Manitoba latter this year.

The Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS) and the Manitoba Section of the CGS are planning their 65th Canadian Geotechnical Conference witch will take place September 30 to October 3, 2012 at the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

The theme of GeoManitoba 2012 will focus on building on the success of past conferences, reflecting the heritage of geotechnical engineering in Canada and how history will help Geomatics going forward into the future. They also plan to address the ever increasing need to restore and upgrade Canada’s aging infrastructure.

For more information and to register for this event see http://www.cgs2012.ca

Alberta’s Changing Political Landscape

Alberta's changing political web map

On April 23, 2012 thousands of electors headed to the polls for Alberta’s 28th provincial election. In all 87 candidates were elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, 4 more then 2008 due to an increase in the provinces growing population. The Progressive Conservative party won a majority with 61 of the 87 elected ridings.

More information about Alberta general elections can be found at the Elections Alberta website. Instead I will continue to discuss Alberta’s 28th provincial election but as it relates to mapping, but what does a provincial election have to do with mapping?

Well… ESRI Canada has what they refer to as a Public Map Gallery that is a collection of custom web maps created by their mapping team featuring Canadian community maps, Canadian election results, and various census data. Here they leveraged some of their online spatial tools and features available together with public domain data to create an interactive online mapping application of Alberta’s Changing Political Landscape.

The online interactive political map can help people visualize the results from Alberta’s past three provincial elections all together in one interactive browser window. A similar online mapping application like this one was also created for the last federal election in 2011.

“The Esri Canada Mapping Team who is responsible for the construction of a series of Canadian Community Maps and web applications hosted on ArcGIS.com. The Esri Canada Community Maps Program provides a cost-effective and efficient framework for organizations to share their geographic information with the public.” http://maps.esri.ca/gallery/

Alberta's changing political web map

Using the interactive mapping application of Alberta’s Changing Political Landscape a person can view results from Alberta’s 2004, 2008, 2012 elections and when they zoom into an area of interest in one map window, all the other windows will zoom to the same level automatically making it very easy to compare the results from place to place.

An additional information tool is provided that allows people to click on any electoral riding and the basic information for that one appears below the map, containing information such as the elected party, the MLA, the electoral district name, number of electors, voter turnout etc. To check out the online Alberta map for your self go to http://maps.esri.ca/ElectoralMaps/AB_GeneralElections/


Do you know about any Canadian online web maps that are not covered by CanadianGIS.com? Then let me know and I will look into adding it to our database.

New Atlas of Canada Map featuring the Canadian North

The Atlas of Canada recently published a beautiful new cartography product featuring the Canadian North in support of Natural Resources Canada and the Government of Canada’s Northern Strategy.

NRCan Canadian North Map

The new bilingual map product (available either in paper or digital formats) features the vast geography of the north from approximately 50° latitude and above. The map highlights populated places in all three Canadian territories, northern sections of the provinces, and also adjacent northern regions ofAlaska, Greenland andRussia.

The Canadian North is a fundamental part of our country, part of our heritage and  key to our future. It has an extensive geography from the boreal forests north to the tundra, across the permafrost regions and the ice of the Arctic.

The Atlas of Canada provides Canadians with current accessible geographic information products covering the entire country. It was first published in print in 1906 and then in 1999 became one of the first online electronic atlases in the world. Today, the Atlas of Canada continues to provide Canadians with a diverse cartographic collection of maps, data, images and other related resources.

 “The Atlas of Canada Web site will provide the most interesting, dynamic and comprehensive collection of maps and related information about Canada available anywhere on the Internet, with effective and intuitive tools for users to access them.

The Atlas of Canada provide free downloads of new map of the Canadian North in either JPG or PDF versions. They no longer sell map products directly to the public but do make hard copy versions available to purchase through various dealers all across the country. So if you do not have the ability to print your own copies you can still get paper products.

To download any Atlas of CanadaMaps see: http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/dataservices/wall_maps/index.html

To purchase download any Atlas of Canada Maps see: http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/dataservices/wall_maps/purchase_info.html

Reference number: MCR0036
Size: 43.5 inches by 47.5 inches or 110.49 centimetres by 120.65 centimetres
Scale: 1:4 000 000
Published: 2012

Print Version:
Cat#: M114-25/2011
ISBN: 978-1-100-54028-3

PDF Version:
Cat#: M114-25/2011-PDF
ISBN: 978-1-100-54029-0

Geomatics Social Networking – Get Involved

Social media is a method for online networking interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing and marketing techniques. Traditionally people have always gained information, education and news through electronic and print media. Social media is distinct from industrial or traditional media, such as newspapers, television and film because it is relatively inexpensive and easily accessible to enable all most anyone to publish or access the information, compared to traditional media, which generally requires significant resources to publish, promote and distribute the information.

Web based social services make it possible to connect people that share common interests and activities across political, economic, and geographic borders. Several popular websites have begun to tap into the power of the social networking model for philanthropy. Such models provide a means for connecting otherwise fragmented industries and small organizations without the resources to reach a broader audience with interested users. Social networks are providing a different way for individuals to communicate digitally. These communities allow for the sharing of information and ideas, an old concept placed into a new digital environment.

CanadianGIS.com has been active with several social media web-based technologies for marketing, interactive communication and networking opportunities with others in the geomatics industry. You too should get involved in networking with us and others in GIS to help further build on the Geomatics foundation of your career.

I have provided some basic information below on ways that I have been social networking  with other GIS professionals and encourage you to try some of these as well (if you have not already done so). If you are looking for a starting point then contact me, I will be more than happy to network with you and help get your geomatics networking circle started.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the one of the largest professional networking web sites with over 80 million members and growing rapidly every day. The goal of LinkedIn is to help connect you to your trusted contacts and to help you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals in your field. There is a strong presence of GIS proffesionals on LinkedIn and the numbers continue to grow. 

The big difference with this social media site compared to others sites such as FaceBook is that it is more career orientated and an important place to have your resume, portfolio and other career tools listed.

If you had to choose only one social media networking site to join and really wanted one that can help boost your career then this would be the one to join.

To successfully grow your professional network, you often need to reach out to other people you already know or meet others with common interests and invite them to join your network. If you have not joined LinkedIn yet and you are trying to increase your presences in the geomatics industry then I really recommend that you consider joining LinkedIn (it is free, although they do have some paid services that can help you further).

You should check out and the Canadian GIS LinkedIn group – http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Canadian-GIS-4150297 – it is like an extension of the website where group members can post information, ask questions, interact, find jobs etc. And the best part is that the other members of the group are all there for the same reason. The group sends out weekly emails with updates so you can only tune into discussions that really interest you if you want. Currently there are over 500 members in the group from all regions of Canada.

Twitter

Twitter is a web site that offers a social media texting service, allowing its users to send and read messages shared among one another called tweets. Tweets are small text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the user’s profile page. Users are encouraged to subscribe or follow to read other users’ tweets, also known as following and the subscribers are known as followers.

People send and receive tweets via the Twitter web site, compatible external applications (such as smart phones), or by text message through a smart messaging system (SMS). Tweets are made visible on users profiles to anybody (unless you chose to sign up for a private tweet account) as well as they are also get sent to the profile of any followers. So let’s say that Jon Doe has 10 followers, when he makes a tweet message, it will be posted to the twitter site for anybody to read on his profile and it will also be sent and placed on his 10 follower’s profiles, so obviously the more followers then the larger the audience who the message may reach. You may wonder how this can help you in your career; well once again it goes back to networking. The Twitter environment provides an easy way to connect and meet people that you may not know as well as share content and interact with others that have common interests such as colleagues or possible employers.

You will notice that many companies and professionals have gotten involved with sending and receiving messages on Twitter and CanadianGIS.com is no different, Recently GoGeomatics did some research to determine the 10 most influential Geomatics Twitter accounts and @CanadianGIS ranked 4th in Canada.

@CanadianGIS has over eight thousand followers so when I broadcast a Geomatics message on Twitter it reaches a large audience. Therefore if you are already a Twitter member or have considering joining then you should network with me on twitter and keep updated on GIS events, Geomatic related news, jobs, site updates and much more.

Other Social Media

I have been involved with social media for several years now and what the two methods that I have covered above are only a small insight to what I know about Social Media. There are many other social media programs and techniques that I use for both my career and to help market my portfolio and Geomatics related websites.

Twitter: @canadiangis 15,500+ followers @tedmackinnon  11,000+ followers

FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/canadiangis/ Free GIS job resources -7200+ members joined so far, help make the group better by joining up. CanadianGIS also runs a facebook page with over 5,700 followers that have liked the page to get updates about our website and Canadian GIS  topics –  http://www.facebook.com/CanadianGIS

LinkedIn: Join one of our up and coming LinkedIn groups GoGeomatics 1,700+ members & CanadianGIS group 5,600+ members  and feel free to connect with my personal network of 3,600+ LinkedIn professionals as well http://www.linkedin.com/in/tedmackinnon

 

Canadian initiatives for Open Data Resources

Canada open data

Canadian Open Data 

The City of Toronto has recently celebrated two years of online Open Data service and they continue to build on that success, by stating that they intend to add more data layers and further develop their online data portal. So with that in mind I thought I would take a closer look at how Open Data Frameworks are currently doing here in Canada.

The concept behind Open data is that data should be available to anyone to use freely without restrictions or copyright. It is similar to other “Open” movements such as open source software, and open access, and has gained popularity with the launch of open data site by the United States Government [Data.gov] in 2009.

There has been a big movement towards Open Data Frameworks in Canada and the Cities of Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver have come together to share resources and methodologies in order to provide Canadians with good reliable sources of spatial data sets. By offering data sets for general use, these Canadian Cities are demonstrating that they support unfiltered access to information in order to improve access to information and so that more quality mapping related applications / products can be created and shared providing higher potential cartographic products for all Canadians to benefit from.

Unlike the United States or some parts of Europe Canada has no country wide mandate establishing procedures or protocols on how spatial data is delivered online to Canadians. More and more cities and municipalities are getting involved with providing Open Data however GIS users still need to do some searching to find the various sites.

Once again this is one of the reasons why I started a Canadian data section on the site, to help aid fellow GIS users with online data searches. So I encourage you to share these pages and resources with your networks to help spread the word throughout the Canadian GIS community. And if you know of any site(s) that offer downloadable data sets that are not posted on my site then please let me know, so that I can ensure that they get shared with others.

City of Edmonton Data Sets
City of Ottawa Data Sets
City of Toronto Data Sets
City of Vancouver Data Sets
City of Niagara Falls Data Sets

Province of New Brunswick Data

Federal Government Canadian Wide Data

plus we will be listing others as they are discovered on our Canadian open data page

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Canadian Maps

A major part of any GIS are Canadian Maps produced that help illustrate and provide visible spatial information, the Canadian GIS & Geomatics site has been providing people with map resources since 2005, and continues to list great resources. To find some awesome Canadian maps, check some of the links below, browse through our data and Canadian map listings, use the search tools found along the right hand side or follow us on Twitter (we post images and links to a wide variety of maps daily).

Canadian Maps

Canadian Maps & many more GIS Resources

UTM zones & rows map – With this world map you can easily find out what UTM zone you are working from.

Geomatics & Cartography – great basic overview of Cartography with examples and plenty of resources.

Various Canadian maps resources

Old Canadian Maps from various Provinces

Web mapping applications featuring Canadian maps

Do you have any great Canadian maps that you would like us to share? Then let us know!

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Things to See & Do in British Columbia

Screen Grab - Things to Do and See in (BC) British Columbia

BCParks Online Mapping Application

BCParks has created a simple online mapping application with data from the DataBC program to help people in British Columbia find things see and do in British Columbia by identifying the various locations of the Province’s Parks, Protected Areas, Recreation Areas and Ecological Reserves.

Map - Things to Do and See in BC (British Columbia)

The online interactive mapping tool based on the Google Maps platform offers various searching abilities and provides users with some control over the features and map layers that are displayed in the mapping window.

Points of interest in the map window feature places like Provincial Parks that are also interactive when clicked, providing basic information, photos and links to the respective web pages for that feature that can provide more adequate information.

Although this online map may be relatively pretty basic it still does a good job of providing people with the ability to interactive spatially, appreciate the vast geography of British Columbia and find information about things to see & do that they may have not discovered before.

Click here for more information about the The DataBC program.

Map Maker for Canada

Google Map Maker Canada

Explore Map Maker for Canada

Leave your mark on the map, share your local knowledge about Canadian places with other Canadians.

Google has launched a product that they call Map Maker for Canada that provides users with the ability to add and update geographic information for millions of others to see in Google Maps. People can add businesses, create building outlines, move other peoples place markers to the correct locations. So why not help out the cause by adding places of interest, your school, campus or add your business location.

Check the Map Maker User Guide for help to get started or just be like most other GIS professionals and give Google Map Maker a try and learn as you go.  Google.ca/mapmaker

Share your feedback and comments on this neat little Google Maps feature.