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34th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing

Event: 34th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing
Date: August 27-29, 2013
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Venue: Victoria Conference Centre

“These are exciting times for remote sensing research and applications in Canada. The recent commitment of funding to launch the RADARSAT Constellation will mean a continued Canadian imaging microwave presence in space. Canadians are leaders in the development of airborne active and passive sensor technologies. We are also on the cusp of multisensor UAV platform development that promises to revolutionize high resolution data acquisition and research. Applications from marine, arctic and northern surveillance, environmental modelling and monitoring, and resource exploration are also coming of age.” Olaf Niemann – General Conference Chair

CRSS-SCT REMOTE SENSING LOGO

The 34th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing will take place in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia this summer from August 27 to the 29. This years conference will be the first one under the new independent society (the Canadian Remote Sensing Society – CRSS separated from CASI last fall).

CRSS invites all the Canadian Geomatics, Earth Observation and Remote Sensing communities and any one interested in Remote Sensing to join them in Victoria. The conference program has not yet been finalized and the deadline for papers have been extended so there is still time for those interested in presenting.

The CRSS Canadian Symposiums that I have attended in the past have all been very informative and entertaining and I am sure that this one in August will be no different. To register for the event see the event registration page. http://geog.uvic.ca/CSRS2013/CSRS_2013_En/Registration_Accommondation.html

Avoid the Traffic with ReRouteMe Mapping Application

One of the things that I have been fortunate enough to avoid since moving east back to the Maritimes a few years ago has been the annoying daily commute that so much of us participate in at least twice a day (although I have had my share of it over the years, having lived in many urban areas such as Halifax, Ottawa and Toronto). Statistics Canada reports that the average time that Canadians spend commuting to and from work increased from an average of 54 minutes in 1992 to an average of 63 minutes in 2005. If you tally those minutes up you may be shocked to learn that it works out to almost 32 days a year that an average person spends in traffic commuting.

traffic along the highway“For one in four Canadians, the two-way commute takes more than 90 minutes.And it’s not just the commute. There is nearly as much traffic at lunchtime today as there was at rush hour a generation ago. Not only are there more cars and trucks on the road but we’re using them for more things: driving the kids to sports, where once they would have walked.” (Andrew Coyne – Macleans Magazine – Jan 2011).

So are you tired of the traffic and want to travel faster and smarter?

Then perhaps you should check to see if your city is available on ReRouteMe.

ReRouteMe logo

This online mapping application takes the basic functionality of Google maps (such as the display of the reference map and the address search ability) and combines it with custom functionality and databases that are completely independent from Google to provide a powerful value added product that can help you avoid accidents, traffic cams, construction and any congestion on your everyday commute. The ReRouteMe back-end, powered by Open Source software packages has been further customized to meet the application requirements and public demand. ReRouteMe uses PostgreSQL as the RDBMS for the geographic/tabular data management as well as processing and the routing engine is based on a modified version of pgRouting.

Designed with a Wide Range of Users in Mind

ReRouteMe has been designed for a wide range of users including those that drive their own vehicle, use public transit, take a taxi, cycle and even walking. Currently it provides over 35 different cities (mostly from Ontario), a growing collection that continues to increase since the first time I discovered the application in 2012. It provides users with the basics such as simply going from start to final destination as well as the ability to customize with multiple stops, stop-over times and the ability to set other various dynamic criteria to help influence the provided route. Users can sign up for an account, define and store their routes, and then the application will notify them via e-mail with alternative options when there are last minute events such as accidents, traffic jams or road closures.

ReRouteMe Web Mapping Application

The web site contains plenty of helpful extras that makes it stand out and appealing to a large audience, however I was fortunate enough to get some additional information from Pierre Lermusieaux, the COO of Rhexia Incorporated (creators of ReRouteMe) to share with the CanadianGIS.com audience.

“The ReRouteMe web application was built out of an interest to provide more in-depth and local information about commuting that what is typically available from Google and others. Our focus is the promotion of ‘green’ modes of transportation as well as the presentation of useful information related to public transportation. The ReRouteMe application is free to use by anyone.

The application has been designed to leverage publicly available data that is typically further processed to make it useable and informative. The road network used for the routing is based on OpenStreetMap, the National Road Network (NRN) from NRCan, and the Ontario Road Network (ORN) from LIO. Additional efforts have been invested to add missing information or correct existing one. All of the point of interest have been harvested from public information provided by cities or other organizations.” – (Pierre Lermusieaux – Rhexia Incorporated)

Some of the functionality currently presented in the ReRouteMe application include:

  • Public Transit Routing (based on the Municipal GTFS schedules with advanced options for routing), coverage includes the following municipalities: Ottawa, Toronto, Mississauga, Waterloo, Guelph and Hamilton. They have also deployed GoTransit which links the Greater Toronto Area, thus allowing them to route the user across various municipalities in the GTA using public transit. Soon users will also be able to do ‘simulation’ routing with the future Ottawa Light Rail that includes allowing the user to transfer between Octranspo buses and the soon to be built Ottawa Light Rail.
  • Routing for Bicycles that merges cycle paths with the road network with some advanced options
  • Routing for pedestrians
  • Routing for Personal vehicle, including multiple stops and advanced options for routing
  • Routing for Taxi that provides cost estimate for the trip as well as trip share for multiple riders
  • Ability to change the City of interest that will intern drive the selection of the Transit organizations, weather information, gas prices, traffic news, and taxi fares that are included with the routing and map
  • Routing is influenced by factors representing: rush vs non-rush hour, dynamic and recurring congestion, turn costs, turn prohibitions, constructions, events, and accidents
  • Calculations of the costs associated to using a Car for a specific route: gas usage and costs based on a specific car make and model (selectable) and current average gas prices for the area, CO2 emitted for the route
  • Provision of an estimated travel time for the route and another one taking into account the local current weather conditions
  • Ability to reverse and edit the route addresses and to apply the same route addresses to another mode of transportation
  • Saving routes, one time routes, recurring routes and the ability to send them via e-mail
  • Ability to set your own preferences (needs to be logged in): preferred addresses, home city, car make and model, notification frequency, etc.
  • Once a route is saved and it is recurring, the application will notify you by e-mail of any changes to the itinerary prior to your departure should construction or accidents impact it. A new route is then proposed as part of the notification
  • Ability to show points of interest at a maximum distance along the calculated route
  • Ability to dynamically exclude a segment from a route
  • Find out where the traffic cameras are located to help avoid any tickets
  • Learn where the best place is to buy gas

cars at sunset on the highway in trafficI am sure that by now you can see the from this extensive list of current functionality that the ReRouteMe web mapping application can provide people with robust tools to help them plan their daily commute and learn of any changes that they should anticipate before they head out. So if you have a rather complicated daily commute then I am sure that you can see that a few minutes on ReRouteMe.com before you head out can actually save you time later on.

The team at ReRouteMe that I have been in contact with are very proud of their application and  tell me that they will expand the tool whenever there comes a need or demand for certain services and thus would love any feedback or suggestions for future modifications.

Below are a few more helpful videos on ReRouteMe that show how robust and powerful the tool is; and yet how user friendly and easy to use it is. I recommend that you check it out for yourself (especially if you live in an urban are of Ontario) and let me know what you think, all feedback is welcome. The web site is ReRouteMe.com
as well as being very easy to use with plenty of helpful information including help videos.

Website: ReRouteMe.com

[Sources: emails – rerouteme.com – macleans.ca – rhexia.com]
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DMTI Spatial chosen as provider of geospatial data to the Federal Government

DMTI Spatial chosen due to high quality and comprehensiveness of its location-based data

 

 

DMTI Spatial Inc. (DMTI), Canada’s leading provider of Location Intelligence solutions, announced today that it has been awarded the Domestic Vector Data Set contract by Public Works and Government Service Canada (PWGSC).  The initial one year contract includes an option for the Government of Canada to extend the term by up to four additional one year periods, for a total potential value of $2.9 million.  They were awarded the contract after an extensive competitive procurement process and evaluation period, and was chosen due to the high quality of its CanMap® geospatial datasets.DMTI Spatial

This contract provides various federal government departments with critical location-based information to help make important policy and planning decisions affecting the lives of all Canadians.  Departments initially using DMTI’s data under this contract include the Department of National Defence, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.  DMTI’s data has been of assistance to numerous government initiatives in the past, including supporting the operations of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the 2010 G20 and G8 Summits in Muskoka and Toronto.

“This major contract win demonstrates confidence in our data from the highest levels of government,” said John Fisher, DMTI Spatial Chairman and CEO.  “DMTI’s data has proven to be of tremendous value to the government of Canada in the past and we are pleased to continue to support their needs on making key decisions.  This selection in the Federal Government’s competitive process underscores DMTI Spatial’s leadership role in Location Intelligence solutions.”

About DMTI Spatial Inc. 
DMTI has been providing industry-leading enterprise Location Economics solutions for almost two decades to Global 2000 companies and government agencies.  DMTI’s world-class Location Hub platform enables real-time decisions by uniquely identifying, validating, analyzing and maintaining a universe of location-based data.  Through a strong partner ecosystem, DMTI enables its customers to use location as a frame of reference to enrich customer, prospect, vendor and infrastructure insight with a wide variety of attributes to better identify risk and opportunity.

Free Data Sets for the City of Edmonton & ESRI online mapping tools

City of Edmonton ESRI online mapping tools

The City of Edmonton has been providing an online Open Data service to help make municipal information more accessible since 2009 [http://data.edmonton.ca]. They feel that through collaboration and innovation that they have become a leader in Open Government by using the latest technology to increase access to their information.

Much like the City of Toronto they have various data sets that they do not offer due to privacy or confidentiality issues. In fact you will notice many similarities between the Open Source service offered by the City of Edmonton and the Cities of Toronto, Ottawa,and Vancouver because these cities have come together to share resources and methodologies that they use to provide the service to better provide Canadians with good reliable sources of spatial data sets.

Data sets are provided in various standard downloadable file formats such as XLS, CSV, PDF, DGN & SHP. All data set contains basic meta info associated with them such as who created the data, date, format, projection, attributes, contact info etc. They do not require Developers to get permission to create applications with the data, instead permission is provided for all data sets as long as users abide by the terms of agreement for the service.

One difference that you Edmonton has from the other cities is that they provide the ability to visualize the data sets unsing online ESRI web mapping technology. This way allows users to better unserdtand what the data sets they are downloading consists of. There is also another neat little feature using the same ESRI tools that allows users to embed maps that they generate on their own web site or blog.

Below is a map of the golf courses in the City of Edmonton created on the city web site and then embeded here on this site with the provided code snip-it that they provided.

The City of Edmonton has done an amazing job of providing interesting data sets in one online location where they can grant the GIS community royalty free, non exclusive licence to use, modify, and distribute any of the data sets that they continue to make available via their data catalogue. They have also provided a great looking easy to use web mapping tool based on ESRI software so that users can save time by viewing the data before downloading it into their own GIS software and people can use to embed maps into their personal blogs.

I encourage you to go forth, download some of the data and start generating great GIS products for the citizens of Edmonton and help promote Canadian Open Data Sets .

 

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.