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How COGS became the ‘Go to Place’ for Technical Map Training

The education programs offered at COGS has evolved and changed drastically over the years, however COGS has maintained an international reputation for the ability to design, develop and deliver high quality technical professionals that continue to populate the geospatial community. Find out how to download various literature about the history of COGS.

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.

GIS Training at Colleges and Universities

Our ever evolving Geomatics industry has lead to increased demands for specialized GIS training, and Canada has remained on top of the leading GIS education providers for many years. Here are some of the best Colleges and Universities that offer GIS related programs. This page was created on the site a number of years back to highlight some of the best Colleges and Universities in Canada that offer GIS related programs.

Acadia University – Master of Science in Applied Geomatics

Acadia University Master of Science in Applied Geomatics

Acadia University teamed up with COGS (Centre of Geographic Sciences) in 2005 to provide a unique joint Master of Science in Applied Geomatics program. The Masters program is a full 2 year program of collaborative technical coursework, research and data analysis, where graduate students spend 2 semesters at COGS (or AGRG – Applied Geomatics Research Group), 2 semesters at Acadia University (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences) and then 2 semesters on their thesis research at either schools. This unique faculty offers students to complete their Thesis / Research Project under joint supervision with a combination of technical and academic emphasizes.

“The fundamental relevance of this program is that its graduates will be fully competent to tackle existing or predicted environmental problems, from solid theoretical and practical foundations, using a variety of skills, and an array of new technologies. Graduates of this program will become society and industry leaders in: mapping, planning, analysis, understanding and stewardship of the natural environment.”

 

The joint collaboration between the two education institutes allows students to further build upon their solid undergraduate foundation that they got from their University degree, adding skills in research, analysis, interpretation and presentations. This method is believed to provide students with an added edge to help them better compete in the Geomatics industry. COGS & AGRG help provide students with the latest Geomatics software and technology while Acadia provides students with scientific tools and accredited resources. For example AGRG is one of the few education institutes in North America that have their own LIDAR survey equipment allowing students to gain more experiences from their research that they may not obtain from other schools.

Contact

Dr. I. Spooner
(902) 585-1312 / ian.spooner@acadiau.ca for further information

See the Acadia Graduate program web page for more details.

[source: acadia.ca / COGS & Acadia Alumni]

 

Roger Tomlinson: The father of GIS and computerized cartography

Roger Tomlinson, also known as the Father of GIS has been featured in many publications since his recent passing last month, here is one from the Globe & Mail by Rick Boychuk.


Roger Tomlinson: The father of GIS and computerized cartography

Roger Tomlinson - the Father of GIS

What’s the smartest location for a new coffee shop? Where do you deliver food and water in a city hit by a catastrophic earthquake? How fast are glaciers melting?

Roger Tomlinson taught us how to solve such puzzles.

An Ottawa based geographer, Dr. Tomlinson has been called the “father” of the world’s first geographic information system (GIS), a method of computerized map-making that he pioneered in the 1960s. By combining in an interactive map not just topographic features, but other data that can be linked to specific locations (such as census findings, gas lines, nickel deposits or even beetle invasions), he revolutionized the storage and analysis of spatial information.

Today, governments, corporations, relief organizations and many others use GIS to analyze and plan development projects, mount retail promotion campaigns, track changes to landscapes and respond to emergencies. Although Dr. Tomlinson developed his GIS insights before the advent of satellite mapping and global positioning system (GPS) receivers that put users into maps, his work paved the way for the waves of cartographic innovations that followed, including Google Maps.

Dr. Tomlinson, 80, who died on Feb. 7 of a heart attack in San Miguel de Allende, in central Mexico, once said that although he may have fathered GIS, many others were raising the child. Indeed, when he was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada last year, the citation noted that his “landmark creation underpins virtually all spatial analysis and has enabled new questions to be asked in a wide variety of disciplines as diverse as telecommunications, epidemiology and resource management.”

continue reading …

A Nova Scotian experiment in Technical Education

After several months of waiting, Bob Maher has finished writing the history of COGS and has made it available for free to read on the website that I created for the project: theStoryofCOGS.ca

the Story of COGS - A Nova Scotian experiment in Technical Education

the Story of COGS – A Nova Scotian experiment in Technical Education

In the mid-1980’s the survey school (Nova Scotia Land Survey Institute, NSLSI) was responding to the rapid changes in computing technology. It had introduced a number of computer application programs (e.g. Scientific Computer Programming, Business Computer Programming, Computer Graphics, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)). There was pressure for a name change that more appropriately reflected the breadth of the technical training.

There was considerable debate about naming conventions, Geographic Science(s) versus Geomatics Engineering. One of the influences in this debate was Dr. Roger Tomlinson.

As we remember Roger’s contribution to both GIS and Geography, it is noteworthy that NSLSI became the College of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in 1986.

The story of COGS is an attempt to place the transition years between NSLSI and NSCC into its appropriate context. The first two chapters describe the early years and personalities at NSLSI.
Chapter 3 explains the transition to COGS, whereas Chapter 4 looks at the second transition into the NSCC. The last chapter reflects on the highlights of the COGS era.

The real story of COGS  will always be its graduates. The authors hope that this short contribution will encourage others add their recollections, and to remember fondly their time in Lawrencetown, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia. In many ways, the strength of an institution lies the lives of the alumni.

We welcome any comments, corrections, and additions. This is just a personal view of a specific institution in rural Nova Scotia.

Bob Maher and Heather Stewart

[Dr. Roger Tomlinson died February 9th. 2014]

Looking for all COGS graduates

Attn: COGS Alumni Network

Bob Maher has begun to research ‘the story of COGS’, a personal project for Bob and his wife, Heather who arrived in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia back in 1980 when he joined Bruce Peveril to teach the first Advanced Diploma program in Scientific Computer Programming.

COGS NSCC logoOver the next six years, the ‘survey school’ known as the Nova Scotia Land Survey Institute (NSLSI) was transformed into the College of Geographic Sciences. It was a time of creativity and innovation in technical education with new programs in Business Computer programming, Computer Graphics and GIS to complement the Remote Sensing program. NSLSI was officially renamed COGS (as most people know it) in 1986.

As background research, Bob and Heather have started to interview staff who remember those years of transition. In addition, they are compiling class lists, by program and by year. This has led to the concept of a COGS Alumni Network.

Are you a COGS graduate ?

One of primary outcomes of any learning institution are its graduates. One can compile the view from the teachers’ perspective but this may be quite different than the students’ perspective. Using social media, Bob and Heather want to reach out to the COGS alumni community. We are interested in photographs, articles, stories and feedback on this project.

You can connect directly at either maher.rv@gmail.com or heather.maxine@gmail.com or through http://www.thestoryofcogs.ca (started but expected to expand further over xmas) – a new web site where anyone can track the project

Regards;

Bob Maher and Heather Stewart

 

Note: See Full Memo at  http://www.thestoryofcogs.ca/cogs-alumni-network

[Notice republished with on behalf of B. Maher & thestoryofCOGS.ca]

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