Posts

ArcMap Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts

ArcGIS tips and shortcuts

The following video is a recording of a technical workshop presented at the 2013 Esri International User Conference featuring Jack Horton & Jorge Ruiz-Valdepena from Esri, that provides some great tips and tricks for working with ArcMap.

It is great little presentation that provides great information for almost all levels of users from beginners to experienced, with topics including: map navigation tips and tricks, keyboard shortcuts, customization, magnifier window, creating symbols, modifying existing symbols, working with map layers, layer files, python scripting and much more.

Many of the shortcuts they mention in the presentation can also be found in this helpful summary document: http://www.esri.com/library/brochures/pdfs/arcgis-desktop-tips.pdf

 

Canadian Cartographic Association Student Mapping Competition

Canadian Cartographic Association Student Mapping Competition

Canadian Cartographic Association Student Mapping CompetitionAre you a University or College student passionate about mapping? Then you will want to participate in the 2015-16 Canadian Cartographic Association Student Mapping Competition. Chances are you have already made some great maps for your projects or course work, so why not submit a copy to the CCA Student Mapping Competition and get recognized for creating your spatial master piece while earning some cash at the same time.

CCA President’s Prize

The CCA President’s Prize recognizes excellence in student map design and production and is open to all post-secondary students who have completed and produced a cartographic project in the preceding school year. The year’s President’s Prize Competition will consist of two prizes of $250, one for entries from college-level or CEGEP students, and one for entries from university-level students in the thematic map category:

A thematic map is a map that is meant to communicate a specific single subject matter within a particular geographic area. They are often defined as special purpose maps and can be either quantitative or qualitative in nature. The International Cartographic Association (ICA) defines the thematic map this way: “A map designed to demonstrate particular features or concepts. In conventional use this term excludes topographic maps” (Dent 1999, 8).

The cartographic project will consist of a single map. There are no restrictions on size but the project must have been completed and produced during the school year preceding the competition. Cartographic projects will consist of a map or a map series forming a coherent whole and may be submitted in any finished form (on paper or other medium). Entries submitted in electronic media, whether GIS or internet mapping applications, should not require specialized software for viewing.

Each entry must be accompanied by a clCanadian Cartographic Association Student Mapping Competitionear and succinct statement of design objectives that will weigh heavily in the judges’ decision. In addition, entries will be judged on the basis of creativity and overall effectiveness in communication as well as excellence in compilation, design, and layout. Students must be enrolled at a Canadian University or College to be eligible to submit their maps made in the 2014/15 academic year. Deadline for submission is May 20, 2016.

Carto-Québec Prize

The Carto-Quebec prize is a special annual competition for the best student-authored cartographic product created in French. Theaward has been established through a gift from the former Association Carto-Québec to promote and recognize excellence in map design.

The competition is open to all post-secondary students in Canada who have completed and produced a cartographic project in the preceding school year. The Carto-Québec Prize will consist of two awards of $500, one for entries from college-level or CEGEP students, and one for entries from university-level students. The Carto-Quebec prize must be in French. Deadline for submission is May 20, 2016.

Carte soumissions pour ce concours suivent les mêmes lignes directrices que le Prix du Président, mais sont nécessaire pour être en français. Remarque: Pour les deux concours, tous les étudiants inscrits dans une université ou un collège canadien sont admissibles à soumettre leurs cartes faites dans l’année scolaire 2014/15. Date limite de soumission est le 20 mai 2016.

Download the Student Mapping Competition entry form here 

OpenStreetMap – the Power of the People

What is OpenStreetMap?

OpenStreetMapWith two technology giants Apple and Google fighting out each other for claiming the top position in mapping technologies, a silent challenger has rapidly approached the top position without too much hassle.

OpenStreetMap launched 10 years ago with the slogan of Free Wiki World Map has taken developers and map lovers by surprise, providing editable map data, making it easier for people to interact and navigate.

Even though the competition has already previously mapped every inch of the globe, their restrictions on availability combined with complexity in rendering of information and lack of detail in many regions has made people to start using OpenStreetMap as an alternative.

OpenStreetMap started in the UK back in 2004 and is still largely dominated by European input, however North America use has grown over the past few years with the help of many organizations such as Esri who has included OpenStreetMap  as one of their free base map layers.  Since OpenStreetMap is a crowd sourced application, its future depends highly on its ability to attract more active users.

So to help celebrate 10 years of OpenStreetMap we have created a series of articles dedicated to open source mapping and web applications that have been either built with or that make use of OpenStreetMap.

Also check out some of these OpenStreetMap & Open Data related Topics:

2015 GIS in Education and Research Conference

GIS in Education and Research Conference

2015 GIS in Education and Research Conference

The Second edition of the GIS in Education and Research Conference, organized by Esri Canada in partnership with the University of Toronto was held at Hart House last Monday ( November 30, 2015).  The venue of the conference: Hart House has a unique distinction of being one of the earliest collegiate Gothic Style student center’s which opened to public on Remembrance Day in 1919.Michael Goodchild at GIS in Education and Research Conference

The GIS in Education and Research Conference was primarily aimed at sharing the research findings from all areas of GIS applications while fostering networking among students, professors and teachers from universities, colleges, and schools all across Canada.

The Conference started with the welcome address by Dr. Brent Hall, Director Education and Research with Esri Canada, followed by a plenary address from Professor Emeritus Michael Goodchild, who presented in detail the challenges of Big Data: Volume, Velocity & Variety.

This was followed by a combination of concurrent paper sessions from 10:30-12:15 on research by professors and students on four themes

  1. 3D and GeodesignMichael Goodchild at GIS in Education and Research Conference
  2. Crowdsourcing/Big Data/Open Data
  3. Glaciology/Geology
  4. Physical Processes

Following a Lunch break (12:15- 13:15) there were three concurrent sessions (13:15-14:45) on

  1. Agricultural Applications
  2. Applications in Ecology
  3. Health and Retail

Following a Break (14:45 – 15:15) there were three concurrent sessions (15:15-16:45)

  1. Crime and Emergency Management
  2. Transit Modelling and AccuracyMichael Goodchild at GIS in Education and Research Conference
  3. Data Integration / Education

There were three technical workshops conducted by Esri Canada staff which were received with great enthusiasm by the participants and were wait-listed much before the conference started.

  1. Story Telling with Maps by Jean Tong, Angela Alexander, Hayleigh Conway.
  2. Integrating R with ArcGIS by Cam Plouffe.
  3. Building Custom Web Apps with ArcGIS by Krista Amolins, Dr.Michael Leahy, Jonathan.

In addition, there was a display of Esri Canada Higher Education Scholarship posters from 2015 and submissions to this year’s Esri Young Scholar Award competition.2015 GIS in Education and Research Conference

At the exhibitors section there were exhibitor booths by Esri Canada, represented by Jean Tong, Angela and Hayleigh from Education and Research group who showcased the GIS Ambassador Program of Esri Canada. URISA Ontario was represented by Caitlin Blundell who was briefing the visitors about URISA Ontario and their various activities including their Student Membership and Bursary. Other notable exhibitors included Geospatial Niagara and Fleming College.

Overall the conference proved to be very valuable to all participants, providing great opportunity to network and learn more about research being carried out by geospatial educated people who drive the Geomatics Sector  in Canada.

  Hari Shankar Reddy Yeruva, GISP Contributing Author: Hari Shankar Reddy Yeruva, GISP is a Technology Evangelist on a mission to engage with the Professionals, Educators and Students and drive excitement around Geospatial Platforms. As an Evangelist he explores every possible opportunity to reach and inspire technical audiences to successfully discover, understand, deploy and operate the core and unique Geospatial technologies within their chosen domains. He believes in the concept of “desperately learning” and that learning is imperative if we want to solve some of the challenges our world is facing.

Creative Art/Map Competition for Nova Scotian Students

International Map Year Canada

The Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) have announced that they are hosting a Creative Map Competition for Nova Scotian Students for International Map Year.

The creative mapping GANS contest is open to students of all grades including post secondary students and is intended to help encourage young people to participate in creative cartographic activities while learning more about the geography, heritage and history of Nova Scotia.  
 

Creative Map Competition for Nova Scotian Students

Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place entries in 7 different categories thanks to several generous sponsors including Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS), Esri Canada, Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) and Canadian Geographic.

Nova Scotian teachers/students may submit maps, on the theme “Nova Scotia – A Province Rich in Heritage”.

Categories of competition: Creative Map Competition for Nova Scotian Students

  1. Primary – Grade 2 – Creative Maps
  2. Grade 3 – Grade 6 – Creative Maps
  3. Grade 7 – Grade 9 – Creative Maps
  4. Grade 10 – Grade 12 – Creative Maps
  5. Grade 10 – Grade 12 – GIS Story Maps
  6. Post-secondary – Creative Maps
  7. Post-secondary – GIS Story Maps
Contest rules,  guidelines and more details are available from the GANS website: http://gans.ca/map-competition.html

How to Get Ontario Topographic Data

Looking for Ontario Topographic Data?

Recently, someone contacted me looking for information on where they could find Ontario topographic data for the Thunder Bay area, so I assumed that they must have already checked the Canadian data page and suggested that they check out the Ontario Basic Mapping website (OBM).

The Ontario Basic Mapping (OBM) site by the Geography Network is a great online resource with simplistic interactive interface that provides users tools to create customized map views and the ability to download various topographic base mapping data for the entire Province of Ontario. The site contains GIS layers created from 1:10,000 base maps from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources that people can download including layers for transportation, water, municipal, elevation, parks and conservation areas. The portal created with ArcIMS makes it pretty easy to use and a convenient way to obtain mapping data in a variety of formats for virtually any area of interest in Ontario.

Ontario Topographic Data - Ontario Base Mapping Download Site

However, that person replied back to me a few days latter telling me that the site was only an online web map viewer and they needed actual data to use in a GIS, and wanted to know if I had any other sources of mapping information for Northern Ontario.

Now, I thought that the e-mail was a little strange since I have used data from the Ontario Basic Mapping web site before while planning various aerial surveys in Northern Ontario, so I decided to go check out the web site to see if the downloading data feature that I had used had been removed. Turns out the site is still the same, it can be used as an online web map viewer to customize and print maps but the downloading option still exists providing the ability to download the map layers in the viewer to use with your own GIS software packages like ArcMap or MapInfo.

It seems like a pretty simple mapping application to me but maybe it is not as obvious as some people need it to be, so I decided to share some of the notes on downloading topographic base data from the OBM site that I provided to them, in case others have trouble figuring how to download the data as well (And summarized in the video at the bottom).

The OBM site is an ArcIMS site with a simplistic look and an interactive interface that provides users with tools to create customized map views and the ability to download the various topographic base mapping data in the map window. If you are not interested in downloading GIS layers but still want to make some maps then like most typical map viewers, they also provide printing options where you can create either paper or digital PDF maps.

Ontario Topographic Data - Ontario Base Mapping - Thunder BayWhen you first open the viewer you are zoomed out to the full extent of the province with mapping tools represented by icons on your left and accessible data layers on the right hand side. Using the AOI icon, you first need to define an area of interest that will zoom the map window into your specific area, populating the map window with more detailed GIS layers and features.

From the list on the right hand side, you then select the visible layers that you wish to download. Next using the FME icon from the tools on the left hand side, a window will open up prompting you to log-in, create a free user name and password (or enter your existing log-in) and then a download options window will appear.

You then need to click a check box to agree with the license terms and click the Download Data button to continue. Finally another window with instructions for acquiring the data in a variety of formats (e.g. SHP, DWG, DXF etc.) and in either Latitude / Longitude or Lambert Conformal Conic coordinate system. Then there will be one final window with a message telling to check your e-mail for a message.

You will then get a machine-generated e-mail from the Geography Network with a custom download link with the Ontario topographic data layers that you specified for your area of interest that you defined. And that is all there is to it, so if you are looking for Ontario topographic GIS data layers to download or  just want want to create online maps then the Ontario Basic Mapping (OBM) site could help you out.

If you know of other Ontario data sources that I have not yet added to the Canadian data  collections then let me know about it and I will add it to the site.

Digital Earth 2015 in Halifax

Digital Earth 2015 in Halifax

I first started attending conferences during University when it was required that we present our research work to professionals and other researchers in the Industry. Then the year I graduated was fortunate enough to attend the PDAC conference (now this was prior to the internet and my main focus then was to find a job in my field). PDAC is a large annual conference held in Toronto and the best conference I have ever attended. And I have been attending events & conferences ever since …. I find that although CanadianGIS.com and its social media accounts provide me great networking opportunities, it always better to have opportunities to meet other professionals in the geomatics sector and network one on one.Digital Earth 2015 in Halifax Nova Scotia

International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE), also known as Digital Earth for short, was held this past week (Oct 4th-9th) in Halifax. It’s goal is to bring global leaders from the geospatial community together to further discuss topics themed around “A One World Vision for the Blue Planet“.

Atlantic Canada is well known for having a rich history in the world of Geomatics

Digital Earth 2015 in Halifax Nova ScotiaAtlantic Canada is well known for having a rich history in the world of geomatics, tracing back to the post-war era when some of the earliest computer applications in surveying and mapping were developed, and integrated information systems for geographical applications began to be used.  This was also the second time that International Symposium on Digital Earth was hosted in Canada (the last time was 2001 in New Brunswick) since its inaugural start back in 1998 when former US Vice President, Al Gore gave his Digital Earth speech.

Digital Earth is meant to be an event that virtually represents our dynamic planet, encompassing all of its natural and social aspects together in a geographic framework for research and everyday applications. It provides a venue that allows the geospatial community come together to work towards sustainable development ensuring that what most of us take for granted will be here for future generations.

Digital Earth in Halifax explored a wide variety of geographic related theories, technologies, applications and achievements focused around planetary sciences, information technology, computer sciences, social sciences and big data.

Above is a video we created by combining photos & videos (ones we took as well as others from social media)

The five day conference was packed with multiple presenters from all over the world.  Three to four concurrent sessions took place at the same time several times a day, each with speakers taking up to 20 minutes each to present and discuss their topics. Keynote speakers (13 in all) took place in the larger main conference room and lasted between 40 minutes to an hour.NASA at Digital Earth 2015 in Halifax Nova Scotia

With almost 150 presentations, some presenters were able to speak several times. The down side of having so many presentations occurring in overlapping time slots meant that there were times when you had to choose to attend one presentation over another (and thus missed out on some of the talks).

Half way through the conference there was an Education Outreach program that was open to the public, providing hands on activities and scientific excursions aimed to help people better visualize our planet.

The Canadian Geographic Education provided one of their iconic giant floor maps and the Canadian Space Agency (with NASA) provided an opportunity to interact with some Astronauts as a way to get a better understanding of how large our Planet is and at the same time understand how small it is in comparison to the Universe.

Jeremy Hansen and Reid Wiseman together provided an amazing presentation about how big Canada is, and Keynote Dawn Wright from Esri at Digital Earth 2015 in Halifax Nova Scotiawhat it is like to live on the International Space Station. NASA provided detailed digital representations of geographic data on their large high definition hyper-wall (screen made up of 9 smaller screens).

Other social events included some pre-conference workshops, Student Career workshop, Opening and closing Receptions, a Pub Night, Celebration Ceilidh, Student Sociable, Mentor Lunch, and various tours to scenic areas across Nova Scotia.

Considering the wide array of speakers and broad topics covered, the action packed agenda, and the abundant opportunity to network, I think Digital Earth was a good conference. I myself attend several conferences and events in the geomatics sector every year and was fortunate enough to attend Digital Earth in Halifax and certainly would go again if it returned to Canada.

Below is a slide show of photos from Digital Earth 2015 in Halifax

Below are some tweets from Digital Earth 2015 in Halifax

Click here for more Digital Earth Tweets & photos

The ArcGIS Book

The ArcGIS Book - Mobile GIS

The ArcGIS Book: 10 Big Ideas about Applying Geography to Your World

ArcGIS Book – ArcGIS, a popular geospatial software from Esri is an integrated set of mapping and GIS analysis tools available on desktop, server, mobile, and online. The latest book from the Esri Press series is a comprehensive hands on guide dedicated to the popular ArcGIS software. The ArcGIS Book It is a detailed compilation containing new ideas, detailed instructions,  large colorful graphics, photos and plenty of diagrams.

There are two versions of the book available,  a hard copy paper version and a digital PDF version that offers interaction with an accompanying website.

The book was written for a diverse range of readers, including young GIS professionals just starting out, right  up to more experienced technologists, as well as programmers, web designers, and anyone who can appreciate how maps play a major role in our society.

The digital copy is compatible with  tablets, desktops, laptops, and smart phones. There are several samples and various step b step lessons that allow the reader to tryout all of tools discussed (via ArcGIS Online), while learning about 10 key ideas about digital mapping, data analysis, and problem solving with GIS.

Download the free PDF digital version, a new book that helps make it easy for anyone to engage GIS, click here go to the ArcGIS Book website to engage with different lessons and interactive activities,  or click here to order a traditional paper copy.

 


Free online GIS courses

The Education and Training Unit of Population Data BC are offering a few free online GIS related courses and resources as part of their mandate to serve the needs of researchers, analysts and practitioners. Current courses / training resources offered are related to Administrative Data, Statistical analysis and Health geomatics. Some are provided as  self paced courses with various modules, others are offered as digital PDF training documents.Free GIS Training

  • Administrative Data 101
  • Statistical analysis
  • SAS
  • Mplus
  • Linear Regression
  • Spatial Epidemiology
  • GIS and Epidemiology
  • Introduction to Mapping Health Data
  • Space-Time Disease Surveillance
  • Introduction to Space-Time Disease Surveillance tools

Free online GIS courses

Click here to find out more information and to register for the free online GIS courses / training material


The Regina Online Culture Map

Regina Online Culture Map

The city of Regina, second largest in Saskatchewan is a beautiful little city situated in the center of the prairies offering many different attractions and events that take place every year for residents and tourists alike.

Regina Online Culture Map - online web map

Information of various events and activities can now be easily found on their online interactive Culture Web Map. With this neat little tool the city provides information on many of Regina’s cultural resources with promises of expansion as Regina grows and changes (major updates are expected to happen at least every six months)

The Regina Cultural Map is based on ESRI web server technology and has been looks rather sharp while keeping it as simple as can be so that it appeals to almost everyone.

Along the top of the interactive map contains is a quick tool bar with a variety of leisure and culture categories represented by artsy little icons. Selecting on of the icons then populates the map with the data from that category (categories such as Art Galleries, Cinemas,Festivals, Heritage properties, museums, public art and much more).

Regina Online Culture Map

Clicking on one of the icons that appears on the interactive map will then zoom the user into that particular area of interest and provide more information about it including, web site links, address location, photos and sometimes more details about it.

The Regina Online Culture Map is a great example of how data for an area can be spatially stored and presented in a tool that almost anyone can use while providing residents and tourists with details that can help them find the latest events and activities available to them.

To check out the Regina Culture Map for your self simply follow the link here http://culture.regina.ca