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Smartnet Expands through Merger with Pleiades Reference Station Network

Leica Geosystems Smartnet Expands

Merger gives GPS/GNSS users access to a broad array of tools and increased support from the industry-leading network RTK correction service.

Leica Geosystems Smartnet Expands through Merger with Pleiades Reference Station NetworkLeica Geosystems today announced that SmartNet North America (Leica Geosystems Smartnet www.smartnetna.com), the industry-leading high-precision, high-availability network RTK correction service, has merged with the Pleiades reference station network in Western Canada, operated by Pleiades Data Corp. and Spatial Technologies. The merger gives surveyors, engineers, contractors, GIS professionals and other GPS/GNSS users in the region access to the growing array of tools and enhanced support available from SmartNet North America.

The Pleiades network operates and supports more than 30 GPS reference stations throughout Alberta and British Columbia and is the trusted RTK network for professionals in Western Canada. The merger with SmartNet will strengthen the network by giving users access to a range of additional tools, including full network quality monitoring and a comprehensive user portal with live status maps and rover management. Users will also be able to take advantage of future expansions and enhancements to SmartNet. The network will continue to be supported by Spatial Technologies, the exclusive sales and authorized warranty service center for Leica Geosystems solutions in Western Canada.

“We are pleased to be able to support Pleiades network users with the SmartNet commitment to excellence,” said Wendy Watson, director of reference station operations–GNSS reference networks for Leica Geosystems. “We are working closely with Spatial Technologies to ensure that we continue to address the needs of the Alberta and British Columbia markets and will expand and enhance the network as needed to provide users with outstanding service.”

“Pleiades users will still have access to the same reliable, accurate and accessible RTK network they depend on for maximum productivity, but now they will have the added confidence of knowing that the network is supported by the industry-leading SmartNet service,” said Richard Andrews, vice president of Spatial Technologies. “The merger between Pleiades and SmartNet is a win for all professionals in Western Canada that use GNSS.”

For a map of current Pleiades stations, visit http://spatialtechnologies.ca/pleiades-reference-station-network.html. For more information about the SmartNet service, visit www.smartnetna.com or follow SmartNet on Twitter at @smartnet_na.

SmartNet North America – Any Constellation. Any Application. Open to All.
Launched in 2010, SmartNet is the first commercial GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) network to allow for a single connection point for coverages across North America. SmartNet currently contains more than 650 sites, providing both GPS only and GPS and GLONASS coverage to 26 states and 5 Canadian provinces. Built on the most advanced GNSS reference station software platform in the world, Leica Geosystems GNSS Spider, SmartNet provides high-precision, high availability network RTK corrections for any application throughout North America.

SmartNet is part of Hexagon, a leading global provider of design, measurement and visualization technologies that enable customers to design, measure and position objects, and process and present data.

Leica Geosystems – When it has to be right

Revolutionizing the world of measurement and survey for nearly 200 years, Leica Geosystems creates complete solutions for professionals across the planet. Known for premium products and innovative solution development, professionals in a diverse mix of industries, such as aerospace and defense, safety and security, construction, and manufacturing, trust Leica Geosystems for all their geospatial needs. With precise and accurate instruments, sophisticated software, and dependable services, Leica Geosystems delivers value every day to those shaping the future of our world.

Leica Geosystems is part of Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B; hexagon.com), a leading global provider of information technologies that drive quality and productivity improvements across geospatial and industrial enterprise applications.

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]

 

New Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum

Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum Diagram

New Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum

Geodetic reference systems stem from the need to have a consistent integrated reference surface for data analysis in applications such as surveying, cartography, navigation, remote sensing and mineral exploration. National Resources Canada (NRCan) maintains the Canadian Spatial Reference System (CSRS), through the use of the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83CSRS) and has been an adopted standard in Canada.

NRCan has recently made a new Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum available: CGVD2013, which is now the new reference standard for Canadian reference heights. This new height reference system replaces the Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1928 (CGVD28), which was adopted officially by an Order in Council in 1935 and has been used by organizations and individuals coast to coast for the past few decades.

“CGVD2013 is defined by the equipotential surface ( W0=62636856,0m2s?2 ), which represents by convention the coastal mean sea level for North America. This definition comes from an agreement between the United States of America and Canada. This new vertical datum is realized by the geoid model CGG2013, which provides the separation between the GRS80 ellipsoid and the above described surface in NAD83(CSRS) reference frame, making it compatible with Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as GPS.

The height of the benchmarks is also available in CGVD2013. These heights come from a readjustment of the entire federal first-order levelling network. However, CGVD2013 heights obtained from GNSS and geoid model CGG2013 prevail over the published elevations because NRCan cannot confirm the accuracy of the heights and stability of the benchmarks derived from the aging levelling network.

NRCan is continuing the publication of heights at benchmarks in CGVD28 and hybrid geoid model HTv2.0 to assure a smooth and gradual transition period to the new height reference system.”

CGG2013 is the Canadian gravimetric geoid model of 2013 realizing the Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum of 2013 (CGVD2013). The model comes with an accuracy model for the geoid heights. CGG2013 can be downloaded through the NRCan Geoid Models page. (User account required, but it is free to signup for one)

[image source: nrcan.gc.ca]


TomTom chooses DMTI Spatial as provider of Canadian location data

TomTom chooses DMTI Spatial

Quality and precision led to DMTI’s selection by world’s largest navigation solutions provider

Markham, ON – July 10th, 2013. DMTI Spatial Inc. (DMTI), Canada’s leading provider of location intelligence solutions, has reached an agreement with TomTom, a leading provider of navigation and location-based products and services. DMTI will provide high precision Canadian address points and other geospatial data to TomTom for the company’s GPS navigation systems and offerings.

“DMTI will help take TomTom Maps to the next level in Canada, by helping to make our map products even more accurate,” said Eszter Pattantyus, Vice President, TomTom Maps. “Millions of drivers use TomTom data every day; therefore, precision is absolutely crucial to us so that we can provide the best navigational experience.”

“TomTom’s decision to use data from DMTI further validates our position as the market leader for location based data services in Canada,” offered Phil Kaszuba, DMTI’s Vice President and General Manager. “TomTom has a reputation for high quality navigation solutions and we are proud to partner with them to bring our nation’s best location data to Canadian consumers where and when they need it.”

About DMTI Spatial Inc.DMTI Spatial

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.

About TomTom
Founded in 1991, TomTom (TOM2) is a leading provider of navigation and location-based products and services. TomTom maps, traffic information and navigation technology power automotive in-dash systems, mobile devices, web based applications and government and business solutions.

TomTom also designs and manufactures its own location-based products including portable navigation devices and fleet management solutions, as well as GPS-enabled sports watches. Headquartered in Amsterdam, TomTom has 3,500 employees worldwide and sells its products in over 35 countries.

For further information, please visit www.tomtom.com

In Geomatics, Should you Specialize or Diversify?

Probably something many of us in the geomatics sector often come across in our careers is whether or not we should be highly specialized on a specific geomatics aspect or should we diversify and become competent in a multitude of geomatics related disciplines.

Now, one particular problem with being really specialized in something is that although you become an expert in something you can often be too focused, and potentially closing other doors or limiting possible career paths. When you diversify you can still become specialized in things but at a lesser extent yet work with more components of the industry.

Geocaching Tips and Tricks

In today’s world of growing electronics and entertainment there are many ways that you can connect and relate to other, however this trend has seemed to move the focus of fun from the outdoors to indoors.

Geocaching tips Hiking is a very old past time that builds character, resilience and stamina as well as orientation skills, making it a wonderful activity for anyone old and young. Geocaching is a modern activity which goes along very with hiking, offering the thrill of a treasure hunting with group cohesion on a worldwide scale in a very indirect fashion. With the use of GPS , Geocaching is essentially an activity where those involved locate and find various objects in caches all around the world that have been carefully cataloged via a central database (such as the website geocaching.com) which serves as a way of keeping track of all the items.

These  caches usually contain common small objects of basically no monetary value but that is beside the point. Geocaching offers a chance to combine hiking with a treasure hunting, offering opportunities for fun and exercise as well as honing your orientation and tracking skills. It is an excellent way to explore and get in touch with what is out there, so below have provided some tips and hints on what you need to get started Geocaching:

GPS device

To start you will need a handheld GPS device, a smartphone with GPS functionality or a map and compass . These tools will allow you the ability to search for the caches you will be looking for from the database that you searched. Moving is much easier that way.

Geocatching Tips and Tricks

Register to a Geocache Site

There are more than one site that can help in your tracking, so you could choose whichever one you like best, however some websites do offer some extra services, so choose whatever sounds preferable. If you are competing with friends or colleagues then it may be a great idea to all use the same site.

 Check the database for caches

There are literally caches found all over the world, everywhere. and anywhere. This has been building for a some time now thanks to a cult like dedicated following across the globe so chances are you might be walking past a cache or two every day without even knowing it. Caches may be in rather inconspicuous places such as under a rock next to a trail or even in the middle of a city park.

 Choose the right one

Different caches have different difficulty levels so you should choose ones that are appropriate to your level of navigating skill. You might have serious difficulties finding some of them. The idea is that you are given a few tips and you are meant to find the place yourself within some small range of your given coordinates on the website where the information on the cache is listed.

 Bring a small item for exchange

A big component of Geocaching is that when you take something from a cache that you leave something behind for others to find. This is how you can never tell what you will find. You could find stuff that was originally from somewhere like Europe for example but in locations halfway across the globe from there.

Remember its best to leave no items of particular no personal or monetary value since they may disappear if someone decides to keep them. There are specific geocaching coins, pins and micro capsules which offer ample opportunities to leave messages and whatever your heart desires inside a cache. Depending on what’s inside the cache you may either take nothing out and just leave your item for circulation for other travelers to use or you can simply take nothing out and leave nothing if you aren’t interested in the contents. Always remember to leave the given cache in the exact same condition you have found it, up to concealing it the same way it was hidden to promote consistency.

There you have it some basic Geocaching Tips and Tricks to get you started and using your GPS for fun instead of work.

Trimble GPS Planning Software

GPS Planning Software allows you to optimize your Survey

After working on many different projects with various companies and partners, it still amazes me how many people do not consult with the latest GPS Almanacs and GPS Planning Software for planning GPS Missions prior to heading out to survey or collect GPS data. Especially for more precise GPS work and we all know how projects these days continue to demand better accuracy as technology evolves.

GPS planning softwareThere is a handy little FREE GPS Planning Software package for planning of GPS Missions provided by Trimble that we use, and is available to download free from their website. This powerful little GPS uttility can run from your laptop or PC allowing you to analyis GPS coverage for any given day helping you to determine visibility for GPS, GLONASS, IGSO and geostationary satellites. When you know what times of day have the best optimal GPS coverage then you can better plan the rest of your survey work.

The GPS Planning Software allows you to optimize your base destination region with multiple station locations allowing you to determine where it would be best to record observations, determine elevation masks, generate graphs showing satellite coverage, DOP coverage, and create sky plots of GPS satellites.

When you use the planning software you have to remmber to download the latest GPS almanac because unlike your GPS equipment, your PC will not automatically update itself with the latest Ephemeris Data. Trimble also helps out by providing this information for you on their website, but it is also provided on various other GPS related websites as well.

http://www.trimble.com/gnssplanningonline/#/Settings

 

[Update – Trimble now offers an online version]

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Assiniboine Community College GIS Diploma

Assiniboine Community College

Location: Brandon, Manitoba
GIS Program: GIS Technologies Diploma

Info:  The Environmental Technologies advanced diploma program with specializations in GIS at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba features hands on learning through Remote Senisng, GIS and GPS to data sets.

Students learn to analyze data, incorporate related information and solve real world land based problems. Skills developed with this program include database applications, communications, cartography, problem solving, geomatics, statistical analysis and remote sensing.

The program is offered through distance education, so can be taken from virtually anywhere and is also open to international students.

Contact Info

1430 Victoria Avenue East
Brandon, Manitoba
R7A 2A9

ag.enviro@assiniboine.net / 204-725-8700 Ext.: 6617

See the Course Web Site for more details.


If you are a student, facility or someone who has any more knowledge, feedback or comments to share about the GIS Technologies Diploma program then I encourage you to share it . You can either use the contribute more info form or the comment functionality below.

What is GIS – Applications of the spatial information

Here is a short video that provides a pretty good job of defining what GIS is, in common simpler words.

It is not a Canadian video but may help some people out none the less.