The Province of Nova Scotia provides online access to a variety of maps and survey plans from historic map collections, find out how you can download some of these historic maps of Nova Scotia …
Recently Nova Scotia joined the growing number of Canadian Provinces and Municipalities that offer open data, when it officially launched the Nova Scotia open data portal providing public access to more than 135 different data sets
Open Data is about drawing on the collective knowledge and innovation of Nova Scotians to help grow our economy and improve the lives of those around us …
2016 GoGeomatics Back to School Socials
Join the Geospatial Community as they come together to celebrate new-comers to the geomatics sector at the third annual Back to School Canada wide Social Event
CanadianGIS.com have been involved in GoGeomatics Socials since 2010 when we helped start the first one in Ottawa, and are happy to again help support all the upcoming 2016 GoGeomatics Back to School Socials taking place in September.
GoGeomatics is inviting new and returning students to kick off the school year with other geomatics professionals at this free networking event. This is GoGeomatics way of welcoming the newest members of the Canadian geospatial community to the geomatics sector.
Everyone is welcome, from all areas of geomatics – from GIS, to remote sensing, to surveying, to cartography … Events will be taking place in Halifax, Ottawa, Kingston, Niagara, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Nelson, Kelowna, and Vancouver – so find one near year and get out and meet someone else in the geomatics sector. Click the links above to RSVP, find out who else is attending, see photos and comments from past events and much more.
Come share a pint with a great community, enjoy some free munchies, and have the chance to win prizes.
Attending a geomatics event or professional conference is a great way to keep update about what is currently happening in the Geomatics industry and also an opportunity to have a good time while networking and mingling with others.
Many organizations across Canada offer great conferences and events, so the Conference and Events section provides free information about the various GIS related conferences, events, workshops, training and webinars that are available to or could be of related interest to other Canadians.
Some upcoming geomatics related conference and events in Canada include …
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.
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
Atlantic 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.
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.
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 what 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
— Dave MacLean (@DaveAtCOGS) October 10, 2015
— Laura Beazley (@LauraBeazley) October 8, 2015
— Agence spatiale can. (@asc_csa) October 7, 2015
— Agence spatiale can. (@asc_csa) October 7, 2015
— James Boxall (@JamesGIS) October 7, 2015
Last September we were one of several sponsors who helped make the GoGeomatics Back to School Socials (which took place in numerous cities from coast to coast including Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Niagara, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver) a success.
GoGeomatics Managing Director, Jonathan Murphy had his team of group leaders ask attendees to participate in a career survey. One of the questions on the survey was “Would they support a Canadian National Geospatial Student Union if it provided opportunities such as co-operatives, job opportunities or internship positions?” (See actual questions asked here). 83% of the 200 participants responded that, they would support a Canadian National Geospatial Student Union.
Mr. Murphy told us that he added this question to his country wide survey because he feels that Canada does not have a credible organization that represents the interests of student and young professionals within the geomatics sector.
Would you support a National Geospatial Student Union?
When he was a student, he noticed there was a significant gap in the geospatial community, just like there is now even though there are several groups and associations that argue that they do represent Canadian geomatics students. However when you examine membership and the boards of these organizations you notice that they include members further on in there careers with different agendas.
Not only has GoGeomatics discovered that there is over whelming interest from students and young professionals to form a union that could unite students all across Canada but they have also found out that key members of industry and government, are willing to support such a group.
GoGeomatics knows that they can accomplish such a task on their own,so are seeking volunteers in the geospatial community that are interested in joining a steering committee to further explore creating such a student union. They are looking for a balanced group of people, not just students.
If you are interested in joining the steering committee or finding out what GoGeomatics thinks a Canadian National Geospatial Student Union would do the Canadian geomatics sector, then check out Mr.Murphy’s latest edition to the GoGeomatics Magazine for details.
A combined commitment between the Halifax Regional Police and Halifax District RCMP now provides effective communication to the community through the ‘Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) Crime Mapping’ application pilot project. HRM Crime Mapping is an interactive online crime mapping tool created to provide the public with information about various crimes happening in the HRM. Making the spatial knowledge of existing crimes available can help increase crime prevention by making people more aware of what crimes are happening in their community.
“To ensure privacy, the crimes are plotted on the mid-point of the closest block and are not associated with specific civic addresses so as not to identify a person or an address. HRM Crime Mapping plots only selected crimes and does not represent a complete set of police data.”
HRM Crime Mapping is based on actual police reports that are updated daily and highlights 5 types of common crimes that occur in the HRM including robberies, assaults, break and enters, thefts of vehicles and thefts from vehicles. The application provides users the ability to map any of these 5 crime types on any street or community, in any of three date ranges (yesterday, the past four days or the past week).
The mapping application is easy to use, with the mapping window made up of essential 3 main parts: Crime Mapping Tool (to select the crime type and date range), Search / Link bar at the top (search by street, civic address or by community), and the map navigation panel along the left hand side (zoom in and out as well as move the position of your map). The wheels of your mouse can also be used to change your position on your map and zoom in and out.
There are some basic ‘Crime Tips’ about the five types of common crime mapped so that users can learn what to do in-order to help prevent these crimes and related links. A basic user guide has also been created to help users better make use of the mapping application.
Check out HRM’s Crime Mapping application for yourself to discover what crime has been happening in the Halifax Regional Municipality and help promote crime prevention
Of-course, you could also download Halifax crime data sets from the new Halifax Open Data portal and do some GIS analysis work of your own :)
Canada is certainly not an old country when compared to many others like France or the UK but it has been around long enough to have some very interesting history.
Here are some historic aerial images of major cities in Canada. It is interesting when you compare some of these with modern maps and aerial images, as then you can get a real appreciation on what urban sprawl looks like and how cities develop and spread over time.
The Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA) provide a service where you can obtain your own colour printed reproduction of any of the listed images below [note: the images that the links below point to are actually only thumbnails of the actual images that they repoduce]. Maps ordered are printed on acid free 70 lb paper with a size of about 55 X 70 cm. For more information about how to order historic map prints go to the ACMLA site
Calgary, Alberta  Dawson City  Halifax, Nova Scotia  Hamilton, Ontario  London, Ontario  Montréal, Québec  Ottawa, Ontario  Ottawa, Ontario  Québec City, Québec  St. John’s, Newfoundland  Toronto, Ontario  Vancouver, British Columbia  Waterloo, Ontario [189?] Winnipeg, Manitoba 
Also remember to check back to the new Historic Cartography section as more content is added weekly.
[image source: acmla.org]
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.
“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.
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.
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
I 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.
[Sources: emails – rerouteme.com – macleans.ca – rhexia.com]
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