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Elections Nova Scotia Interactive Web Map

Yesterday Nova Scotia went to the polls for their 39th Provincial Election and at the end of the day elected a new Government. This time around Elections Nova Scotia, the organization responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the Province’s election related data and governing election activities provided an online interactive web mapping application tool.

Elections Nova Scotia Interactive Web Map - Nova Scotia 2013 Election Results Map - red for Liberals, blue for PC and orange for NDP

Elections Nova Scotia Interactive Web Map

The Elections Nova Scotia interactive web map on their website spatially highlighted the 2013 election results for each riding as votes were being tallied by coloring the polygon for each electoral district with the official political party colors (e.g. red for Liberals, blue for PC and orange for NDP). The map was simple to use, did not contain too many tools or options and automatically refreshed every 20 seconds with updated information.  There were some graphs along the side that highlighted results and users could zoom into any area of interest as well as click on any electoral district to get more information.

Overall it was a great visual tool for showing election results and seemed to work much better than a similar mapping application that CBC news had on their website. I had the application running on my laptop for several hours after the polls had officially closed and did not run into any technical issues and was able to quickly and easily determine who was leading / winning  the election.

Elections Nova Scotia Interactive Web Map -

Prior to Election Day, the same online map also provided Nova Scotians with valuable information such as a new method to help determine what electoral district they belonged to and who were the candidates that were running in each district with some history on the riding.  Users could type their address into the search box above the default map and the corresponding electoral district would be displayed with any pertinent information. A very useful tool as there was several newly defined districts in the 2013 Nova Scotia election.

I think that Elections Nova Scotia did a great job utilizing their online interactive web mapping application that was simple to use and quickly got the message out in a timely fashion. Check out the Elections Nova Scotia online map for yourself – http://electionsnovascotia.ca and perhaps other Provinces will follow suit and provide their citizens with online interactive mapping tools like this for when it is time for them to go to the polls.


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.

For better decision-making: iVAULT 5.0 Web GIS

MISA BC Conference, Mission, BC – iVAULT 5.0 brings web GIS into the Information Technology (IT) mainstream.   This major new iVAULT release allows clients to use their web GIS publishing engine of choice, providing IT Managers with flexibility previously not available from web GIS.  iVAULT 5.0 has a new consolidated administrative interface, allowing our customers to seamlessly move between publishing engines from Esri, Autodesk, Google and the open source community.iVAULT5

The new active directory integration further eases web GIS administration by using existing credentials for logging into iVAULT. Finally, the new form designer provides easy configuration of iVAULT’s web forms allowing the IT Department to better support the user’s existing workflows.

IT Managers will also be pleased with iVAULT 5.0’s new integration engine to configure application-level integrations – eliminating messy data duplication.  In addition, with iVAULT 5.0’s certified application level integrations, our customers can rest assured that their supported integrations are being maintained with each new release of iVAULT and their integrated business systems.

Increased Return on Investment

Many of the improvements in iVAULT 5.0 provide the benefits of Web GIS at a reduced cost to the organization.

  • Liberate your application development from expensive consultants
  • Configure the Web GIS yourself
  • Deploy easily and fast
  • Reduce costs of desktop software licenses

Combine Distributed Data Sources

iVAULT 5.0 aggregates publicly available data from sources like Bing, Google, Esri and Open Street Maps together with your corporate data to facilitate your decision-making process.

  •  Use powerful analytics and work management capabilities to source revenue that has been hidden in your databases
  • Enable hyperlinking to web based document management systems to deliver service cards, as-built drawings, etc. to your web GIS

 Increase Community and Client Engagement

iVAULT 5.0 integrates crowd sourced data to provide the latest information through your web GIS.  Very quick and responsive, this can be the best way to source rapidly developing information in an emergency situation.

  •  Map social media feeds (Twitter, YouTube and Flickr)
  • Link to online map services from ArcGIS Online and Community Maps
  • Enable collaborative mapping. Share data internally and with customers
  • Work across browsers and operating systems

Deliver the reports you need through the Web GIS

Infrastructure information is important to many members of your organization.  Municipalities have gotten on-board with the document delivery capabilities of iVAULT to produce reports required to meet regulatory compliance like PSAB 3150.

  •  Search, query, edit, report, and view data from multiple business systems and locations using the iVAULT Web Module
  • Populate standard data into your database by editing forms
  • Produce reports easily, from mailing labels to asset inventories
  • Locate field assets and track maintenance from any location

 Make it Personal

 A personal experience is a better user experience.

  •  Personalize and brand your own Web GIS system
  • Manage access, reporting and editing of the database based on user login
  • Configure your own forms with the standard controls built in the form generator

 iVAULT has an innovative modular framework:

  •  Administrator Module: enables your organization to configure all aspects of the Web GIS
  • Data Editing Module: enhances your reporting, sharing and updating capabilities
  • Analytics Module: provides enhanced analytics tools for better decision-making
  • Integration Module: rapidly integrates your data and systems
  • Cloud Module: allows organizations to produce, edit, store and manage maps, data and other geospatial information through a cloud-based geospatial content management system
  • eCommerce Module: Save money, time and resources by monetizing your web-based GIS services.

Sign up for an Upcoming Free Webinar or visit http://ivault.pat.ca for more information


Pacific Alliance Technologies (PAT) is a leading provider of CAD, GIS, Web GIS and asset management software, specializing in the customization, implementation, training and support of these solutions. The company’s mission is “To develop and implement GIS and Asset Management solutions that will help sharpen your competitive edge, enhance strategic planning and decision making, and increase your organization’s productivity. We configure our solutions to meet your needs.”

iVAULT is PAT’s Web GIS solution that allows organizations to easily benefit from linking their existing data to a location. iVAULT is compatible with leading technologies: ArcGIS, MapGuide and Google. iVAULT is also easily integrated with financial and asset management software products.

 For more information, call  at 1.877.691.9171, ext.2 or email us at sales@pat.ca.

 [Content provided by Pacific Alliance Technologies]

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.