Looking for GIS jobs in Nova Scotia? Try checking out some of the various employment opportunities listed here (this is a dynamic page so is updated often) or use the job search tools in our geomatics employment section …
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
The Province of Nova Scotia now offers online access to a variety of maps and survey plans from historic map collections, find out how you can download some of these old maps of Nova Scotia …
Access Nova Scotia Online Civic Map Viewer
Most people are aware that every home and business in Nova Scotia is assigned a civic address consisting of a street name, civic number, community and county names but what they are not aware is often how to find out what their proper civic address is.
So the Provincial Government came up with the Nova Scotia Civic Address Project (NSCAF) witch is a geo-referenced provincial digital civic address data file that has been combined with user-friendly online web applications. The online mapping tool is managed by the Nova Scotia Geomatics Centre as they do for the rest of the Provinces maps.
The Access Nova Scotia Civic Viewer is the online mapping application used to view civic map information, with a free public viewer version and another version containing more information for certain parties that need more detailed information and the ability to update the information of the Nova Scotia database.
The free public viewer version comes with the large interactive map viewer window (with typical online mapping tools, such as zoom, pan, information and measure), a civic search tool with drop down style selection and also a second search tool with free style selection criteria. They have made the online map really simple to use so that almost anyone in the general public with an Internet connection can make use of it.
After searching for a particular property civic address, the map window gets populated with a zoomed in map of the surrounding area, showing common roads, waterways and properties. The civic centroids are shown as small red squares, with currently selected civic address shown highlighted as a green circle. Using the information tool can then provide the basic public information for that point. One can then print the map they have configured in the browser.
More details on the online tool can be obtained from the Access Nova Scotia web site.
The Access Nova Scotia Civic Viewer free public version has very limited ability to do much more then provide basic information about a civic address but then again that can often be all that one is really looking to achieve sometimes.
The information obtained from the simple viewer can then be used to contact a local municipality office to obtain more detailed information about that address such as property information. You can also use it with other similar Nova Scotia online viewers such as the Nova Scotia’s Online Property Assessment Information online tool to gather more information about it.
Jeff McKenna of Gateway Geomatics in Nova Scotia was recently awarded with the 2016 Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software during the FOSS4G 2016 conference in Bonn, Germany. The award for is awarded annually by OSGeo at the annual FOSS4G conference to individuals who have demonstrated leadership in the GFOSS community.
Acadia University Aerial View with a UAV
Master of Science in Applied Geomatics at Acadia University is a unique joint program that is combined with COGS. 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.
Acadia University, located in Wolfville, Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s oldest and most respected universities. The video above features some aerial drone footage captured in 2015 of the campus highlighting some the various architecture found at Acadia University.
Check out other aerial drone / UAV footage featuring various geography from all across Canada …
[Video Source: François Foulem ]
East Hants, Nova Scotia, Canada is a vibrant municipality between Metro Halifax and the Bay of Fundy. East Hants uses GIS technology in all their departments, from sewer, water, and road projects, to regional planning, taxation, and municipal elections. Recently they developed an online portal (Interactive East Hants) to help Nova Scotian’s explore their growing Municipality’s geospatial data sets.
Online Digital Atlas: A Shared Vision
Every year, a small team of Esri staff travels to COGS to recruit new talent. As part of the interview process, they provide a demonstration of the lattest ArcGIS functionality. Arriving returning home from Haida Gwaii in February, I was interested to check out some of the new developments, especially since I had been far removed from the detailed GIS functionality for several years.
This helped led to a re-connection with Clint Brown from Esri (Redlands), and a copy of Esri’s new book, ‘the ArcGIS Book’. What struck me from the ArcGIS demonstration was that the new software tools seem to allow for closer collaboration between community groups, government agencies, educational institutions and industry. These tools include the ability to manage different layers, with different access rights, stored either on the server or in the cloud.
Geography is Key for Integrating Communities
While reading the ArcGIS Book, I noticed that the last of the ten ‘Big Ideas’ was that ‘GIS is social. GIS is collaborative’ and that ‘Geography is key for integrating work across communities’. Therefore, it seems that the time is right to test the ‘collaborative‘ hypothesis. Coincidentally, the Nova Scotia Provincial Government was announcing their new open data policy and created a new online open data site providing the geospatial community with free access to base maps and data sets featuring Nova Scotia. Also by chance the Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) has been recently working on a concept for an online digital atlas (Digital Atlas of Nova Scotia – DANS).
An online digital atlas would allow the geospatial community to have the tools to develop web and mobile apps that accesses a combination of their own databases combined with maps and spatial data from other agencies and organizations. Each data layer (or map) from the digital online atlas would have various terms and conditions for sharing information. Some layers would be read only while other layers would be able to be updated by the geospatial community under certain conditions.
The significant role proposed by GANS to obtain the technology resources to support apps and associated maps will help them remain sustainable into the future. However, this is only one pillar of the shared vision.
What is the next step in the process, as we move forward?
Community groups must have the resources to develop their applications. We need the next generation of application developers. Through training, mentoring and curriculum changes in our educational institutions, we can address this shortcoming.
On Haida Gwaii, John Broadhead at the Gowgaia Institute has talked about the need for an online atlas of the natural and cultural resources.
GANS is promoting a similar concept here in Nova Scotia. At the community level, groups appreciate the need for application development to meet the needs of citizens, visitors, as well as the municipal government. This follows five years after the work by Paul Beach in Sault Ste Marie. He championed the concept of a ‘community information utility’, today, the tools are readily available, in a more collaborative world.
We can imagine a nested set of geographies. The Annapolis Valley lies within the region of Southwest Nova, within the province of Nova Scotia. Each region recognizes its geographic context. The same approach can be applied to Cape Breton, the South shore. Indeed, it could be part of the standard infrastructure for existing Regional Enterprise Network (REN) and could be linked to existing products e.g. i-valley.ca
What are the steps to turn this ‘Idea‘ into ‘Action‘ ?
- determine the extent of the geography
- obtain digital base maps at the appropriate scale
- decide on the community mapping need:
– historic properties
– land use
– tourism facilities
- design the ‘look and feel’ of the user interface
- determine whether web/mobile app. or both
- hire application developer
- prototype application
- marketing and sales
- product release
The technology has matured so that a properly monitored portal can serve up the different data sets, and yet meet the security needs of the data providers. There is recognition that to successfully apply these technologies we need more collaboration.
The need to visualize the geography of rural Nova Scotia is important to economic development. The skills and products developed through this process are transferable to other geographies, applications and markets
Access to a digital atlas is a prerequisite for groups to develop apps. that meet the local needs of citizens. Whether the underlying technology is Esri, Google, Open Source or a combination, we are seeing a shared vision of digital geography.
About the author
Bob Maher is a Geographer, living in Paradise, Nova Scotia. In the 1980’s he designed, developed and delivered a number of intensive computer programming programs at COGS. In 2000, he returned as Senior Research Scientist at the Applied Geomatics Research Group until his retirement in 2011. He has worked closely with the Geomatics industry for over thirty years.
Recently we purchased some old maps at a yard sale, and one of the old map books contained a tattered map featuring the Fortress of Louisbourg that we scanned, cleaned up in photo-shop and then reproduced. While searching for the date and source of our map print we also noticed that there have been several old Fortress of Louisbourg maps created and have included a few the links here to share with others …
Stunning High Resolution Aerial Footage of Cape Split
Here is a video with some stunning high resolution aerial footage of Cape Split captured with a UAV.
[source: Jason Churchyvr CandianGEO.info/CapeSplit-drone-video]
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