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Would you support a National Geospatial Student Union

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?

National Geospatial Student Union - Geomatics students talkingWhen 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.


Updated Pan-Canadian Geomatics Community Strategy

Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table - Geomatics Community Strategy

CGCRT day 2 - Geomatics Community StrategyThe Canadian Geomatics Community Round table (CGCRT) Geomatics Strategy, Action, and Implementation Planning Workshop took place on June 9 and 10 in Ottawa. The scope of the two day CGCRT event was to provide opportunity for organizations and individuals from the geomatics industry to examine issues facing the Canadian geospatial community and to help develop a Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy that could support, strengthen and help guide the geomatics sector for years to come.

I was fortunate enough to be part of the 100 plus  geomatics leaders (from academic institutions, professional associations, NGOs, government, and private industry,) from all across the country that came together for the event. A summary of the two day event is available here and more details about the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy and the 7 dimensions that it is comprised of are available from the various documents on the CGCRT website.

Geomatics Community Strategy

Now the CGCRT finalized this Strategy based on the many discussions and consensus reached at the workshop that took place in Ottawa and working groups have been created to start moving the Strategy forward. The updated version of the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Community Strategy document that reflects the discussions and input from the June “Team Canada” Workshop that took place in Ottawa. To download the updated strategy document


Algonquin College GIS Graduate Certificate

Algonquin College GIS Graduate Certificate

Prerequisites: University degree or College Diploma

Info:Algonquin College GIS The Geographic Information Systems certificate program offered through the School of Advanced Technology at Algonquin helps to provide students with a solid background in GIS technology, cartography, remote sensing, and web GIS application customization. Students learn GIS theory coupled with everyday GIS practical skills as courses are orientated in a way to help better prepare students for employment opportunities in various Geomatics sectors. The 1 year GIS program is considered to be a “Mobile Learning Program” meaning that students are required to have their own laptop computing device.

Contact Info

David Broscoe – GIS Coordinator
613-727-4723, Ext. 3350
broscod@algonquincollege.com

See the Course Web Site for more details.

 

GIS Conference and Events

GIS Conference and Events in Canada

Attending a professional GIS conference or  geomatics related events is always a great way to stay current with what is happening in the geomatics industry and provides amble opportunity to enjoy a good time while networking and mingling with others in the geomatics sector. Canadian GIS Conference and Events - 2005 CIG Conference in Ottawa

Many professional organizations across Canada offer great geomatics related conferences and events every year, so we created the Canadian GIS Conference and Events section on CanadianGIS.com as a way to provide the geospatial community with free information about the various related conferences, events, workshops, training seminars and webinars that are being offered.

Our events section includes a variety events related to GIS, remote sensing, surveying, cartography, geography and all other geomatics disciplines (and from British Columbia to Newfoundland).

We are fortunate enough to be able to attend several GIS conference and events every year all across Canada so we also post summaries of past events (when we can) with photos for those that were not fortunate enough to attend but wanted to know how the conference or event turned out.

Listed below are some of the upcoming GIS conferences, events and webinars.  If you know of one that is not listed in our events section or are planning a geomatics related conference or event and would like to have it listed for free  and promoted out through the Canadian GIS & Geomatics networks then let us know.

[Note: This is a dynamic page that is updated regularly – so check back often]

Past GIS Conference and Events

Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table and the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy

This article about the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table was originally written in March 2013, so may look familiar to many, however it has been updated with new information and links, such as details about the upcoming Ottawa workshop in June.

Roger Tomlinson: The father of GIS and computerized cartography

Roger Tomlinson, also known as the Father of GIS has been featured in many publications since his recent passing last month, here is one from the Globe & Mail by Rick Boychuk.


Roger Tomlinson: The father of GIS and computerized cartography

Roger Tomlinson - the Father of GIS

What’s the smartest location for a new coffee shop? Where do you deliver food and water in a city hit by a catastrophic earthquake? How fast are glaciers melting?

Roger Tomlinson taught us how to solve such puzzles.

An Ottawa based geographer, Dr. Tomlinson has been called the “father” of the world’s first geographic information system (GIS), a method of computerized map-making that he pioneered in the 1960s. By combining in an interactive map not just topographic features, but other data that can be linked to specific locations (such as census findings, gas lines, nickel deposits or even beetle invasions), he revolutionized the storage and analysis of spatial information.

Today, governments, corporations, relief organizations and many others use GIS to analyze and plan development projects, mount retail promotion campaigns, track changes to landscapes and respond to emergencies. Although Dr. Tomlinson developed his GIS insights before the advent of satellite mapping and global positioning system (GPS) receivers that put users into maps, his work paved the way for the waves of cartographic innovations that followed, including Google Maps.

Dr. Tomlinson, 80, who died on Feb. 7 of a heart attack in San Miguel de Allende, in central Mexico, once said that although he may have fathered GIS, many others were raising the child. Indeed, when he was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada last year, the citation noted that his “landmark creation underpins virtually all spatial analysis and has enabled new questions to be asked in a wide variety of disciplines as diverse as telecommunications, epidemiology and resource management.”

continue reading …

Historic Bird’s Eye Views of several Canadian Cities

historic aerial image  of Halifax

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

historic aerial image  of Ottawa 1893

 

Calgary, Alberta [1910] Dawson City [1903] Halifax, Nova Scotia [1879] Hamilton, Ontario [1894] London, Ontario [1872] Montréal, Québec [1889] Ottawa, Ontario [1876] Ottawa, Ontario [1893] Québec City, Québec [1905] St. John’s, Newfoundland [1879] Toronto, Ontario [1876] Vancouver, British Columbia [1898] Waterloo, Ontario [189?] Winnipeg, Manitoba [1881]

Also remember to check back to the new Historic Cartography section as more content is added weekly.

 

[image source: acmla.org]

Avoid the Traffic with ReRouteMe Mapping Application

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.

traffic along the highway“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.

ReRouteMe logo

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.

ReRouteMe Web Mapping Application

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

cars at sunset on the highway in trafficI 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.

Website: ReRouteMe.com

[Sources: emails – rerouteme.com – macleans.ca – rhexia.com]
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Top Canadian Geomatics LinkedIn Group

linkedin logo

Recently our Geomatics LinkedIn group was selected as the top Canadian Geomatics LinkedIn Group by the GoGeomatics team.

To come up with their rankings they had a team of people examine various available Geomatics based groups that emphasize Canadain related topics. GoGeomatics considered the size of the group (the number of members), the spatial coverage of the group, the groups content and the group’s activity.

GoGeomatics job search tools

Thankfully, LinkedIn’s new ranking algorithm takes both of those factors into consideration when generating results for search queries, as well as the number of contacts in networks that are already members of that group. LinkedIn do that to ensure that their search results have a much higher rate of relevancy.

If you are not already a member of our Canadian Geomatics LinkedIn Group, then Iwe invite you to join us, we currently have over gained over 975 members in the past 6 months with Geomatics people from coast to coast all helping to provide and sharing advice or answers to Canadian Geomatics issues. The more people we have join from all across the country, the stronger the group will become, so we hope to see you there and tell your co-workers and your friends.

Little more about Gogeomatics:

GoGeomatics logo GoGeomatics is a Canadian company based in Ottawa, Ontario run by a Geomatics Professional with a team of interns that work together to provide industry advice and services on Geomatics careers in Canada. They currently run a career advice blog, a user forum, a LinkedIn user group and a free job board.

GoGeomatics is in the process of launching their third generation of Geomatics job boards with many new features to help students get a leg up in their career search. The new site will be better integrated with the blog, twitter and LinkedIn. Rumor has it that they will soon offer video resumes, cross platform login ability to integrate with twitter, facebook and LinkedIn and options to pay to have your resume appear higher in search results.  When the new site is launched we will review it and share our findings here on our blog.

UPDATE: – Two year’s later and our group is still growing strong now with over 4.500 members …

Free Data Sets for the City of Edmonton & ESRI online mapping tools

City of Edmonton ESRI online mapping tools

The City of Edmonton has been providing an online Open Data service to help make municipal information more accessible since 2009 [http://data.edmonton.ca]. They feel that through collaboration and innovation that they have become a leader in Open Government by using the latest technology to increase access to their information.

Much like the City of Toronto they have various data sets that they do not offer due to privacy or confidentiality issues. In fact you will notice many similarities between the Open Source service offered by the City of Edmonton and the Cities of Toronto, Ottawa,and Vancouver because these cities have come together to share resources and methodologies that they use to provide the service to better provide Canadians with good reliable sources of spatial data sets.

Data sets are provided in various standard downloadable file formats such as XLS, CSV, PDF, DGN & SHP. All data set contains basic meta info associated with them such as who created the data, date, format, projection, attributes, contact info etc. They do not require Developers to get permission to create applications with the data, instead permission is provided for all data sets as long as users abide by the terms of agreement for the service.

One difference that you Edmonton has from the other cities is that they provide the ability to visualize the data sets unsing online ESRI web mapping technology. This way allows users to better unserdtand what the data sets they are downloading consists of. There is also another neat little feature using the same ESRI tools that allows users to embed maps that they generate on their own web site or blog.

Below is a map of the golf courses in the City of Edmonton created on the city web site and then embeded here on this site with the provided code snip-it that they provided.

The City of Edmonton has done an amazing job of providing interesting data sets in one online location where they can grant the GIS community royalty free, non exclusive licence to use, modify, and distribute any of the data sets that they continue to make available via their data catalogue. They have also provided a great looking easy to use web mapping tool based on ESRI software so that users can save time by viewing the data before downloading it into their own GIS software and people can use to embed maps into their personal blogs.

I encourage you to go forth, download some of the data and start generating great GIS products for the citizens of Edmonton and help promote Canadian Open Data Sets .

 

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