80 years of Canadian Geographic Maps & Thompson’s 1826 Map of Northwestern North America

logo Carto2013

I recently returned from giving a presentation at Carto2013; an annual Canadian cartographic themed conference that was held at the University of Alberta co-hosted by the Canadian Cartographic Association (CCA) & the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA). It was a relative small conference regards to size but well organized and very informative, covering a wide range of cartographic and GIS topics.

One of the key themes evident at the conference was related to history of cartography and history through maps”, a topic that many of the presentations were related to and several of these talks were about 1826 maps of Northwestern North America created by David Thompson. I myself have never really had much interest in history however these presentations provided me with a much different perspective and maybe I have found myself a new (or old??) to explore.

Yesterday while searching for some Canadian maps with my daughter I stumbled across yet some more historic themed cartography, so I thought perhaps we should start a new section on related to Historic Cartography since it is pretty evident that this is becoming topic of interest to many in the Canadian Geomatics community.

logo Canadian GeographicThe Royal Canadian Geographical Society (one of the largest non profit organizations in Canada) has added a feature to their Canadian Geographic web site where they are featuring 80 years of Canadian Maps published in Canadian Geographic. One of the Society’s core mandates is to promote the country of Canada by providing a deeper knowledge and broader appreciation of Canada through it’s people, wildlife, geography and heritage as well as the environmental, social and economic challenges that Canadian’s face.

80 years of Canadian GeographicThe Canadian Geographic magazine has always done a great job of promoting Canadian people, culture together with geography through informative articles, stunning color images and elegant thematic maps. This online feature will help provide a younger generation of potential cartographic enthusiasts with a great opportunity to discover a legacy of Canadian mapping history together all in one location (and a chance for others to potentially rediscover).

“Through the 80 years that Canadian Geographic has been in publication, cartography has held a prominent place on its pages, offering Canadians a greater understanding of their country and the world. Whether our maps have illustrated a part of the country or a part of our brains, they’ve made a lasting impact. We’ve searched through eight decades of the magazine to bring you nearly 50 maps organized by the following themes: Exploration, Conflict and Borders, People, Wildlife, The Changing Environment and The North.” [source:]

80 years of Canadian Geographic

From detailed hand drawn maps of early explorers (such as Henry Hudson) whom created and documented some of the earliest spatial representations of Canada to digital generated maps that focus on the environment (such as negative effects of urbanization and capitalizing on our natural resources) nature, the north, and our people. With an 80 year span, there is a wide range of cartographic images to browse through as well as a Cartography 101 section that provides some basic explanations of various mapping techniques and technologies used to create maps, including why “There is much more to a map than simply showing you where to go” (for those that do not know so much about maps, the technology and map terminology).

Check out some of the many Canadian Maps published in Canadian Geographic over the past 80 years by browsing through the map collections and various mapping related features available on their website (

full size replica of Thompson’s 1826 map of Northwestern North America titled - A Map of North America from 84 Degrees West to the Pacific Ocean

Andreas Korsos, one of the presenters at Carto2013, is a professional Cartographer who has a passion for historic cartography of western exploration and over his career has created numerous thematic maps related to many historic figures such as David Thompson. At Carto2013, he was one of three presenters in a session about reproducing a 200 Year old Manuscript Map of Northwestern North America (Rosemary Malaher & David Malaher also provided very informative talks in that session). They also presented a full size replica of Thompson’s 1826 map of Northwestern North America titled “A Map of North America from 84 Degrees West to the Pacific Ocean”.

The large 6 square meter replica map that was on display, encompassed a geographic region from 45 degrees to 60 degrees north latitude and 84 degrees to 126 degrees west longitude. It was created from 176 high resolution images, mosaicked, georeferenced and is the most pristine version in Canada. It is also the only copy that is available outside the United Kingdom witch until now was only accessible to key Canadian researchers that had to travel to the National Archives in Kew, England.

Thompson’s 1826 map of Northwestern North America at Carto2013

“I am only one of two that I know of who are performing extensive research on the surviving maps of David Thompson (1770-1857). The 1826 version is the most detailed and immaculate version in existence and it does not deserve to be locked away in an archive in England, hidden from our view or the views of our citizens. “- Andreas Korsos

Those who were not fortunate enough to travel out to Carto2013 in Alberta and have an interest in historic cartography will most definitely want to explore Andreas’ website where you will find lots of information, photos and map replications of a number of early western explorers. As well as becoming familiar with the various maps, he has also researched the literature from the various explorers’ logs and traveled along some of the historic routes to experience the geography first hand. He had many interesting stories about Thompson and his cartographic journeys to share at the various networking opportunities at the conference.

Map 1826 Northwestern North America by Thompson

Finally remember to follow or check back to the new “Historic Cartography” section of as we continue to explore other great sources of vintage mapping in Canada and related topics. And if you have a feature related to historic mapping in Canada then certainly let us know if you would like to share it with our online audience.

International Women’s Day March 8th: Issues & Leadership in the Canadian Geomatics Community

GoGeomatics Canada is focusing on women in the Canadian geomatics community during the month of March.  In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th GoGeomatics Magazine will feature interviews and articles by women about women in our field.  Some contributors from last year will be coming back to share their thoughts on current issues relating to employment and leadership in geomatics, as well many new voices will be heard.

GoGeomatics Canada Women with globe for International Women’s Day March 8th

International Women’s Day has a very real meaning.  In Canada and much of the western world it is often taken for granted the equal status that women hold in our society.  However this is not the case in many other places around the world where women can face discrimination from the establishment and even within their own families. In many places they are taught by society, from day one, that they are inferior to men.

By sharing various stories and points of views from women in the Canadian geomatics community GoGeomatics aims to show that they are present and well accounted for in all areas of our society especially in the technical fields.  As well by talking to women who are leaders in geomatics we let the world know that women in Canada are taking on challenges and issues of great importance.

Our month long focus is also a reminder that women matter to society. That they have the right to be heard, despite what governments, society, or families tell them in other parts of the world.  GoGeomatics Canada believes that to remember and honor all the ways women make a difference in our community helps those who may yet struggle to reach the same level of acceptance and stature.

GoGeomatics hopes that you will join the Canadian geomatics community during the month of March by reading and engaging in the discussions that arise as we talk to other women in Canada about geomatics and their leadership in our community.

If you have a story or a point of view that you would like to share with the geomatics community in Canada please contact Deanna the  GoGeomatics Community Manager.

Society for Conservation GIS Conference

Date: July 19 – 22, 2012
Venue: Asilomar Conference Grounds in Monterey, California

Society for Conservation GIS Conference

Society for Conservation GIS ConferenceThe Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS) assists conservationists worldwide by using GIS through communication, networking, scholarships, and training. Membership to the society is open to any individual who seeks assistance in the achievement of personal or organizational conservation goals. The Society for Conservation GIS would like to announce its 15th Annual Conference “Building Resilience”, to be held July 19 – 22, 2012 at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Monterey, California.

“The theme for the 2012 SCGIS Conference is “Building Resilience.” Our topics range from communication and public understanding of science, to how interdisciplinary cooperation can offer solutions to seemingly unyielding problems.”

SCGIS, made up of conservationists, geographers, scientists, students and educators is a diverse group of professionals dedicated to using GIS to achieve conservation goals. If you share similar interests and are willing to learn and share, please consider this the conference for you. And unlike other conferences where you are constantly hustled from one place to the next, you will be given time to talk to people: meals are shared, there are socials, and plenty of down-time between sessions to ask questions and share experiences with fellow attendees.

For more information see