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Canadian GIS Education Programs Map

Are you looking for GIS education programs in Canada? Check out some of these College and Universities across Canada that are offering GIS programs or Geography programs with GIS disciplines. You can reveal the schools contact info by clicking on any of the points. A small window will open up, click the small right arrow in the window to reveal the info (clicking the down arrow will bring you back to the map).


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The Regina Online Culture Map

Regina Online Culture Map

The city of Regina, second largest in Saskatchewan is a beautiful little city situated in the center of the prairies offering many different attractions and events that take place every year for residents and tourists alike.

Regina Online Culture Map - online web map

Information of various events and activities can now be easily found on their online interactive Culture Web Map. With this neat little tool the city provides information on many of Regina’s cultural resources with promises of expansion as Regina grows and changes (major updates are expected to happen at least every six months)

The Regina Cultural Map is based on ESRI web server technology and has been looks rather sharp while keeping it as simple as can be so that it appeals to almost everyone.

Along the top of the interactive map contains is a quick tool bar with a variety of leisure and culture categories represented by artsy little icons. Selecting on of the icons then populates the map with the data from that category (categories such as Art Galleries, Cinemas,Festivals, Heritage properties, museums, public art and much more).

Regina Online Culture Map

Clicking on one of the icons that appears on the interactive map will then zoom the user into that particular area of interest and provide more information about it including, web site links, address location, photos and sometimes more details about it.

The Regina Online Culture Map is a great example of how data for an area can be spatially stored and presented in a tool that almost anyone can use while providing residents and tourists with details that can help them find the latest events and activities available to them.

To check out the Regina Culture Map for your self simply follow the link here http://culture.regina.ca

Trans Canada Trail – interactive web map

Trans Canada Trail Map

The Trans Canada Trail is the worlds longest networked multi-use recreational trail system that consists of more than 16500 kilometers of the fully operational trails across Canada. It is currently about seventy three percent of the overall proposed routes and when fully completed should span over 22500 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic Ocean, across every province and territory, connecting thousands of communities and all Canadians. “The Trans Canada Trail inspires Canadians of all ages to get active and keep fit and helps educate individuals of all ages about Canada’s history and cultural and natural heritage”.

 

Every day Canadians and international visitors use these trails to walk, bike, ski, canoe and snowmobile along. Several information Pavilions have been established across the system to provide information about sections of the trail helping people to experience Canada’s unique landscapes. The Trans Canada Trail Organization does not actually own or operate any of the trails but provides a non profit organization to helps run and manage the community based project with the different sections owned and maintained by various local organizations, provincial and national agencies and a multitude of municipalities.

The Trans Canada Trail Map web site offers an interactive Trans Canada Trail map based on ESRI technology that provides users with a new way to explore and learn more about the Trans Canada Trail System. The interactive site encourages public input providing functionality allowing Canadians to place points or lines on the map marking different parts of the trail that they may have explored or places that they wish to explore as well as opportunities to upload photos and stories to help share their experiences with other Canadians. The online web map offers users the ability to explore the trail system for areas that may be more suitable for different activities such as biking, canoeing and cross-country skiing as well as search tools to help find parts of the trail network near you.

There is a disclaimer on the site recommending that the map works best in Fire fox, Safari or Google Chrome, but I did notice that the map browser can sometimes still be some what problematic in these browsers. Either way I am sure you will quickly notice that this online web map is a great little way to way to explore and learn more about the Trans Canada Trail System. – Trans Canada Trail map


[Article originally published on June 23, 2013]

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.


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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Alberta’s Changing Political Landscape

Alberta's changing political web map

On April 23, 2012 thousands of electors headed to the polls for Alberta’s 28th provincial election. In all 87 candidates were elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, 4 more then 2008 due to an increase in the provinces growing population. The Progressive Conservative party won a majority with 61 of the 87 elected ridings.

More information about Alberta general elections can be found at the Elections Alberta website. Instead I will continue to discuss Alberta’s 28th provincial election but as it relates to mapping, but what does a provincial election have to do with mapping?

Well… ESRI Canada has what they refer to as a Public Map Gallery that is a collection of custom web maps created by their mapping team featuring Canadian community maps, Canadian election results, and various census data. Here they leveraged some of their online spatial tools and features available together with public domain data to create an interactive online mapping application of Alberta’s Changing Political Landscape.

The online interactive political map can help people visualize the results from Alberta’s past three provincial elections all together in one interactive browser window. A similar online mapping application like this one was also created for the last federal election in 2011.

“The Esri Canada Mapping Team who is responsible for the construction of a series of Canadian Community Maps and web applications hosted on ArcGIS.com. The Esri Canada Community Maps Program provides a cost-effective and efficient framework for organizations to share their geographic information with the public.” http://maps.esri.ca/gallery/

Alberta's changing political web map

Using the interactive mapping application of Alberta’s Changing Political Landscape a person can view results from Alberta’s 2004, 2008, 2012 elections and when they zoom into an area of interest in one map window, all the other windows will zoom to the same level automatically making it very easy to compare the results from place to place.

An additional information tool is provided that allows people to click on any electoral riding and the basic information for that one appears below the map, containing information such as the elected party, the MLA, the electoral district name, number of electors, voter turnout etc. To check out the online Alberta map for your self go to http://maps.esri.ca/ElectoralMaps/AB_GeneralElections/


Do you know about any Canadian online web maps that are not covered by CanadianGIS.com? Then let me know and I will look into adding it to our database.

NOAA Interactive Weather Map

Weather StationThis link to an online web map was emailed to me recently and although it contains mainly American weather stations there are a good number of Canadian ones on there as well so I thought I would share it. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is an an Operating Unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce that provides a National Weather Service.

The Weather Service provides weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy.

Their operational server maintains a current database of meteorological and hydrological data, historical data, and written information generated by the NWS or other official sources.

In addition, their server accesses in real-time a selection of current weather observations, forecasts, and warnings from U.S. government sources for use by the national and international community.  They also offer many other Weather services on their website such as storm watch, alerts, local and regional information and much more.

NOAA weather map service

Moving the cursor over one of the symbols on the map will reveal data for the weather station of that area and is usually clickable, opening another web page with more information, details and measurements. It would be nice if they could expand a little further north to include all of Canada but in the mean time if you are located in Ontario, the Prairies or the Southern Rockies then maybe you can make use of this interactive weather mapping tool.

NOAA weather map service - Prince Albert SASK

GeoSask Maps and Geospatial Information

logo GeoSaskBuilt and maintained by Information Services Corporation of Saskatchewan, GeoSask is a centralized open data website by the Provincial Government providing free online access to different types of maps and geospatial information related to the province of Saskatchewan. It features free downloadable GIS data (with a few exceptions) available from participating Government of Saskatchewan departments and agencies.

“It enables you to discover, view and access local and remote geospatial information and services made available by participating provincial ministries and agencies. If your organization is a source of such information and services it enables you to make your geospatial information and services discoverable, viewable and accessible by others and to restrict access to data based on security privileges.”

GeoSask can be used to:

GEOSASK online map viewer

•Discover local and remote geospatial information resources.
•View details about resources, including how to download
•Immediately view live online Data and Map resources
•Create, upload and manage metadata that references geospatial data
•Share secured and non-secured data.
•Manage and save maps and download preferences you have created for use during subsequent sessions.

https://www.geosask.ca/arcexplorer/servlet/ISC_ArcExplorerStartup?action=baseMap&origid=&isDefault=true

http://www.geosask.ca/Portal/

GeoNB Map Viewer and free New Brunswick Digital data sets

Check out the remarkable efforts that Service New Brunswick has been able to accomplish ensuring that their residents have access to good geographic information data sets as well as access to amazing free online web mapping tools for those that are not fortunate enough to have GIS related software.

If you are looking at generating maps related to the province of New Brunswick then I recommend that you check out these data sets as they will provide a stable building block to build a decent GIS with. And if you are not interested in doing any GIS work with New Brunswick data sets, then at least check out the GeoNB online web Map Viewer.