Geomatics News

We have provided this Geomatics News section to allow our members and corporate sponsors the ability to share any geomatics related news or information with the geospatial community.  This page works much like a typical blog, so others can add comments to any news post, or include the information on their own website using the RSS feed

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  • 14 Mar 2016 4:06 PM | Ted MacKinnon (Administrator)

    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. 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 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 work across 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. And 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 (such as open data portals). 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 and remain a leader in the geomatics sector. 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' ?

    1. determine the extent of the geography
    2. obtain digital base maps at the appropriate scale
    3. decide on the community mapping need:
              - historic properties
              - trails
              - land use
              - tourism facilities
    4. design the 'look and feel' of the user interface
    5. determine whether web/mobile app. or both
    6. hire application developer
    7. prototype application
    8. testing
    9. marketing and sales
    10. product release

    Why now?

    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.

    References

    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.


  • 10 Feb 2016 10:32 AM | Ted MacKinnon (Administrator)

    It is a pleasure to bring you an update on the activities of GANS, the Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia, as we reach the half-way mark of our 2015-2016 year.

    Your Board of Directors and Working Groups have made considerable progress on the goals presented at the 2015 Annual General Meeting. 

    We would like to highlight a few of the many accomplishments (http://gans.ca/2016-Presidents-Letter)


  • 27 Jan 2016 8:12 AM | Ted MacKinnon (Administrator)

    Geography Helped Me Get Where I am Now - GANS Geographic Education Posters Series 

    The GANS Geographic Education Posters were created to help young people identify some of the endless possibilities that learning geography provides, by highlighting the various different geomatics related post-secondary education programs and geospatial related career opportunities available, ultimately resulting in more students pursuing geomatics related careers.

    All the professionals featured are graduates of Nova Scotia high schools and have followed a variety of post-secondary paths, including both colleges and universities, to get where they are today. - Geography Matters! 

    The Geographic Education and Geospatial Related Careers page includes links to digital versions from the first round of GANS Education Posters. Clicking on an image below will open up a dedicated web page highlighting the individual with a larger digital PDF version of the custom poster and a short summary of the person’s post-secondary path, present job title and their story on how Geography Helped them Get Where they are Now .

    We encourage you to check them all out and share with your friends, colleagues, co-workers and extended networks. We will also be adding more images and narratives about other young Nova Scotian geospatial professionals in the future, so also hope that you will come back to the Geographic Education and Geospatial Related Careers page again. http://gans.ca/Geospatial-Careers


  • 16 Dec 2015 1:27 PM | Ted MacKinnon (Administrator)

    Canada’s geospatial community received a significant boost today with the signing of a 1.5 year funding contribution agreement with Natural Resources Canada. GeoAlliance Canada, a national non-profit umbrella organization, received this funding in support of their mandate to provide essential leadership within the geomatics, geography and geospatial sector. 

    GeoAlliance Canada was launched in April 2015 by the consensus of community leaders who recognized the potential for a national organization to fuse together the energy and resources being expended by a highly fractured sector. By coming together under one umbrella, diverse groups within the geospatial community are able to network and collaborate on projects of mutual interest. Through the engagement of key groups and organizations, GeoAlliance Canada has begun to articulate and promote the benefits of using geospatial data and tools for effective decision making to leaders within business, government and education circles. The contribution funding from Natural Resources Canada will have an immediate impact by providing essential operational resources for this fledgling non-profit organization.

    GeoAlliance Canada’s Board of Directors has released the following statement:

    We wish to thank Natural Resources Canada for their ongoing support for initiatives promoting the use of geospatial data, tools and technologies in Canada, including the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table and now GeoAlliance Canada. The funds released under this contribution agreement will support GeoAlliance Canada over the next year and a half as we work to engage the geomatics, geography and geospatial communities. We will draw from this significant resource to increase Canadians’ understanding of the role of “geo” in our economy and day to day lives. We look forward to working with our member organizations from the business, non-profit, education and government communities to drive forward projects that celebrate our long history of innovation in this sector and re-establish our leadership position on the world stage.

    For more information about GeoAlliance Canada or this contribution funding agreement, please see http://geoalliance.ca/


  • 23 Oct 2015 2:58 PM | Ted MacKinnon (Administrator)

    GANS would like to announce that we have started a Creative Art/Map Competition for Nova Scotian Students

    The contest is open to students in all grades from primary to grade 12 as well as post secondary students. It is meant to help engage students in artistic cartographic activities while encouraging them to learn more about the geography, heritage and history of Nova Scotia. And at the same time promote Nova Scotia to the world and have some fun while doing it!

    Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place entries in 7 different categories

    Click here for more details about Creative Art/Map Competition for Nova Scotian Students


     

     

  • 21 Sep 2015 8:13 PM | Ted MacKinnon (Administrator)

    Did you know that Geomatics Atlantic 2015 is part of the 9th Symposium of the International Society for Digital Earth?


    Towards a One-World Vision for the Blue Planet


    Date: October 5-9, 2015
    Location: Downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia at the World Trade & Convention Centre


    Geomatics Atlantic is an annual regional conference that has been hosted by GANS & CIG Atlantic Chapters for the past 25 years. The event originally started out in the 1990s as workshops that addressed gaps in communications between the geospatial community of various different departments and geographies. Those workshops focused on what the future of the geomatics sector would look like and how we would get there.

    The workshops latter expanded into larger conferences with outside guests from industry and academia being invited, raising the level of discussions. Geomatics Atlantic then started to include exhibit halls for vendors and moved from city to city, rotating around the Atlantic region instead of being hosted in the same place every year. Each participating organization would take their turn hosting the annual event as it rotates through the Atlantic provinces.

    This year it was GANS turn to host Geomatics Atlantic here in Nova Scotia, and traditionally it would have been held during late spring. However a rare opportunity to co-host an International Gala Event came up so GANS has partnered with the 9th Symposium of the International Society for Digital Earth and Geomatics Atlantic will be held in October.

    In 2 weeks from now scientists, engineers, technologists, managers and the geospatial community  from around the world will come together in Halifax to share concepts, research findings, technologies, and practical applications.

    We all know that Canada is in the forefront of research and development in the fields of geomatics, geospatial research, and environmental monitoring and Nova Scotia has a large cluster of agencies and institutions related to geomatics, digital technologies, and the environment, with regional and specialist agencies of many government departments, and world-class research at local universities and colleges.



    A preliminary program summary for the Digital Earth / Geomatics Atlantic 2015 is available with suggested Atlantic Canada sessions highlighted.

    There will also be a Ceilidh hosted on October 8 to celebrate the International Year of Mapping and will feature fine Nova Scotia food, drink and entertainment, as well as very special guests who will share their stories and vision for the Blue Planet.

    Registration fee for GANS members is $450 for the 5 day event, see http://digitalearth2015.ca/registration/ for more details & to register.

    Hope to see you all here in 2 weeks ...


  • 02 Sep 2015 4:26 PM | Hugh MacKay (Administrator)

    Save-the-Date for the Land Registry Forum!

    Date: November 18th

    Location: Nova Scotia Association of Realtors, Dartmouth

    The Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors (ANSLS) and the Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) are pleased to announce that they will present a one-day Land Registry Forum on Wednesday, November 18th. This open forum will be of interest to land surveyors and other geomatics professionals, as well as the community planning and development sector, financial services sector, the legal profession, the real estate sector and others.

    The registration fee is $150 for the full day event and includes lunch and refreshments.

    An exciting line-up of speakers and panel participants, from Nova Scotia and beyond, will be featured.

    Additional information and registration will be posted on the ANSLS http://www.ansls.ca/ and GANS http://www.gans.ca/ websites by the end of September. Save the date NOW!

    For further information, please contact ANSLS ansls@accesswave.ca or GANS info@gans.ca 

  • 29 Jul 2015 3:38 PM | Hugh MacKay (Administrator)

    On April 20, 2015, leaders from the geo community acrooss Canada came together to build on the work of the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table (CGCRT) by finalizing the structure and intent of a new national umbrella organization: GeoAlliance Canada. You can read a recap of the day and see a record of discussion on the new  GeoAlliance Canada website, http://geoalliance.ca/.  

     

    GeoAlliance Canada is comprised of organizations representing the public sector, the education community, non-profit organizations and the private sector. GeoAlliance Canada will work to raise the profile of geo across the country by bringing together representatives from all geomatics sectors. Together, they are working toward a future where Canada's geospatial sector is among the most innovative and competitive in the world.
  • 27 Jul 2015 10:36 AM | Hugh MacKay (Administrator)

    In 2015, GANS introduced its Award of Distinction to honour an individual or an organization having made an extraordinary contribution to the geomatics sector in Nova Scotia.  The inaugural Award was presented at the GANS Annual General Meeting, in June 2015, to Dr. Jason Bond, Coordinate Control Officer, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

    Dr. Bond was nominated for the award by the Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors (ANSLS). The GANS Board of Directors voted unanimously in favour of accepting the nomination and approving the selection of Dr. Bond as the award winner.

    The nomination read, in part, “Dr. Bond has been the driving force behind the design, installation and completion of the Nova Scotia Active Control System (NSACS). The NSACS is an important step for the Province to have taken toward our geospatial future and puts Nova Scotia at the forefront of GNSS technology and Provincial coordinate referencing systems.

    This achievement demonstrates his innovation in that he planned and led the process to install active GNSS base stations across Nova Scotia that will enable the geomatics community to prosper for years to come. Moreover, this advancement has led to real time corrections to GNSS observations being available to user groups, including the ASNSLS and other user groups across the province.

    Dr. Bond personally drafted business cases, held working group meetings, consulted industry and stakeholders. He acquired the necessary funding to create the NSACS while overseeing its design and implementation.

    Dr. Bond deserves this distinct recognition for his achievements in regard to the NSACS as he has clearly positioned the Province of Nova Scotia and our geomatics sector for an extremely bright future.”

    On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire membership if GANS, it is pleasure to recognize and congratulate Jason for winning the 2015 Award of Distinction!

     

  • 16 Jul 2015 2:11 PM | Ted MacKinnon (Administrator)
    Congratulations to Alexandra Baird Allen, GANS Board Member and Senior Manager of Turner Drake & Partners' Economic Intelligence Unit.


    Alex has been recently awarded the designation "Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors" (MRICS). Alex has led the implementation of GIS and data mining as an extension of Turner Drake's skills base; utilizing GIS to marry demographic, income and expense data with real estate databases to advise clients on the impact of changing demographics o their real estate portfolios. 



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