GANS 2018 Summer Newsletter


Summer is in full swing. Hopefully you have taken advantage of it and managed to enjoy lots of field work and vacation time during this nice weather!

Since the AGM on May 25th at the Halifax Central Library, the GANS Board has been busy working together behind the scenes, creating ways to better serve members and further promoting the geomatics sector.

As always we are standing on the shoulders of the giants who have already contributed so much.

There are some significant considerations pending some GANS decisions that the Board feels deserves wider input on, as well as provides some great opportunities for you to become more involved in helping to promoting the geomatics sector. To that end, we have created a short 2 min survey that we would like to ask you to fill out at this link:

Also we would appreciate it if you could please forward the survey to any of your friends and colleagues within the geospatial community that may not be on the GANS email list. We know that Nova Scotia has a large geospatial community, and we want to bring them all together from all sectors that practice geomatics. 

Below you will find some details about upcoming events, recent events and other GANS news, and as always, if you have any questions, concerns, or feedback then we would love to hear from you. 

Geomatics Atlantic 2018

GANS is excited to be hosting the annual Geomatics Atlantic Conference in Halifax during Geography Week, November 14th to the 16th

This years theme is Oceans of Data and will focus on exploring innovation, cutting edge R&D, and the future of geomatics in the marine environment. The term geomatics represents a sector and technology that uses data collected by many different groups and connects many different sectors. Therefore GANS is reaching out to all the many sectors in Atlantic Canada that make use of geomatics or geospatial data.

We have been reaching out to researchers, organizations and companies actively working on marine and coastal focused projects. 
This cross-sectorial conference will include topics on: marine innovation, fisheries & aquaculture, energy & resources, mapping/hydrography, environment characterization, marine spatial planning, climate change, military applications, ocean technology and big data, all connected through geomatics.

Registration rates are discounted for CIG, and GANS members, as well as students. Early Bird registration is now open and will be available until Sept 14th, so click here to save your spot at this years conference We encourage people to register early to help the committee be able to better plan the event. 

Know of someone who works in other data or mapping related fields or someone who has spatial interests? Then please share the link to the website and invite them to come join us during Geography Week.


WHAT - Geomatics Atlantic 2018 

DATE - November 14-16th , 2018 

LOCATION - Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites, Halifax


CONTACT - Daniel Bryce ([email protected])

THEME - Oceans of Data

Geomatics Atlantic 2018, the 31st Geomatics Atlantic conference will be a cross-sectoral event bringing together creators, analyzers and users of marine and coastal spatial data. 

There are still opportunities to get involved in the event as a speaker, sponsor, exhibitor, attendee or volunteer. Contact us if you would like to get involved.

Geomatics Atlantic 2018 Keynotes

This years conference includes several topics on innovation and overcoming complex problems in marine data collection and will feature:

November 14th  

Karl Kenny, CEO Kraken Robotics Inc.

Kraken Robotics is a marine technology company, founded in 2012, that is dedicated to the production and sale of software-centric sensors and underwater robotic systems. 

The company is headquartered in St. John's, Newfoundland with offices in Nova Scotia (at COVE); Germany; and the US.

November 15th

Doug Wallace, Scientific Director MEOPAR

MEOPAR (Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network) is an independent not-for-profit, that funds research, trains students, mobilizes knowledge and communicates results for marine risk and resilience; tackling marine challenges and opportunities for the benefit of the Canadian economy and society.

Geomatics Atlantic 2018 Pre-note Keynote

This year GANS is partnering with the Licensed Professional Planner Association of Nova Scotia (LPPANS) for a Pre-Note/Keynote with world renowned atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe to speak about cross-sectoral approaches to dealing with climate change. It will be November 2nd at 10 am in the Dalhousie School of Architecture and Planning Auditorium (5410 Spring Garden Road next to the Halifax Central Library).

November 2nd

Katharine Hayhoe Director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech

Katharine's research focuses on high-resolution climate projections to evaluate the future impacts of climate change on human society and the natural environment. 

She has published over 125 peer-reviewed articles and served as lead author on key reports for the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the National Academy of Sciences.

When you become a Geomatics Atlantic Sponsor you are not only benefiting your own company / organization, but you are also helping the Nova Scotia geospatial community. Click here to find out how you can become a sponsor of this year's event

Concurrent Sessions

On Nov. 14th and 15th, presenters from various levels of government, academia, and the private sector will speak on a wide range of geospatial related topics ranging from LiDAR missions in the province to technological innovations in seafloor mapping, and much more. 

A Sample of some of the confirmed presentation titles include:

  • Nova Scotia and Renewable Energy 
  • The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) RADARSAT Constellation mission 
  • Environmental big data and nonlinear systems with high output rate: persistent challenges and novel solutions 
  • Merging drone digital surface models (DSM) with bathymetric surveys using kayak and sontek hydrosurveyor in a macrotidal river 
  • Practicalities of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for digital surface models(DSM) and change detection

Exhibition Hall 

Representatives from remote sensing, marine research, geomatics consulting and governments will have booths at the Geomatics Atlantic Trade Show. 

Current Confirmed Exhibitors Include: 
  • Esri Canada 
  • M2Ocean 
  • Teledyne Caris 
  • Kraken Robotics
  • Others pending payment
Exhibiting at the conference provides valuable opportunities to connect and build stronger relationships with the geospatial community.

Geomatics Atlantic is more than a just a conference, it is an networking experience where you can promote your products or services across multiple sectors. The committee are arranging to have the Trade Show set up so that it will draw in participant traffic, and all breaks and food will be served in this area.

Field Workshops  

Several workshops at various locations (COVE, Dalhousie University, Saint Mary's University, Bedford Institute of Oceanography and NSCC) are going to be offered on the morning of November 16th. 

NOTE: Pre-Registration for these workshops will beigin in September. 

Topics Include: 

  • DAL MAP Lab - Applying geospatial technology to qualitative research: mapping traditional coastal knowledge 
  • NRCan - Downscaling national level data to a regional scale 
  • SMU SpARC Lab – Application of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for digital surface models (DSM) and change detection

Regional Collaboration Discussion   

GANS has been offered funding through ACOA to put together a summit that could bring together geomatics sector leaders from across Atlantic Canada. The key reason for this would be to bring together past, present and emerging leaders within the geomatics sector as a means to restructure the geomatics sector in Atlantic Canada through establishing a larger stronger regional association. 

The proposal submitted was aimed at a 3 year plan, however Federal funding assistance for this project from ACOA has only been provided to assist in the portion of the proposal that is aimed at hosting a Summit, and one of the requirements would be for GANS to provide or fund raise 25% in-kind and cash contributions to the project.

Geomatics Atlantic 2018 will be bringing together people from all across the region as well as a multitude of sectors, making this a great opportunity to start such a conversation while getting valuable feedback on the viability and buy-in to this idea. More information about the ACOA funding and this project is available either through the GANS membership area or by contacting the GANS Board.

If you have not already done so through the link at the beginning of the newsletter, please fill out the survey to provide your feedback now on whether we should pursue this opportunity.

Past Events   

This year there were 34 registered attendees at the GANS AGM that was held May 25th at the Halifax Central Library. 

Eric Melanson, (out-going treasurer) provided members with a summary report on the annual budget and Ted MacKinnon presented the President's Report that detailed all the organization's activities over the past year and spoke about the potential ACOA funding that could provide an opportunity to help GANS work toward enabling greater regional collaboration in the geomatics sector. 

Attending members affirmed the nomination of the following Board members: 
  • President - Chad Amirault
  • Vice President - Candace MacDonald
  • Board Member, Jon Murphy
  • Board Member, Dennis Kingston
  • Board Member, Simeon Roberts 

The David Keefe Award of Distinction  for an individual having made an extraordinary contribution to the geomatics sector in Nova Scotia was presented to Ted Mac Kinnon for all his work with GANS and his passion for promoting and bringing together the Canadian geospatial community. He was both surprised and delighted to receive the honor.

James Stephens from Turner Drake & Partners Ltd. provided a presentation on GIS-Driven real estate analysis: A local case study of applied geomatics and Candace MacDonald provided a presentation on the Applied Geomatics Research Group's Bathymetric Lidar system and all the cool projects that they have been working on. 

Hugh MacKay, MLA for Chester-St. Margaret's also took the time to share how things are going with the Provincial Government, he shared how it is not always important topics like education and health care that concern voters, but most of the time hot topics are more related to pot holes and will are the roads going to be fixed. He also ensuring members that he has not forgotten his geospatial roots and has been was discussing opportunities with the Premier of Nova Scotia that could once again become leaders in Geomatics.  

If you have not already done so through the link at the beginning of the newsletter, please fill out the survey to provide your feedback now on whether we should pursue this opportunity.

Education, Certification & Mentorship Workshop   

After a last minute rescheduling, due to one of those lovely early spring snowstorms, we had a small but very inspiring workshop at the Halifax Central Library (April 5th). 

The dozen attendees learned a lot about the GIS Professional (GISP) certification and Esri Professional and Associate Certifications from our panel.

We also heard about the learning opportunities available at Dalhousie and NSCC as they pair GIS with other disciplines. 

Finally, we heard from one of the mentorship pairs from the GANS mentorship program about the benefit of getting involved both as a mentee and a mentor. Not familiar with the GANS Mentorship Program? Then check out

Don't forget to fill out the Member Survey:

GANS Golf Event   

This year's GANS golf tournament was cancelled due to unseasonably poor weather and subsequent low registration. 

Thanks to those that signed up, hopefully we will have better luck next year! 

Geographic Education 

Did you go to high school in Nova Scotia and are now working in the geomatics sector? 

We want you to be part of our educational posters! 

Over 25 individuals have already contributed and you could be next! 

The GANS Geographic Education Posters are created to help young people identify some of the endless possibilities that learning geography provides, by highlighting the various different geography related post-secondary education programs and geospatial related career opportunities available.

All the geomatics related professionals featured here are graduates from various 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 custom designed posters are professionally printed and sent to the corresponding high school that the featured professional graduated from. We believe that this initiative helps promote both high school geography and our industry, ultimately resulting in more students pursuing geospatial studies and careers after they leave high school. It also provides more knowledge to the teachers, parents, and general public about what our industry does, and how we provide services and knowledge that they depend upon every day.

Each poster is also accompanied by that featured persons story on how Geography has helped them get where they are today, so if you have not done so already, then we encourage you to go to the posters page and click each poster so you read all the great geography inspired stories.

And share these links with any of your friends and or colleagues within the geospatial community that may not be on the GANS email list, Geography is important and together we can make it a priority for Nova Scotia Education.

Check out the Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia Sponsors map

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