by Chad Amirault and James Boxall
Sobey Building, Room 255
Purpose: The primary purpose of this workshop is to provide awareness of the available certifications and designations that are internationally recognized and have become mainstream in the US and Western Canada.
Description: Across the world, GIS is a recognized profession. Not unlike an Engineer or a Project Manager, to become a professional in that profession, one's expertise must be endorsed by a credible 3rd party. A professional designation signifies recognition of an individual's skills.
In other regions, GIS certifications have become a key for employers and those generating RFPs to measure certified quality. It has been recognized as part of the whole standards process from ISO TC/211. Our competitiveness depends upon maintaining skills and being recognized as working on a level playing field. Certification is as important in academia as it is in government and the private sector.
The process of certification is thought to be long and difficult, and without a return on investment. This workshop will help to dispel that view. Participants will be guided through the application process with the workshop leaders, and input from colleagues and potential mentors.
There will also be an opportunity to develop an action plan supporting certification activities. What role should our professional associations play in the certification process in our region? How can educational institutions and employers help with the process? Participants will also be presented with materials for both CIG and GISP processes to obtain and maintain the certification.
Participants are encouraged to bring their C.V./resume and documents that they can use to begin the application process (i.e. attended training/conferences and awards/publications, etc.).
Outline: The workshop will be facilitated using the following high-level outline.
30 min – Industry Trends; what other regions are doing and what we should be doing to catch up. Discuss the effects of not following the industry trends.
15 min – The Options; what programs are available, from whom and how much do they cost? Looking at the wider variety of certifications (Chartered Geographer, Professional Cartographer, Fellow of RGS, etc..) and associated costs.
15 min – The Benefits; what are the benefits to you as a practitioner and to your employer.
30 min - The Process; how to apply and how does the application process work. Discuss how criteria are measured and begin defining individual measures.
30 min – floating break (pass out lists of conferences, workshops, events, courses, online activities that count, and what points are attached to those) informal Q&A
30 min – Filling in the blanks; with guidance and together (if they feel comfortable)
15 min - Action plan; what can we do and who will lead to help us maintain it.
by Dr. Tim Webster and Bill Kidman
Sobey Building, Room 260
Lidar has become the tool of choice for acquisition of high resolution elevation models. We will go over the theory of lidar, some typical specifications (including point spacing and expected accuracy), and what to ask for in terms of deliverables from the data provider. We will then move to hands-on training utilizing the new Esri ArcGIS 10.1 lidar capabilities. We will examine LAS (standard binary format for lidar) point files and other visualizing tools, and then move one to producing derived layers from the lidar points. In addition to constructing detailed bare-earth DEMs, other models including a Digital Surface Model (DSM) that incorporates all of the valid lidar returns will be built. We will discuss the pros and cons of different methods for building the raster grids. Other products can also be generated from a single lidar survey include the Normalized Height Model (DSM-DEM) which gives us the height of objects above the ground, as well as a lidar intensity image. We will then present a variety of applications of lidar including: flood risk mapping (coastal and rivers), line–of–site analysis, watershed delineation, and change detection. We will end with an open discussion about applications of lidar and potential activities in the region.
by Dr. Dave Coleman
Brief remarks on 25 years of Geomatics Atlantic!
by Bill Jones and Dr. Dave Coleman
Barbara Pietersma-Perrott, Saint Mary's University
Shore Zone Characterization for Climate Change Adaptation in the Bay of Fundy
Gerard Eddy with Student, South Shore Regional School Board
Gold Rush: GIS - Mineral Exploration and Mining in Nova Scotia,
Then and Now, with GIS at South Queens Junior High School
Dave MacLean, COGS
Catching Ideas: The Role of Social Media to Contribute to Course Content
Jamie Whitters, CBRM
Extent of Orthophotography \ LiDar Collection Projects
in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (2008 - 2012)
Pam McPherson, Nova Scotia Department of Finance
Sarah Onichino, Service Nova Scotia & Municipal Relations
The Geoinfo Lifecycle: From Maps to Meaning
David Hapgood, COGS Student project
Exploring the Topology of Saglek Fjord, Torngat Mountains, Labrador
David Hapgood and Steven Ensing, COGS Student project for Parks Canada
Temporal Changes in Sea Ice Concentration, Foxe Basin and Wager Bay, Nunavut
Kara Tippett, Sophol Tran & Derek Wicks, COGS Student project for David Suzuki Foundation
Mapping Wind Energy Potential In Canada: A Custom Tool
Keenan Sutherland & Jill Penney, COGS Student project
Serving Maps on a Local and Global Scale
Raymond Jahncke & Peter Bush, School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie
Wetland Identification using polarimetric radar and lidar:
preliminary results for a pilot study in Nova Scotia
Alana Westwood, Dalhousie
Preliminary Habitat Suitability Models for Three Forest-dwelling Bird Species at Risk
in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve
Trevor Hume, EDM
by Dr. Robert Fournier
30-minute coffee / mingle / exhibit break
by Supt. Bill Moore
Deputy Cheif of Halifax Police, Bill Moore, talks about a number of topics related to police departments and the future of information technology: synchronising various technologies. Discussion topics include: Integration of Data, Wireless Video, Operational Awareness / Command & Control, Officer Safety Anything, Expert Services on Demand, and Interoperability
by Laurent Etienne
Mobile objects are now equipped with sensors allowing real time monitoring of their movements. Nowadays, the data produced by these sensors are received and stored in spatio-temporal databases in order to track them. Data mining on this huge quantity of stored positions allows to extract the behaviour of these mobile objects (spatio-temporal patterns) and to analyse in real time trajectories of mobile objects following a same itinerary. Using these patterns, unusual situations can be detected. This research deﬁnes both spatio-temporal patterns and comparison tools to qualify trajectories using a similarity index based on spatial and temporal measures, statistics and fuzzy logic. These tools can be used to ease maritime traﬃc monitoring.
The protection of the marine environment is the responsibility of everyone. At the same time we must be conscious of the pollution threats to our waterways and oceans and the serious effects that may result. With the growth of the marine transportation system, safety of navigation is one of the most important topics and issues at all levels of the decision making process. As part of this effort a group of techniques has to be used for managing all types of risks, including trying to prevent any kind of maritime accidents in areas where the volume, complexity and variety of maritime traffic is increased. This presentation explains how the combination of the applied marine Geomatics with a set of seven Management and Planning tools allows the definition and classification of zones in the Atlantic region of Canada using different levels of potential maritime risk: (a) High, (b) Medium and (c) Low. The set of management and planning tools is defined by the use of (1) the Affinity Diagram (KJ Method), (2) the Interrelationship Digraph (ID), (3) the Tree Diagram, (4) the Prioritization Matrix, (5) the Matrix Diagram, (6) the Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC), and (7) the Activity Network Diagram. The risk classification is based on the pollution threats to the waterways and the potential consequence to the adjacent marine and coastal zone. The application of the proposed procedure results in a set of maps in different formats (vector and raster) with all needed metadata, which help to identify the most used shipping routes, to define and to evaluate the effectiveness of locations of all aids to navigations, to establish the priority zones where hydrographic surveys should be carried out to warranty the safety of navigation and to assign emergency response resources.
by Burns Foster
by Alison Ambi
Anticipating a spike in Titanic-related questions, reference librarians at the public library researched Halifax’s Titanic connections in advance of the 2012 centenary. A number of sites in the city with Titanic significance were identified, and various historic documents, maps, directories and photographs were used to pin-point their current-day locations. Recent advances in mobile technology enabled a novel approach to compiling the information for the public. A mobile-friendly self-guided tour was developed using a variety of social media and location-based apps including Google Maps, Foursquare, Flickr and Layar. These tools allowed us to capitalize on the geolocation and mapping capabilities of the powerful little computers people carry around with them, without the need for significant technical expertise on our part. By presenting history in geographic context we hoped to enhance the experience for users and bring to life the role our city played in the tragic events of 1912.
30-minute coffee / mingle / exhibit break
by Gerard Eddy and Warren Dobson
Inspire a younger generation to realize their future potential? Teachers do it every day. At South Queens Junior High School in Liverpool Nova Scotia, Geographic Information Systems specialist, Gerard Eddy, and teacher, Warren Dobson, are collaborating to introduce Grade 9 students to the field of GIS. This year, South Queens is piloting a new teaching method known as Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL). IBL is characterized by authentic learning experiences structured around powerful driving questions. In Gold Rush: GIS, students balance the human and environmental costs associated with mineral exploration and resource development against the potential for economic impact, in addressing the big question: mining – is it worth it? Through virtual prospecting activities, students embark on a contemporary and historical tour of gold mining in Nova Scotia and end up learning lessons in Social Studies, Mathematics & Economics, Technology, Chemistry, Geology, Biology, Environmental Science, and Social Media. Using the GIS tools that industry professionals use, students make decisions that influence their potential for profit as they strive to hit paydirt in a virtual mineral exploration game. We examine the role that Geomatics can play in an educational setting. At the same time, we assess the degree of student engagement, the lessons learned, and the students’ perception of GIS as a potential future career path.
by James Thompson and Steve AuCoin
Among the many concerns of Nova Scotian communities are the assessment of aging infrastructure and the creation of more economic and eco-friendly systems to upgrade or replace those in locations with the most need. To monitor such changes and to aid in the assessment of their success, remote sensing and especially thermal imaging can play a vital role. It was the goal of the student authors, under supervision of COGS Remote Sensing faculty, to create an affordable solution that could be implemented by parties interested in locating broad patterns of heat emissions, from either energy loss or pollutions. A FLIR thermal system (originally intended for security monitoring) was integrated with a GNSS/IMU (Applanix POSAV) to create a self-contained, easy to operate direct georeferencing airborne system, installable in a light airplane such as a Cessna 172. Such customized systems require modifications to power supplies, camera mounts, data storage, and communication hardware. To reduce costs and allow the flexibility to address ever changing needs, the software was developed using Open-source libraries and APIs using Python. All aspects of survey management are handled by the software with pertinent information such as a pilot navigation map and system status displayed in the interface. The creation of a fully functional thermal survey solution which allows for inflight operations decisions, data gathering, storage and display, affords availability of quickly and inexpensively gathered imagery to many different disciplines. The prototype system was tested in a survey over Middleton NS in the spring of 2012. The geometric and radiometric quality of the final products are being assessed for possible improvements by future students and for future applications of the system in home heating and emissions studies, as well as monitoring of water-based sewage/pollution. Potential uses of the system in the future include search and rescue or wildlife monitoring.
by Izaak de Rijcke
As the demographics of members in traditional surveying professions in Canada shows advancing age, Canadian colleges and universities are graduating a new generation of students from geomatics programs. While this may be a welcome development, there remain issues with the conceptual “learning framework” between what has been practised and which competencies the future of practice will require. This amounts to a geomatics “knowledge gap”. With retirement imminent for many practitioners, there is available a rich legacy of methodology, records and an approach to maintaining the cadastral survey fabric (not the same as a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI)), that has served the profession reasonably well in the past. These same practitioners are quick to acknowledge that much of this knowledge base needs to change in the face of both emerging technologies and new legislative frameworks to elevate the cadastral survey fabric to approach a legally correct SDI. However, most geomatics courses do not prepare graduates for taking on this knowledge base legacy; the emphasis instead appears to lie in software tools and applications for extracting, managing and presenting location related information in a virtual framework. This presentation will consider the state of the geomatics knowledge base and compare this to the competency goals of a sampling of undergraduate programs offering geomatics learning. The implications for course and program design will be discussed, with some specific suggestions for the needs of such programs to respond to a professional practice environment that moves traditional surveying practice to the building and maintenance of a legally correct SDI.
by Dave MacLean
Last Update (25 June 2012):
Over a hundred grads and friends gathered at the Geomatics Atlantic 2012 conference on 13 June 2012 in Halifax, to celebrate COGS having turned 25. There were recollections by:
Door prizes were won by Heather Craig and Corey Nelson. There were revolving slideshows, and grads on maps & displayed in Google Earth (online map at http://bit.ly/COGSGradMap has 325+ grads). Music was provided by sisters Cassie & Maggie MacDonald.
Update on 11 June 2012:
Update for 29 May 2012:
Update on 25 May 2012:
Do you have pictures from your time at COGS (or NSLSI) that you'd like to share in a PowerPoint? Send them to COGSTurned25@gmail.com ; include any: description, year, names of people, your name, ..., that you'd like.
Original message (8 May 2012):
In recognition of COGS turning 25, we are planning a celebration on Wednesday evening, 13 June 2012, during Geomatics Atlantic. There will be:
A bit of history: during graduation exercises in August of 1986, the previous Nova Scotia Land Survey Institute (NSLSI) name was retired and the College of Geographic Sciences (COGS) was created. Fast forward to today: now as part of NSCC, the Centre of Geographic Sciences has had 25 years of the COGS moniker! More history details are on page 3 of http://bit.ly/COGSGrads2012
Here are a few ways you can take part:
by Elaine MacEachern
by Chris Turner and Nancy Saunders
Service Nova Scotia & Municipal Relations (SNSMR) in conjunction with Spatial Energistics Group developed a "criteria-driven geomatics asset evaluation process" that allows for better control and management of geomatics assets (tools, applications, utilities and elated datasets). There has been significant geomatics growth in SNSMR particularly around its product lines and service offerings and as in any organization, there is a constant need to ensure that resources are optimized and investments in assets are not lost. There is an increased need to maintain, prioritize and enhance assets within the constraints of fixed resources, in order to meet the demands from its consumers. This project allows for better decision-making around how assets are supported, enhanced, and managed. It enables a collection of metrics and key information to support effective portfolio management and defining application development paths and strategic resource planning in geomatics service delivery.
by Shiju Mathew and Lucie Kendell
Material on Halifax Water's implementation of geomatics (especially GIS) technologies; showcasing thier new Dashboard Flex-based online application.
30-minute coffee / mingle / exhibit break
by Craig Power
by Anthony Bell and Tim Dine
by Bill Jones
An Aquifer Vulnerability Study was conducted for the Royal District Planning Commission in southern New Brunswick covering an area of approximately 6,000 sq. kms. The objective of the study was to provide the commission with a regional model for groundwater vulnerability that would support their decision making on a range of issues. Geographic Information System Technology was used to compile and aid in the interpretation of a wide variety of pertinent groundwater variables including: bedrock and surficial geology, topography and climatology. These were used to define Hydrostratigraphic Units that control the occurrence, quantity, quality and transport pathways governing groundwater flow. The Hydrostratigraphic Units were then combined in different groupings and orientations to develop Hydrological Regions and Districts supporting the development of conceptual models of the groundwater flow system. The second phase of the project involved modeling the vulnerability of the recharge areas of the flow systems to contamination from surface sources through application of the modified DRASTIC model. This model incorporates variables of depth to water, net recharge, aquifer media, soil media, topography, impact of vadose zone media, hydraulic conductivity and bedrock structure.
by Chad Amirault and Roger Boychuk
Both Asset Management and GIS have again become hot topics in many industries, both in government and private sector. Some talks are triggered by new government legislation, and others are around maximizing the return on investment from owned infrastructure. Regardless of the initial triggers, it will be the norm for all infrastructure owners in the near future.
Many organizations have by now either investigated or have already invested in both Asset Management, and in some form of GIS. Whether is in a simplistic tool or a complex system, the quality and management of the data that goes in, determines the usefulness of the data that comes out. Effectively integrating Asset Management and GIS to maximize the value of data that is collected and managed is the basis for our presentation. We plan to introduce some modern data collection technologies and asset management tools that are both effective and economical for small and large organizations, while further leveraging the power of GIS to provide a truly integrated environment for managing assets.
The technologies that we will discuss are primarily related to sewer, water and transportation assets. The integration and synchronization technologies are interoperable with today's GIS technologies and are scalable to whatever tool and/or systems organizations currently have or are planning for.
by Dr. Tim Webster
Traditional methods for measuring coastline change involve using historical airphotos. It is challenging to produce accurate orthophotos from historic photography considering the land cover and topographic changes that have occurred. Results of comparing the interpreted coastlines from decadal time scale orthophotos gives a time-average rate of erosion. However, most erosion is episodic and related to specific storm events, rather than a continuous process. In this study, we present the use of ground-based laser scanning methods to measure coastal erosion related to a specific storm event. The coastline at Cape John, Nova Scotia is typical of many areas in the province which transitions in relief and material type from step bedrock cliffs to a glacial till bank and finally into a dune and salt marsh environment. The area has been studied utilizing traditional airphoto change detection methods and rates calculated. Airborne lidar has been acquired over the site yearly since 2006, however the rates of erosion and steepness of the terrain are at the limits of the precision of this technology. A ground-based lidar unit, an Optech ILRIS, was used to survey the glacial till bank in June, July, Oct. and Dec. 2010 and in Jan. and July 2011 to monitor change. In addition to the lidar & GPS surveys, a weather station and water level sensor were deployed as part of the coastal monitoring to capture the environmental conditions during storms. A classic Nor’ easter, affected Maritime Canada on Dec. 21, 2010. The storm surge caused extensive flooding and erosion for many coastal communities with shorelines exposed to the north and east. The tide gauge indicates a maximum water level of 2.2 m and the debris wrack line elevation is 2.4 m. The ILRIS scans were geocoded and the point clouds and derived surface models at 10 cm resolution were compared to measure the changes. Surface models were used to assess the incremental erosion from June to Dec. and the catastrophic erosion of Dec. 21. The vertical limit of the erosion of the bank is between 4-5 m based on the longitudinal and transverse profiles. Along a 150 m section of the bank, 771 cubic meters of material was removed between Dec 16 and Jan 4 based on the laser scans. The pattern of erosion is typical of coastal areas with an increase in the bank slope and a lowering of the beach elevation adjacent to the bank and raising it farther seaward. The steep eroded bank slumped during the April thaw period and additional material was removed during smaller storm surge events. The results of this study demonstrate how laser scanning systems can accurately map erosion from specific storms that affect the coastline and can provide a basis for future predictions of erosion rates from both rising sea-levels and the threat of increased storm intensity and frequency.
by Colin MacDonald
12th–14th June 2012