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

To expand the content, simply click on the article title, click the blue arrow located after the title or click the Read more link.

To add geomatics related content simply click the 'add post' button below and enter your details in the appropriate boxes that appear. [Note: you must be logged-in to your GANS member account to post information below, so if you do not see a button then you may not be logged-in].


<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • 26 Oct 2019 11:30 AM | Laura Olsen (Administrator)

    Contributed by Alexandra Baird Allen of Turner Drake & Partners Ltd.

    "Turner Drake was founded in 1976 to provide real estate services to the business community in Atlantic Canada.  In 1998 we expanded our service area to include Ontario, to meet the demands of clients owning property there as well; we have also undertaken assignments from coast to coast.  Through our various affiliations we can offer valuation services throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Our team approach ensures that we are uniquely equipped to provide professional assistance in the fields of valuation and appraisal; property tax; counselling (expropriation, feasibility studies, portfolio and asset analysis); Lasercad® space measurement; economic intelligence (market surveys, site selection, trade area analysis, supply and demand analysis); planning; and brokerage (sales and leasing).  Turner Drake & Partners Ltd. is a professional services firm regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and All operations of Turner Drake & Partners Ltd. are covered by a quality system registered to the ISO 9001:2015 standard.

    "We provide solutions to real estate problems": that is our mission, and to fulfil it we develop long term relationships with our clients, in effect becoming their real estate arm.

    Real estate is a multi-faceted challenge and rarely receives the attention it deserves; despite the fact that it is usually the most valuable of fiscal assets. Nor are the diverse skills necessary to protect and nurture the real estate investment readily available to the average property owner.  They must instead be sought from a variety of ad hoc sources: appraisers, sales and leasing agents, tax consultants or other professional advisors such as lawyers or accountants.  As a result the advice is often contradictory or too narrowly focused: as a consequence it may be of doubtful validity.  We have addressed this problem by training our own team of real estate specialists.  They have outstanding experience and qualifications.  We have carefully assembled exceptional resources, databases, computer facilities and superb contacts, to ensure that our team has a thorough knowledge of the Atlantic Canada and Ontario real estate markets at all times.  In 2006, Turner Drake brought in GIS as a tool to view and analyse data spatially…quite sensibly, given that real estate is all about “location, location, location.”   

    GIS plays a key role in what we do.  One such recent project was a land suitability analysis which we undertook for a municipality in Atlantic Canada. They wanted to identify which of four potential sites would give them the best “bang for buck” for a comprehensive new community development.  In order to provide an unbiased, fact-based opinion of which site would be the best candidate, we overlaid a variety of geographic data: property boundaries and ownership; locations of municipal services – from transit and active transportation networks to water and sewer services; topographic data pertinent to each of municipal servicing and environmental features and sensitivities; and demographic information.  Using a weighted ranking system, we were able to codify the complex pros and cons of each site into a succinct ranking of the four sites.  Our Economic Intelligence team conducted the geographic analysis; our Planning team weighed in on the municipal planning considerations of each potential site; and our Valuation team provided a preliminary estimate of acquisition costs for each site, followed by a more comprehensive valuation of the two short listed sites.  At all times during the process, we maintained open lines of communication with our client, keeping them informed of issues and opportunities as they arose, and tweaking the analysis as needed to ensure it provided the most accurate, reliable, and transparent solution to their real estate problem."

    In photo: "Just a few of the datasets we used to help our client solve their real estate problem; reconciling a complex set of inputs into a succinct recommendation is our specialty." - Alexandra Baird Allen


  • 26 Oct 2019 11:08 AM | Laura Olsen (Administrator)


    Dear GANS Members,

    Since our last newsletter, GANS has undergone a few changes, including administrative and functional (involving recent and upcoming events). We are excited to share these updates with you, as well as recap some past events, and announce upcoming engagements!

    Enjoy!


    Administrative Updates

    In terms of role changes, GANS' Communications Coordinator - Harrison Ellis - recently moved on and a new Coordinator, Laura Olsen, joined the team in September.


    Laura Olsen is from the Annapolis Valley, and moved to Halifax to complete an undergraduate business degree at Saint Mary's University. Now graduated, she has an interest in online business management and is currently pursuing work as a Virtual Assistant. Laura enjoys travelling, trying new things, and outdoor adventures!


    A note from the GANS Treasurer:

    Since our inception in 1986, GANS has changed with the times and adopted new methods to manage our financial obligations; many of you use our online WildApricot & AffiniPay systems to register for membership and events; our newsletters use a MailChimp e-mail system. In the past year, we realized that the old bank account we had just couldn’t afford us the full capabilities of modern, online banking. As of June 2019, we've modernized our banking!

    So, over the past six months, we’ve been switching to a new account with the Royal Bank of Canada that allows e-transfers, reduces costs, and better manages our accounts and to QuickBooks (online). It’s taken longer than expected, though; as volunteers, it can take some time to get signatures and improve workflows, etc. The switch is almost done, and that'll allow us to spend efforts on day-to-day aspects of our financials. We have a small working group comprised of Murrium and Jon (Board Reps), Bridget (Financial Co-ordinator), and myself (Treasurer) guiding our energies & time. And, if you’re wondering, we are in good financial health. Thanks for your support!

    Regards, 
    Dave MacLean

    Event Recap

    Thank you to everyone who participated in the Georges Island tour with Parks Canada in August! The tour sold out quickly, and we will keep everyone posted on the next one that is organized. Check out the video that Smarter Spaces captured from the tour!

    We also recently attended the GoGeomatics Back-to-School Social at the NSCC Centre of Geographic Sciences in Lawrencetown, NS on October 4th. Thank you for everyone who took part in the networking, wonderful discussions and snack-sharing!


    Upcoming Events

    Check our Events page regularly to stay up-to-date on all future GANS events!


    Smart Cities & Communities: A Spatial Approach to Efficiency

    Register Now

    GANS is hosting an all-day professional development seminar titled, Smart Cities & Communities: A Spatial Approach to Efficiency!

    When: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 from 9:30am to 4:00pm
    Where: Halifax Central Library, Spring Garden Road, Halifax (Room 301)
     
    In this seminar, professionals will share their experiences with solving work dilemmas through a spatial approach. You will have the opportunity to discuss how organizations in different areas, private or public, for-profit or non-profit, are using smart technologies to improve efficiency from a geospatial perspective. You will learn how cities and communities in the Maritimes are currently adopting and planning to adopt smart technologies via the Internet of Things (IoT) and spatial systems such as GPS receivers and GIS networks. By the end of the day, you will know more about the impact that spatial systems have on the efficiency of your community!

    Note: in an attempt to keep the registration fee as low as possible, lunch will not be provided (though there are many terrific pubs and eateries within easy walking distance of the library!).  
     
    Feel free to contact us by email at [email protected] 

    P.S. We are still in need of speakers for the event, so please let us know if you are interested and spread the word to your colleagues and friends!
                     


    GIS Day 2019

    As a way of celebrating this special day of recognition, GANS Treasurer - Dave MacLean - has registered an event at the NSCC Centre of Geographic Sciences in Lawrencetown on November 13th.

    This event will showcase various geospatial technologies and their capabilities, stimulate discussions on the current developments in the geomatics sector, and spread awareness about GIS day to the public. 

    There will also be cake! For more information on GIS day, go here

    Stay tuned in on our website and social media for more updates!


    Sponsor Spotlight: Turner Drake & Partners Ltd.

    Contributed by Alexandra Baird Allen of Turner Drake & Partners Ltd.

    "Turner Drake was founded in 1976 to provide real estate services to the business community in Atlantic Canada.  In 1998 we expanded our service area to include Ontario, to meet the demands of clients owning property there as well; we have also undertaken assignments from coast to coast.  Through our various affiliations we can offer valuation services throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Our team approach ensures that we are uniquely equipped to provide professional assistance in the fields of valuation and appraisal; property tax; counselling (expropriation, feasibility studies, portfolio and asset analysis); Lasercad® space measurement; economic intelligence (market surveys, site selection, trade area analysis, supply and demand analysis); planning; and brokerage (sales and leasing)." 

    Read more here.




    Become a Sponsor

    When you become a Geomatics Atlantic Sponsor you are not only benefiting your own organization, but you are also helping the Nova Scotia geospatial community. Go to our Sponsors page to learn more about how you can become a sponsor and what your benefits as a sponsor will be!




    Women in Geomatics Spotlight: Sarah Dunnewold

    Sarah works for the Province of Nova Scotia at the Geomatics Centre as a GIS Administrator. 

    "I worked at numerous places where I was able to use GIS for different purposes which expanded my knowledge and thought processes.   I like to create, so in my personal time I mix cartography with craft and I make rugs using of special places using open-source software and open data."

    Read about Sarah here.


    Geographic Education Posters: 
    Be Our Next Contributor!

    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! 

    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 the general public about what our industry does, and how we provide services and knowledge that they depend upon every day. 

    Find out more on our Geographic Education and Geospatial Related Careers page.



    GANS Membership Renewal

    Remember to renew your GANS membership if you haven't already!

    Renew
  • 23 Oct 2019 5:25 PM | Laura Olsen (Administrator)



    Sarah works for the Province of Nova Scotia at the Geomatics Centre as a GIS Administrator. She coordinates the activities involved with Data Distribution, the Map Library Services including cartographic projects and the fascinating topic of Geographic Names. She graduated from COGS in 1995 with a Diploma in Cartography; her education was spent partly in the darkroom, making maps by hand shortly before everything became primarily computerized.

    "I worked at numerous places where I was able to use GIS for different purposes which expanded my knowledge and thought processes.   I like to create, so in my personal time I mix cartography with craft and I make rugs using of special places using open-source software and open data."

    In this Q&A, Sarah discusses where her interest in geomatics stems from, how it got her to where she is today, and the challenges and rewards that she experienced along her way:

    Q: What made you choose a career in the geomatics sector?
    A: Like a lot of people, I had no idea what I really wanted to do with my life when I was a teenager.  I thought I wanted to be a farmer and a mother the most but didn’t see either happening in the short term.  I was accepted at four universities/colleges for completely different programs at each and I chose cartography because the tuition was the cheapest, which would then help me out when I decided to become a struggling farmer.    

    Q: As a woman, did you recognize the barriers you faced in getting your career started? How would you describe them? 
    A: In my early twenties, I was told that I wouldn’t be taken seriously as a leader of people because I was a young woman.  I had to “follow the rules” a lot more rigidly than any counterpart who was not a young woman.  Another “barrier” that I experienced was being a working mother.  Some people felt  that a woman that takes a maternity leave is less valuable to a workplace than someone who is doesn’t take the time off. Taking time off work also means you fall behind on your knowledge of technology advancements, which is key to keeping up in this field.  Most of the other barriers messages from society of what a woman should be like, such as: to be successful you should look a certain way, or the questions of my dedication to my children if I went back to work, or that I should be passive.  As I have gotten older, I eliminated those perceptions:  I am who I am, proudly.

    Q: How did you manage to overcome the major challenges in your career and end up where you are today?
    A: Growing up in 4-H, I “learn to do by doing”, and my personal motto is “I can do anything”.  Both of those concepts require time, and a belief in yourself and you cannot take failure or mistakes personally.  My curiosity about people and data has helped me more than “waiting for an answer” ever would.  I try to stay involved so that I can always relate a new technology to something I have heard about.

    Q: Do you think the geomatics sector needs to change to be more inclusive? How?
    A: I think there is always room for any sector to change, whether it is to think outside the box about education and look more at competencies, to be encouraging and welcoming of all under-represented groups of people.  Whether you must understand people and data, understand the client and data restrictions or understand your co-workers and learn from each one, we are all engaged with each other. 

    Q: What advice would you give to women and girls who are facing gender barriers in their careers?
    A: It’s probably advice that would depend on the person and situation, but if you want to do something and you feel passion for doing it, always try your best, work for a company you share values with, learn the ins and outs of what you want to do, and be comfortable with who you are.  I would say the same thing to any person entering any profession, hobby or sport.  If there are discrepancies in how one is seen (perceptions of knowledge, skill and suitability) because of gender, my advice is for those in charge or anyone working in a team environment:  Treat people kindly, openly and ready to learn from them, regardless of their name, age, gender or appearance.

    Q: What advice would you give to anyone facing challenges in their geospatial occupation, or entering the geospatial sector?
    A: Learn, always learn.  Find a mentor, be curious and explore the challenges that others face as well.  It may bring you on a clear path to a rewarding career in Geomatics.

    Q: In your experience, what can you say about the progress that has been made in the geomatics sector, and where it will go in the future?
    A: The sector is limitless.  Progress is fast, don’t blink!  From everything in the sky, everything under water and the composition of where we stand, geomatics can easily cross-reference with any field of study or profession to come up with solutions, hypotheses, discoveries and good fun! 


  • 20 Aug 2019 11:11 PM | Harrison Ellis

    By Matt Pietryszyn, Esri Canada

    I’d like to share a few recommendations on how you can elevate your Open Data portal and increase its usefulness and ensure that the content is widely accessible.

    1. Being “as open as possible” is a good step towards maturing your organization and growing your staff’s data literacy while providing ROI for your Open Data initiative. Open your data internally to help grow trust amongst divisions and appreciation for the value of sharing authoritative data across the organization. Show staff inside your organization how to access and share data more often and start to incorporate data into their business processes. Set your organization’s data free!

    2. Use existing content on your government website and open the raw data behind it. Don’t forget to “humanize” the data to make it more accessible to everyone (use views, aliases, include metadata) Include good descriptions of data to help users understand it. Coded field headings are too cryptic and could prevent someone from working with your data. Use plain language for your table names and fields.

    "Humanizing" your data by providing field aliases helps users understand your data and makes it more accessible to a wider audience

    "Humanizing" your data by providing field aliases helps users understand your data and makes it more accessible to a wider audience.

    3. Consider a Creative Commons license when it comes to sharing. Custom data-sharing licenses can impact who will use your data. It’s difficult for external agencies to read through and agree to various custom licenses, but a Creative Commons license helps to make your data more accessible and available to a wider range of users. Use https://creativecommons.org/choose/ to define your creative commons license and use the code in your portal to help users find and use data based on creative common licenses.

    Providing a Creative Commons license for your open datasets will remove any barriers to potential users that are created by custom open data licenses.

    Providing a Creative Commons license for your open datasets will remove any barriers to potential users that are created by custom open data licenses.

    4. Create and share personas to help users understand who is accessing open data and who isn’t. What is it that residents want for their communities, and what can they find in open data portals to help? Personas can help you understand what data could be included to help residents take action and collaborate in city-driven initiatives. Include tutorials and examples of data visualizations to help users connect with the data right away, and of course, promote and build awareness for your data portal using the personas and data visualization examples.

    5. the release of datasets with corporate strategic plans and initiatives. Work collaboratively with your Communications team to craft and share data-driven stories that help residents connect with the strategic priorities of your organization.

    6. Publish in open formats (WMS, WFS and WCS) and federate your data with CKAN by providing your data in the DCAT specification to allow for Open Source data portals to harvest and reshare your data for a broader reach. Make sure your metadata is accurate and current.

    7. Participate in collaborative programs such as the Community Map of Canada– a national web basemap with authoritative and current data. This basemap is updated daily and it can power your enterprise applications with authoritative data that doesn’t end at your city’s boundary. By sharing your spatial data, you can help build this basemap and in return, have access to more and improved quality of data.

    These seven tips are just a few among many best practices that you can leverage to build a stellar Open Data portal that helps your organization connect, engage and collaborate within and outside of your organization. Remember that opening your data is one big leap towards achieving your organization’s goal of digital transformation and towards becoming a smart and resilient city.

    Resources 

    Here are some resources that can help you along the way:

    If you would like more information on how to get started with ArcGIS Open Data, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected].

    About the Author

    Matt Pietryszyn is the Municipal Industry Manager for Esri Canada. He has over 15 years’ experience working in the public sector, helping municipalities unlock the potential in their location platforms. While advising municipalities on modernizing their business processes and building innovative GIS solutions is a passion of Matt's, he is also an advocate for sharing Open Data and promoting active community engagement.



  • 20 Aug 2019 10:14 PM | Harrison Ellis

    By Matt Pietryszyn, Esri Canada

    Open Data initiatives are becoming a strategic priority for many municipalities as city leaders look for new and innovative ways to enhance digital service delivery across their organization. In small to medium, and even larger municipalities, staff can find it difficult to balance the tasks of operating their existing business function and taking on the administration and operation of an Open Data program. A common phrase for Open Data initiatives is “running Open Data off of the corner of my desk”. While this isn’t an ideal situation, ArcGIS Open Data is an easy-to-deploy and maintain platform for opening your authoritative data.

    Influencing data owners to share their data with you is not an easy task. Whether it’s due to quality or completion issues, interpretation concerns, sustainable integrations or just plain old risk aversion, there is a challenge to convince a division to share their data across the silos that exist in most municipalities.

    I’ve also noticed that it’s increasingly becoming a part of the GIS team’s role to support data owners across the organization –showing them the value of moving their operational business data into a central, enterprise database. As senior leadership and CIOs recognize the importance of centralizing data and connecting people with it across the organization, requiring authoritative data to be made available for analytical purposes and better decision-making, open data initiatives are becoming a strategic priority for many municipalities who are looking for new and innovative ways to enhance digital service delivery across their organization.

    Opening data helps

    Having an Open Data policy and sharing authoritative municipal data helps to:

    • Build trust and increase transparency.

    • Provide better communication and engagement opportunities with active members of the community.

    • Attract new business through accessible and available city-specific key performance indicators and demographic data.

    • Save time and gain efficiencies in decision-making processes and in delivering public services.

    • Drive innovation by connecting people with data through anytime access and self-service capabilities.

    • Increase “geo-literacy” and “data literacy” across the entire organization and community, when coupled with awareness campaigns and training.

    When you release new datasets that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone, and you build awareness around your Open Data portal, you start expanding the reach of your data through data-driven stories and inviting your residents to participate in community engagement activities—thus promoting collaboration, participation and social innovation.

    Benefits of ArcGIS Open Data

    Esri Canada can help you achieve your goals of becoming an open, data-literate and efficient city. I first heard about ArcGIS Open Data when I was researching an alternate solution, which was made up of multiple, costly components requiring a lengthy project to build the platform. The solution required my team to be regularly moving data around and ensuring that it was always current.

    When I discovered that Esri’s Open Data platform was built on ArcGIS Online and that organizations have access to enable it at no additional cost, I knew this was an option that I couldn’t pass up.

    By enabling ArcGIS Open Data, you’ll quickly realize the benefits of leveraging your existing GIS platform to share your city’s spatial and non-spatial data. Here are some of them:

    Share your open data in minutes

    As GIS professionals, you’re already familiar with publishing your data as map services for use in web maps and integrated systems. Using the same processes and patterns of publishing map services or collaborating your data from ArcGIS Enterprise to ArcGIS Online, you can include your existing data within your Open Data site. This means that your open data is connected to the source data! Using hosted layer views, you can filter which attributes are made publicly available.

    Organize your data and streamline publishing workflows

    Quickly set up your Open Data portal and use Groups to organize the data to share. It’s easy to distribute the administration of your open data. Support for multi-user workflows and approvals exists in the same way you set up groups within ArcGIS Online for sharing secured data.

    Organizing your open data is easy and follows familiar, streamlined publishing workflows.

    Organizing your open data is easy and follows familiar, streamlined publishing workflows

    Part of your existing Location Platform

    Your Location Platform is a system of systems. The data that you share is readily available for use in your organization’s web apps, maps, data-driven stories and analyses. It’s also ready to be integrated back into your other enterprise systems. Because you can provide data in many formats, users are able to use it directly in their applications and systems, for instance–business directories, CRM, asset management system, planning and permitting, and community engagement platforms.

    Easily share open data in a variety of open formats

    An Open Data website makes it easy for users to find and download your authoritative data in a variety of open formats: OGC, WMS, WFS, WCF as well as CSV, KML, Shapefile, File Geodatabase, GeoJSON, GeoServices and so on. To ensure maximum accessibility of your data, make sure you enable the option, “Allow others to export to different formats”.

    Easily share your data in multiple open formats

    Easily share your data in multiple open formats.

    Many Canadian cities are already sharing their open data. For inspiration, visit Esri Canada’s Open Data Hub, where you can explore various data portals and join the growing list of Smart Communities.

    Esri Canada's Open Data Hub for exploring Canadian open data portals

    Esri Canada's Open Data Hub for exploring Canadian open data portals.

    When planning to build your own Open Data portal, it’s important to know who your stakeholders are and what their requirements are. Keeping those in mind, you can work towards creating a useful, engaging and cost-effective portal that goes much further than making data available for download.

    If you would like more information on how to get started with ArcGIS Open Data, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected].

    About the Author

    Matt Pietryszyn is the Municipal Industry Manager for Esri Canada. He has over 15 years’ experience working in the public sector, helping municipalities unlock the potential in their location platforms. While advising municipalities on modernizing their business processes and building innovative GIS solutions is a passion of Matt's, he is also an advocate for sharing Open Data and promoting active community engagement. 



  • 14 Aug 2019 10:28 PM | Harrison Ellis

    GANS is looking for volunteers to teach geospatial skills at upcoming
    professional 
    development workshops!


    We have opportunities available for those who are interested in teaching geospatial skills! Not only will you be helping other professionals learn; volunteering is one of the best ways to build contacts and strengthen networks. This is a chance to polish important skills such as time-management, public speaking, critical thinking, and problem solving. Most importantly, volunteering with GANS will help grow and further professionalize the geomatics sector. 

    Our sessions are well attended and highly rated. They generally take place from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm on a weekday, and are located at the Halifax Central Library as well as other locations across the province. Our workshops are increasingly delivered through webinars so they are more accessible.

    Previous sessions have focused on open-source geospatial software, with the following information: 

    • Sources of free geospatial data
    • Free software for geographic data manipulation and analysis
    • Data collection and compilation
    • Free software to aid web publishing

    Anyone who is interested, please email us at [email protected] with the following information: 

    • What skills you can teach
    • Your availability, and
    • Please include a copy of your resume or CV
  • 14 Aug 2019 9:53 PM | Harrison Ellis



    At the 2019 AGM, GANS elected a historic number of women to its board of directors. Like many sectors, geomatics has historically been male dominated. Women first started making their mark in the land surveying industry in the early 1990; and according to the Point of Beginning, Alice Fletcher was the first recorded woman land surveyor in 1886. The geospatial industry has certainly come a long way since then in terms of gender equality, but there is still lots of room for improvement. 

    We wanted to take the opportunity to introduce everyone to Vicki Gazzola, one of our new board members. In the Q&A below, Vicki talks about how her interest in geomatics developed, her experiences as a woman in the field, as well as the sector in general. 

    When did you realize that you wanted to go into geomatics? 

    I was in my mid 20’s and didn’t like the job I had. I decided I needed to go back to school in order to find something better, but I still had no idea what I wanted to do. I started researching different programs that were available at Canadian Universities and Colleges to find some inspiration. 

    I grew up reading my Uncle’s old National Geographic Magazines and watching Jacques Cousteau specials on TV with my Dad, so when I saw the programs available at COGS I knew that was going to be the place for me. I always knew I had an interest in mapping and that I loved geography but until I read that COGS booklet I didn’t realize I could turn that interest into a career.

    During your program, were there many other women in your classes?

    I took Cartography so we had more women than most of the other programs at COGS at the time. It was a small class; I think 10 of us graduated and 3 of us were women.

    What advice would you have for those in the geospatial field who are just starting out? 

    It’s an exciting field that can lead you in many directions. If you choose a direction that leads you to field work, don’t be afraid of it, but understand that it can require a lot of personal sacrifice and that it can make it more challenging to find that life balance we all seek. That being said, it can give you the opportunity to see some pretty spectacular things and to have some truly amazing experiences. I would suggest keeping an open mind and never stop learning and updating your skills.

    What would you say are the main challenges facing women specifically in geomatics? 

    There are definitely a number of challenges that are specific to women in this line of work, but it’s getting better. In my experience, the biggest challenges have come when working in the field. In some instances, people don’t think a woman can do something like use a wrench or operate a winch so you can sometimes feel excluded by other people’s lack of confidence in you. In other cases, I think some men are trying to be chivalrous by taking a piece of gear I’m carrying or trying to complete a task for me. I realize in these cases that they are just trying to be nice, but they wouldn’t do that for a man and it leaves me standing there doing nothing and feeling quite useless. I have found that once I prove myself and they see that I’m capable of doing my job, most of these challenges dissipated very quickly. A positive attitude goes a long way too.

    Are there things that you think women specifically can contribute to the geospatial field? 

    I think men and women are all equally capable of making significant contributions to the geospatial field.

    How far do you think there is to go in terms of women and diversity in the geospatial field? 

    There’s definitely further to go, but since I’ve gotten into this line of work things have changed a lot. I’ve noticed a big difference working in a research environment versus working in the private sector (with there being more diversity in the research environment), but across the board, more and more women are entering these traditionally male dominated lines of work.  Last year I went on a small survey in the Bay of Fundy where women actually outnumbered men. That was certainly a first in my career and goes to show how far we’ve come.

    Are you optimistic about the future for geomatics?

    Yes, I’m very optimistic about the future of geomatics. Technology is changing so quickly. The data we are collecting is getting better and better all the time resulting in better and better finished products. The trick is to keep up with the ever-changing technology that allows us to do our work.



  • 20 May 2019 8:57 AM | Ted MacKinnon (Administrator)

    Thank you for attending the 2019 GANS AGM!

    Thank you for attending the 2019 GANS AGM, this years event was well-attended.  A massive thanks for the Halifax Central Library for hosting us! Those who didn’t attend missed out on some great updates and presentations. Here’s a rundown:

    Dave MacLean gave a terrific presentation on web maps of photos taken by astronauts while on the International Space Station. Thanks Dave! Hugh MacKay, MLA for Chester-St. Margaret’s, gave a short speech where he provided an update on the very exciting recent announcement for a new Residence and Business Research Centre at NSCC-COGS. To learn more about the announcement, click here.

    GANS’ members voted to amend our bylaws to create two new one-year board positions specifically for students in geomatics related fields of study. More details on this to come!

    Four new board members were elected in a rather historic GANS’ election. Currently, the GANS board has more female members than it has throughout the history of the organization. This is both a big accomplishment and has been a long time coming. Please welcome:

    • Vicki Gazzola

    • Chris Harlow

    • Leslie MacMillan

    • Murrium Zaheer

    Dave MacLean, who has served as secretary for several years, has now stepped into the role of Treasurer. Candace MacDonald was elected as GANS’ President. Ted MacKinnon remains as Past President.

    Click here to find out more about the Board of Director’s

    We owe a huge thank you to our outgoing board members, who have done so much for GANS and the geomatics sector in both Nova Scotia and Canada more generally:

    • Dennis Kingston

    • Cam Robertson

    • Paul Shaffelburg

    Thanks again to all who attended our AGM, and please look forward to our summer 2019 newsletter!

    Sincerely,

    The GANS Board of Directors


  • 09 Apr 2019 8:41 PM | Ted MacKinnon (Administrator)

    No alt text provided for this image

    Hugh MacKay joined Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil in Lawerncetown on Monday, to announce a major expansion of the Centre of Geographic Sciences, a jewel of the Nova Scotia Community College.

    The announcement was about a geomatics business research centre, with accompanying 40-bed residence, will be open for the 2020 academic year, once again positions COGS at the global forefront for geomatics education and entrepreneurship. 

    https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/news/local/three-nscc-campuses-get-24m-for-campus-improvements-from-province-299353/

  • 01 Mar 2019 11:54 AM | Ted MacKinnon (Administrator)

    We hope you are looking forward to both spring and attending the April 23rd Annual General meeting



    CONTENT

      Annual General Meeting

      Board Update /   New Hires

      Geography Teacher of the Month

      Call for New Board Members

      COGS  / AGRG Conference

      Award of Distinction

      Upcoming Events

    plus more ...

    Since our last newsletter, GANS has been busy undergoing some administrative changes. Candace MacDonald, stepped up into fill the role of GANS President, and, we have hired two part time staff members. More on the topic of personnel changes, we are on the lookout for new board members. Below we have all the information you need in order to make a nomination.

    This season has also been pretty busy for GANS an exciting one for our members. 

    The Board would like to thank Jackie and all the volunteers that worked together to host Geomatics Atlantic last Fall. The conference that was attended by more then 200 geospatial professionals helped indicate that geomatics is still growing strong in Atlantic Canada.

    John Trites, a former GANS Vice President, was selected as Canadian Geographic's Geography teacher of the month.

    The Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) and the Applied Geomatics Research Group hosted another successful winter workshop, and Robert Maher provides a great wrap up update on it.

    Finally, we have opened nominations for the GANS Award of Distinction, which is presented to an individual or organization who has made an extraordinary contribution to the geomatics sector in Nova Scotia.

    We hope to provide many more updates for you as 2019 continues!

    Sincerely,

    The GANS Board of Directors

     


     

    GANS AGM IS FAST APPROACHING

     Please join the Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) and friends for the GANS Annual General Meeting, April 23 at the Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road. 

    • April 23rd,  2019
    • 4PM - 6PM
    • Halifax Central Library, BMO Community Room (2nd floor)
    • Includes coffee, tea & snacks
    • Open to all GANS members and the broader geospatial community

    There is no fees for this event, however we ask that you please register to save your spot.

    More details on this event will be added to the events page once available... 


     

    On behalf of the GANS Board of Directors, we would like to announce that Candace MacDonald from the NSCC Applied Geomatics Research Group has stepped up to fill the recently vacant position of 2018-19 GANS President. 

    Candace has been part of AGRG's Coastal Research Team since graduating from COGS in 2010 with an Advanced Diploma in Remote Sensing. 

    She was one of the first young professionals represented in the GAN 'Geography Helped Me Get Where I am Now' Poster series. Click here to find out how Geography helped Candace get where she is today ...

    GANS welcomes Harrison Ellisas the new Administrative Coordinator – Communications. Harrison is a recent BC transplant now living in Halifax. 

    He has a background in non-profit communications and development, and has worked primarily with social service organizations. 

    He holds a Master’s Degree in International Public Policy from Wilfrid Laurier University and is looking forward to advancing the geomatics and geospatial industries in Nova Scotia. 

    When not working, he spends his time reading at the central library, running through point pleasant park, and cleaning up after his cat. 

    GANS also welcomes Bridget Ajayias an Administrative Support coordinator for Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia. Technologically savvy and an early adopter, she brings to the team a wealth of experience in customer service, accounting and administrative support. 

    She works as a customer service representative for Teleperformance Canada. Prior to that, she worked as an Accountant/Administrative support for Chrisma Day care in Nigeria. 

    She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Business Administration, specialized in Finance both from Nigeria.




    John Trites, Vice President of GANS from 2016 to 2018, recently was selected as Canadian Geographic's Geography teacher of the month
    Nova Scotia teacher with a passion for human geography helps shape the next generation of educators John Trites , the former Atlantic representative for the Canadian Geographic Education executive committee, honed his craft as a geography teacher at Horton High School in Wolfville, N.S. 

    After 33 years in the public school system, Trites moved on to a different role, mentoring the next generation of educators. For about a decade now, he has been teaching geography methods to pre-service teachers at Acadia University. 

    Trites has also been teaching educators about advanced placement human geography, a subject close to his heart, for the College Board of the United States. 

    In 2000, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society recognized Trites’ lifelong commitment to geography education with the Geographic Literacy Award.



    Remember to renew your GANS Membership ...

    It is time to renew your memberships and sponsorships if you have not done so already.

    If you have any questions or need an invoice created then let us know.



    GANS is looking for members to join the Board of Directors and Working Groups

    GANS Board of Directors is composed of members from various backgrounds (Government, Academia & Industry) dedicated to help the organization be the leading voice for geomatics sector in Nova Scotia. 

    Serving on the Association's Board of Directors is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual who is passionate about Nova Scotia's geospatial community. 

    We Need Your help! GANS is looking for members to join the Board of Directors as well as the various GANS Working Groups.

    Click here for more info on GANS Working Groups


     


    Sensors High and Low: Measuring the Reality of our World

    An update from Robert Maher

    The Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) hosted its third annual winter conference at the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Lawrencetown from January 22nd - 24th. 

    There were  over twenty presentations that could be divided into four main components: 

    • Applied Geomatics Research Group (AGRG) 
    • Applied Oceans Research 
    • International Technology companies 
    • Nova Scotia / Maritime based businesses 

    Read the rest of the article here!

     


     

    We are pleased to announce that nominations for the GANS Dave Keefe Award of Distinction is now open.

    This award is presented by the Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia to an individual or an organization having made an extraordinary contribution to the geomatics sector in Nova Scotia.

    Help us recognize these special individuals and organizations by nominating a member of the geomatics community who has significantly influenced our sector.

    • Nomination forms are available on the GANS website - download here.
    • Nominations close April 1st 2019
    • Selection will be determined by the GANS Board of Directors
    • Directors will not be permitted to vote for their own employees, organization, or client should they be nominated.
    • The Award will be presented at the 2019 GANS Annual General Meeting

    Past GANS Award of Distinction Winners

    2018 -Ted MacKinnon, Geomatics Specialist with Natural Resources Canada

    2017 - Dr. Tim Webster, research Scientist with the Applied Geomatics Research Group

    2016 - James Boxall, Sessional Instructor with Dalhousie University

    2015 - Dr. Jason Bond, Coordinate Control Officer, Internal Services (Province of Nova Scotia) [Note: now with  Natural Resources Canada]


    Upcoming Geospatial Related Events

    Check out Some of the Other Information  available from our Website

    Geomatics related news and information  - https://gans.ca/geo-news
    Did you know that any GANS member or sponsor can post news here? you simply need to login to the GANS site ... 

    Upcoming Geospatial Related Events  -  https://gans.ca/events
    The events page includes geospatial related events (both GANS and others), if you know of events that we are missing that you think others could benefit from, then let us know and we will add them to the calendar ...



    Geospatial Jobs in Nova Scotia  - https://gans.ca/Nova-Scotia-GIS-and-Geomatics-Jobs.html Did you know that any GANS member or sponsor can post jobs here (for free)? you simply need to login to the GANS site ... and we also maintain a list of employment resources to help students and those looking for the next move in their career.

    GANS Members & Sponsors only section  https://gans.ca/members-sponsors A section containing info related to membership and sponsorship, GANS Board of Directors, and working groups. Did you know that there is also a members directory in this section, accessible to all members?

    Seeking Geospatial Specialists  - https://gans.ca/Seeking-Geospatial-Specialists You may be aware of the GANS Geographic Education Poster Series but did you know that we are working on more posters and are looking for more candidates ti feature ...

    Nova Scotia Geospatial Data Resources  - https://gans.ca/Nova-Scotia-Geospatial-Data-Resources Know of any data sets that we should add here? If so let us know ...

    GANS Mentorship Program  - https://gans.ca/GANS-Mentorship-Program



    We encourage everyone to Follow us on Twitter and to Like our FaceBook Page as  we use these social networks to help spread information throughout the geospatial community, and this works much better when more people get involved. 


<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 

Check out the Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia Sponsors map


© Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) - PO Box 961, Halifax, NS, B3J 2V9

Help us promote Geomatics in Nova Scotia by joining us in the following social media groups:

Follow The Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) on Twitter Join The Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) on Google+ Join The Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) on FaceBook Join the The Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) LinkedIn group add GANS news to your website via our RSS feed

Website design and management of Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia courtesy of tmackinnon

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software