Category: Technology

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Posted on September 26, 2017
“You’ll never walk alone” I attended the seventh session of the UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM7) last month. It is my sixth year of involvement with UN-GGIM and with almost 400 delegates from circa 90 countries and international organizations active in the field of geospatial information management it was an amazing venue to learn and share ideas relating to geospatial policy and good practice.  Apart from the learning, it was a good reminder that we need strong leadership to guide national governments on global geospatial information management. Notably, there have been efforts by...
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Posted on September 7, 2017
Last year I volunteered as a GIS Specialist with ReForest London during the planting season. I am a recent graduate from the University of Toronto where I majored in Environmental Studies and Human Geography. I also hold a post-graduate certificate in GIS.  I believe more community organizations like ReForest London should incorporate GIS into their projects. To do that I will discuss how ReForest London uses GIS effectively. How ReForest London Uses GIS ReForest London partners with the community in order to enhance the environmental and human health of the city through the planting of trees. Tree planting can improve human...
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Posted on September 6, 2017
Editors note: This article has been jointly written by Nicolas Gignac and Serge Legaré from the Ministry of Public Safety in Quebec. Cet article est aussi disponible en français : http://www.quebecgeographique.gouv.qc.ca/approfondir/bibliotheque/geoinfo/geoinfo-juillet-2017.asp During Spring 2017, a major flood occurred in Eastern Canada, centered around south west Quebec. This flood was created by abundant rainfall lasting two months in the melting season. It was among the most severe flood since 1974. It impacted heavily populated areas of southern Quebec near Montreal and Gatineau. Hundreds of square kilometers of flooded areas have...
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Posted on August 31, 2017
I recently returned to Hamilton after five years of teaching at a Washington DC university, taking a paid partial-sabbatical at the end of my contract. Unfortunately the time off gave me too much opportunity to watch the dreaded television set.  Some recent commercials I saw on Canadian TV reminded me of the course in cartography I took at the University of Toronto in the early 1980s (when we used pen and ink, before they offered “computer cartography”). When I was an undergrad Huff’s 1954 classic “How to Lie with Statistics” was required reading in stats classes and the late great Prof.  Bill Dean sometimes pointed out...
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Posted on August 15, 2017
Have you ever felt lost when someone started talking about precision agriculture?  When people think about a GIS intensive environment, they probably imagine a bustling office where the inhabitants are using technology (i.e. their computers) to enhance their clients or customers lives. It is not surprising then, that most of us often do not often associate GIS with farming. Using technology to grasp the utilization of a vast amount of crop land actually makes sense because technology is constantly being used to enhance every aspect of our lives. In the most simplistic terms, it is the way that location technology (i.e. Geographic...
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Posted on August 10, 2017
The Breaking News Last year, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists announced that a year prior, one of their members (Süddeutsche Zeitung) had been sent the contents of a massive leak from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. This leak revealed that for years the firm had been helping people and companies all around the world avoid taxes by channeling wealth through overseas shell companies, most notably in the British Virgin Islands and Bahamas. The clients came from over 100 countries, including Canada. CBC and the Toronto Star are the two Canadian members of the ICIJ and both produced some stories in the...
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Posted on August 8, 2017
Every summer in British Columbia, along with long days, sunshine, heat, and little rain comes an all-too-familiar reality: hundreds of wildfires. Some of them affect only uninhabited regions in BC, but many threaten communities, property, pets, livestock, and human lives.  During the fire season it is critical that accurate, relevant and adequate fire information be available to the public. People affected by wildfires need to get information quickly. These people include residents in evacuation areas, travellers, municipal government personnel, and emergency crews.  Unfortunately, there are many sources of fire-related...
On July 7, 2017 a series of devastating wildfires began in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. The effects of these wildfires will take much time and many resources to make recovery. GIS can have an important role in such a project. GIS can: Help managers to make real time decisions in rapidly changing conditions Provide spatial information to the public Feed data to fire-fighters in the field through mobile devices Identify damage and help plan for recovery One useful tool that GIS provides is a swipe map. This map shows one area in two maps side by side. One side represents the “before” scene of an event such as a...
Access to timely and quality health care is an important determinant of health and well-being. Despite universal health coverage in Canada, there exists socio-demographic, financial and physical geographic barriers that limit the accessibility to health care resulting in health disparities across the population. The ability to link administrative health and census data to small or large geographic areas facilitates the study of such health disparities and can provide guidance for overarching policy and/or targeted intervention. A great example of this can be found in a research article entitled Spatial Accessibility to Health Care...
Last week, I attended the Earth Observation (EO) Summit in Montreal. It was a gathering of over 600 people from 22 countries with backgrounds ranging from researchers and students, to commercial industry and government representatives from various agencies. It was an exceptional event that brought together the 38th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing (CSRS), the 17th Congress of the Association Québécoise de Télédétection (AQT), the 11th Advanced SAR (ASAR) Workshop and the 51st Workshop of the Association de Géomatique Municipale du Québec (AGMQ). My supervisor, Dr. Derek Robinson, from the University of Waterloo, was presenting...
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