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Your Canadian Geospatial Briefing for November 26th: Canadian spatial data infrastructure; Carleton Polar award-winner; Landsat-7; GHGSAT-C1 

Canadian spatial data infrastructure

Image by ESRI

As governments move towards the provision of digital information and services, national spatial data infrastructure (SDI) is more important than ever. Web GIS is helping to tie geography into utilities, businesses, and academic institutions, increasing the availability of web services and improving access to geographic data. The next step is a true national SDI. Gone are the days of data, technology, and application silos, which conceal data from those who need it and contribute to duplicate data sets; high performing cloud SDI implementation will allow the flexible use of ready-to-use data, mainstream 3D modeling and viewing, and complex geospatial technology like augmented reality, blockchain, AI, and robotics. Strong leadership and vision are needed, but progress is already being made towards a Canadian spatial data infrastructure that will be an essential component of national development.

Carleton professor wins Governor General’s Polar Medal

Image by the Charlatan

On his return from fieldwork in Northern Canada, Chris Burn of the Carleton geography department found out he had been recognized for his services in the polar regions and Canada’s North with the Governor General of Canada’s Polar Medal. Burn’s research is on the impact of climate change on the permafrost, and understanding how different parts of the northern landscape are responding to climate change. “Our forecasts underestimate what the environment is doing,” says Burns. “It’s accurate time and time again but our anticipation so far has been an underestimate of what happens.” The Polar Medal celebrates Canada’s northern heritage and Burns regards it as an affirmation of the way he is inspiring people to work in the North, a place he feels has welcomed him.

CCRS releases high-res Landsat-7 Land Cover datasets

A new high-resolution dataset of Canada’s 19 land cover classes from Landsat-7 satellite images are now available from the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) at Natural Resources Canada. This 30-meter resolution set of images will help to improve the accuracy of local and regional-scale applications. The continental and national datasets will provide baselines for 30-meter resolution land cover datasets of North America, to be refreshed every five years. The CCRS produced the 2010 Land Cover images as part of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation in partnership with the United States and Mexico, and the Landsat-7 images taken between 2009 and 2011 contain cloud-free and snow-free national coverage.

ArianeSpace to launch the GHGSAT-C1

Image by GeospatialWorld

The Toronto-based Space Flight Laboratory is providing the satellite platform with Arianespace for the launch of GHGSat-C1. The GHGSat-C1 from Montreal will measure greenhouse gas emissions from industrial facilities. The Vega Proof of Concept Flight Laboratory, part of the Arianespace launcher family, will manage the launch activities for GHGSat-C1; Vega is part of an international operation, operating out of the Guiana Space Center and sourcing construction from Colleferro, Italy. The launch of GHGSat-C1 is a major honor for Arianespace, whose CEO Stéphane Israël said: “It’s an honor that GHGSat chose Vega to launch GHGSat-C1. We’re absolutely thrilled to be tasked with a mission that will help protect the environment.”

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