GeoIgnite: Leadership in Times of Disruption

GeoIgnite: Leadership in Times of Disruption

Join us virtually this year for Canada’s National Geospatial Leadership: GeoIgnite conference on July 22nd to 24th. This year’s theme Leadership in Times of Disruption is bringing together government and industry for innovative programming and updates on our sector.

Half-day ‘Mapping from Home’ virtual event: June 10, 2020

Mapping from Home – virtual event

In lieu of the cancelled CAG / ACMLA / CCA2020 workshop and conference, we are planning an online / virtual half-day event on Wednesday 10 June.

The event will commence ~8.30am (PST), 11.30am (EST), 1.00pm (NDT) for a maximum of 5 hours to suit all time zones across Canada.

CAG Conference 2020 at the University of Victoria

CAG Conference 2020 in Victoria has been canceled

The CAG Executive and University of Victoria Local Organizing Committee (LOC) unfortunately have decided to cancel the CAG Conference 2020, scheduled for May 25-28, 2020 in Victoria BC.

This event was planned to be a large public gathering in an indoor setting with international attendees. Gatherings of this nature run counter to evidence-based policies to reduce the transmission of the novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19.

If you have already registered, the registration fees you have paid will be refunded in full.

2019 CCA Conference Presentations

2019 CCA Conference Presentations

Last May at the University of Northern British Columbia close to 100 members of the CCA and Northern BC GIS users group came together for the 2019 CCA Conference. The organizing committee put together an excellent conference highlighting the work of cartographers and GIS professionals.

Attendees learned about different projects involving drone and LiDAR mapping, Indigenous Peoples, Canadian free geospatial data resources, creative mapping processes, intricate wood carved globes and much more. Overall there were 32 presentations, which have been made available to watch online with presentation abstracts here on the CCA website.

Conference Keynote Presentation - Chris Brackley, AsTheCrowFlies Cartography

2019 CCA Conference Keynote Presentation

2019 CCA Conference Keynote Presentation Video – Watch Chris Brackley from AsTheCrowFlies Cartography talk about the Giant Floor Map that he created for the Royal Canadian Geographic Society’s Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada

Geotechnologies for Resource Management Conference and COGS Industry Expo

Geotechnologies for Resource Management Conference and COGS Industry Expo

The Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS), and the Applied Geomatics Research Group would like to invite you to an Industry Expo and a conference focused on innovative and wide-ranging applications of geo-technologies in the increasingly important field of resource management.

image for workshop

Indigenous Mapping Workshop

image for workshop

Silhouettes of trees against the background of the starry sky, Leningrad Region, Russia

The Indigenous Mapping Workshop is an annual 4-day event that provides geospatial training and opportunities for Indigenous communities in North America. The Indigenous Mapping Workshop and its strategic partners are dedicated to the development and advancement of culturally appropriate and inclusive geospatial technologies for Indigenous communities. During the workshop, participants learn and share geospatial tools and work flows to collect, host, visualize, share, and publish community-generated spatial data. Sessions explore current and relevant themes, such as traditional land use and occupancy studies, environmental monitoring, community planning, negotiations, health, inter-generational knowledge transfer, and reconciliation.

The 2018 Indigenous Mapping Workshop will take place in Montreal, Quebec from August 20-23, 2018. The four-day workshop will involve a dynamic mix of presentations by community members, leading experts, academics, and students, hands-on geospatial training to support Indigenous rights and interests, and knowledge exchanges between communities. With our strategic technology partners, participants will have the opportunity to contribute to the generation and dissemination of decolonized resources in Geographical Information Sciences and Satellite Remote Sensing, their integration and application, to preserve and promote Indigenous land stewardship practices.


For more information, please visit our website:


To apply to the 2018 Indigenous Mapping Workshop, please visit
From Space to Place in Three Days 4

From Space to Place in Three Days

Guest blogger: Bob Maher Ernest Blair Experiment

The 43rd Annual Canadian Cartographic Association (CCA) conference was held at the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia from May 30-June 1st. The flow of the conference can be characterized by the three keynotes.

From Space to Place in Three Days 5

Day 1. Ken Field. Esri, Redlands, California.  Fake maps ! The Cartography of Elections.

Day 2. Mike Goodchild. Seattle, Washington. Place, Maps, GIS.

Day 3. Marcel Morin, Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia. GIS, Adobe and Creative Cartographic Design.

The first day included technical workshops by Esri on ArcGIS Pro/ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud. Before the breakout sessions, Ken Field presented a talk on the cartographic representation of election results, with primary reference to the latest US election. The day concluded with a lobster dinner at Port George and a bonfire on the beach along the Bay of Fundy shore. This offered a moment of nostalgia, harking back to the CCA GIS Summer Institute in 1987. (Photo below: @DaveAtCOGS)

From Space to Place in Three Days 6

Mike Goodchild delivered the keynote on the next day. He drew a comparison between a place-centric view and a space-centric view, using the language of GIS to illustrate the difference. In the automated space-centric view the attention is given to positional accuracy on the earth’s surface and the concept of map layers. In the place-centric view, the focus is more upon the human context within the landscape. Further presentations on Day 2, emphasized the Inuit view of landscape (Claudio Aporta), as well the blurring of the line between art and cartography (Philip Bailey). During the final session, Ian Spooner discussed the work of Ian Brookes and the life of Robert Bell, in relation to place names in Northern Canada.

Marcel Morin kicked off Day 3 with a presentation on his work with First Nations groups across Canada. This was complemented by presentations by Thomas Herbreteau (Wolastoqey Nation, NB) and Tim Bernard and Gerald Gloade (Mainland Mi’kmaq, NS) on their place name digital atlas. The field trip on Saturday, hosted by Marcel Morin, was to the Grand Pre area, looking at the impact of the Acadian and New England Planters on the landscape. (Grand-Pre map on stretched canvas by Marcel Morin & photo of work by @kennethfield)

From Space to Place in Three Days 7

Over the three days, we were challenged by a number of new concepts. What do we mean by ‘place hierarchy ?’ What is implied by ‘informality’ and empty space in Nairobi, Kenya. Is the same true of the forests on South Mountain, Annapolis County ? Or Goodchild’s talk of the ‘robot car’ ?

The venue of the CCA conference in Lawrencetown allowed a group of Canadian cartographers to see the Walter Morrison Historic Map Collection, to view the art of Philip Bailey, the cartography of Marcel Morin and Jim Todd, as well as Dave Raymond’s collection of historic hydrographic charts of the Bay of Fundy.

From COGS, we had in attendance, several generations of Cartography instructors: Paul Illsley, David Raymond, Piers Churchill, Martha Bostwick, Monica Lloyd, John Wightman, Ada Cheung and John Belbin. Together, they have managed to keep the mapping torch aflame.

From Space to Place in Three Days 8

One memorable moment on the Thursday evening, at the Temple on Queen, was the induction of Michael Goodchild into the Order of CANMAP by John Wightman. Showing that Canadians, in collaboration with our neighbours and First Nations have been able to share our knowledge and experience of the landscape, using modern technology.

From Space to Place in Three Days 9

It is my expectation that the next time the CCA brings its annual conference to Lawrencetown, we will be talking about ‘place-based’ technology rather than ‘space-based’ technology. We shall not be talking about ’empty spaces’ but rather our immersion within the landscape.

I will close with a couple of afterthoughts. At the time of the conference, I was reading Claude Bissel’s book on Ernest Buckler. The following quotation about Buckler struck me as relevant.

” For his work (and peace of mind) he needed isolation and a particular place….. And the place for him was the house in Centrelea.”

We all have our particular place or a series of places over a lifetime. The CCA conference confirmed that Lawrencetown is a special place for many Cartographers and Geographers.

During the field trip to the Grand-Pré, I learned that Ian Spooner and Gerald Gloade had collaborated on bringing together western landscape science and Mi’kmac stories. This led me to check my copy of the book by Trudy Sable and Bernie Francis The Language of this Land, Mi’kma’ki. Phillip Bailey in his art had developed ‘merged maps’. This set me thinking about combining different versions of the same landscape e.g. Micmac, Acadien, Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia. Or take, Nicholas Crane ‘s book The Making of the British Landscape, and imagine the richness of a similar book ‘The Making of the Canadian Landscape’. (Merged Maps below by Phillip Bailey – CartographeMe).

From Space to Place in Three Days 10


Claude Bissell. 1989. Ernest Buckler Remembered. University of Toronto Press.

Trudy Sable and Bernie Francis.2012.The Language of this Land, Mi’kma’ki. CBU Press.

Nicholas Crane. 2016.  The Making of the British Landscape. From the Ice Age to the Present. Wiedenfeld and Nicolson.


Thanks to Monica Lloyd, Michael Goodchild and Marcel Morin for their specific contributions, and to sponsors: John Wightman, CANMAP and Eric Melanson, Esri Canada.

Thanks to all presenters and to Dave MacLean for photographs and conference details, go to link to presentations