Nova Scotia LiDAR map2021 CCA Conference 1

May 25 to May 27, 2021

Geospatial technology has continually advanced over the past several years and high quality multi-dimensional mapping is now available to a much broader audience. There is growing interest in LiDAR technology for mapping natural disasters, forestry, flood mapping, and much more, Join us for a 3 day online conference where we explore LiDAR and other mapping techniques.

Connecting the Dots for
Multi-Dimensional Mapping

2021 CCA Conference 2

Conference Schedule

Conference Presenters


lidar point cloud of San Francisco2021 CCA Conference 2
LiDAR Intensity Map2021 CCA Conference 2

2021 CCA Conference – Connecting the Dots for Multi-Dimensional Mapping

The 2021 CCA Conference themed, “Connecting the Dots for Multi-Dimensional Mapping,” brought together the geospatial community from across the country and beyond, for three days online. It included a wide variety of presentations and technical sessions on a variety of topics including LiDAR technology, web mapping, flood mapping, forestry, and more.

The annual conference was held online only due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic using the Pheedloop platform. This provided several advantages compared to us managing zoom sessions on our own including the ability to register attendees, stream presentations, and be somewhat interactive with users. The event included 3 keynote presentations, an Esri workshop, an interactive panel, and more than 25 presentations.

Links to video recordings are linked below in the list of presenters and can also be found on the CCA Youtube channel.

CCA 2021 Conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick

Conference Keynote Presenters

Anita Graser – Geospatial Data Analysis (May 25, 2021)
Anita Graser is a researcher, open source GIS developer, and author

Anita Graser framed her discussion within the context of geographic data science, discussing geospatial data analysis with a focus on visualization, showing a variety of examples, especially from her recent work on mobility data.

She demonstrated open source technologies, many that integrate with QGIS (e.g., GeoPandas, Jupyter Notebooks, R), and emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary communication within teams to turn data into insight and understanding.

Click here to view Anita Graser’s Keynote Presentation from the 2021 CCA Annual Conference …

Dr. Tim Webster's research focuses on mapping and modeling processes of coastal zones

Lidar Research Focused on Mapping & Modeling in Coastal Zones – Tim Webster (May 26, 2021)

Tim provided an overview of the principles of lidar, describing the fundamental properties of the technology and details of various lidar platforms (airborne topographic, terrestrial, mobile, drone, bathymetric).

He demonstrated the transformations of lidar data into a variety of terrain representations and discussed forestry, corridor mapping, and bathymetric, habitat and flood risk modelling applications.

Click here to view his presentation …

Empowering the Workforce of the Future with IoT and AI – Steve Liang (May 27, 2021)

Dr. Steve Liang

Steve Liang discussed his vision for using Internet of Things (IoT = sensor network) data, including geospatial data, and intelligent automation (affordable, accurate enough predictions) to help workers focus on tasks requiring higher-level judgement to improve safety, productivity and decision making.

He presented a general process flow model that derives predictions from sensors and previous learning, communicates predictions and outcomes using maps, and recommends tasks for worker decision making. He presented applications of this process template including solutions for retail sales, process management, and health and safety monitoring automation.

Click here to view his presentation …

2021 CCA Conference 5

Presentation Abstracts

This year we are fortunate enough to have over 40 people provide presentations on a wide variety of geospatial topics.

Below in the list of abstracts, you will also find links to recordings of the presentations (if available). If the link does not work, then let us know, or try viewing it from the CCA Youtube Channel.

Day 1 Session 2: Cartographic Design

Lives in Motion: Mapping migration within Southern Ontario between 1861 and 1871
Presenter: Byron Moldofsky
Gordon Darroch, Haydi Wong

Abstract            [Click here to view the Presentation]
This research looks at families and individuals in nineteenth-century southern Ontario who migrated within the study area between 1861 and 1871. The project identifies a sample of these for whom we were able to link manuscript census records. We explore ways of mapping the movement of these people within the study area, to enhance the analysis of overall patterns, and the comparison of different subsets of the migrant population. To overcome the complexity of straight-line mapping of origin-destination flows we arrive at a network-based simplification strategy.

Exploring how culture and technology influence the colour trends in mapping
Presenter: Jennifer Johnston

Abstract           [Click here to view the Presentation]

Colour palettes in map design has changed over the years, reflecting the culture and society in which they were created and the technology of the time. The difficulty of procuring natural dyes during early times resulted in colour being reserved for purely decorative illustrations, with the maps themselves left colourless. As dyes became easier to acquire and more reliable, colours started creeping into the coastlines, boundaries and landmasses.

The early colour palette of red, blue, green and yellow natural dyes applied in watercolour were moved aside for the synthetic colourants of modern mapping; cyan, magenta, yellow and blue ink. The bold colours used in maps from the 1960s-1970s came from an emboldened society. The colours used correlate to those trending in art and music of that time. Pen, ink and photochemical technology created bright and bold maps.

Today maps are trending towards a muted colour palette with varying levels of transparencies. Could this change in colour be a result of maps being viewed and produced on screens? Has society become less emboldened? Similar trends towards muted colours schemes can be seen in other areas of art and design. Looking forward how will the decline in our natural world affect our changing palettes? Synthetic colours are dependant on the existence of plants, animals, minerals and most importantly petroleum from fossil fuels.

The Growth of Fantasy and Artistic Cartography
Presenter: Stephanie “shing” Ingmire

Abstract           [Click here to view the Presentation]

I, Shing, am an illustrator that specializes in fantasy and artistic cartographical pieces. I have been drawing maps since 2009 and found success through presenting my art gallery that is displayed on Instagram. I refer to myself as a renaissance artist since I only use paper and pens for my work. However, it is very common for artists to use digital means to create their art as well. With the growth of hobbies during the Coronavirus pandemic, artists, gamers, and authors have helped fantasy maps find significant success through social media. I plan to discuss why fantasy maps have displayed such progression. With Instagram, Twitch, Patreon, and other additional sources, fantasy cartographers are finding that their niche is growing. Fantasy cartographic artists are growing and inspiring others.

I plan to discuss how this new field is beneficial to society in a variety of ways. These maps have found their ways into school art classes, tabletop role-playing games, books, and board games. They use real-world references and can also put a fantasy perspective on factual locations. Introduction Who is Shing Where did Fantasy Maps Originate from? Uses in modern and classic fantasy literature. Why fantasy maps are useful in literature. Why Fantasy Cartography is currently successful. Why social media searches for fantasy maps are on the rise. What are famous maps in the media? Mediums used to create maps. Careers in Illustration and Fantasy Cartographers.

Creating Shaded Relief With Skymodels
Presenter: Morgan Hite

Abstract           [Click here to view the Presentation]

Shaded relief can help your map jump right off the page! While most of the familiar tools we have for generating shaded relief from digital elevation models ask us to choose the sun’s elevation and azimuth, the Skymodel, developed by Pat Kennelly and James Stewart in 2014, is a much more complex model of lighting. In the Skymodel, light comes from many directions at once, and different parts of the sky have different luminosities. Using Jake Adams’s Raster Chunk Processing software, we can generate shaded relief from a skymodel; I’ll show some examples of the compelling results, and run through how to use this free software on your own DEMs.

Day 1 Session 3: Indigenous People and Places on Maps

A Survey and Critique of Historical Ethnographic Maps
Presenter: Ken Favrholdt

Abstract         [Click here to view the Presentation]

Ethnographic maps of North America depicting the distribution of Indigenous peoples with cultural and language affinities represent a colonial construct that combines categorization and surveillance. What different Indigenous groups are there and where are they? This was the question of ethnologists, ethnographers, and politicians in the 19th century. Albert Gallatin in 1836 produced for the America government a “Map of the Indian Tribes of North America about 1600 AD…”.

Many similar ethnographic maps appeared in this period including by the British Arrowsmith Company. In the West, for instance, Canada’s Geological and Natural History Survey in 1883 produced a “Map shewing [sic] the Distribution of Indian Tribes of British Columbia” by W.F. Tolmie and G.M. Dawson. This was soon followed by large-scale maps of “tribal” groups such as the Shuswap (Secwepemc) by ethnographer James Teit, published in 1909, based on his extensive field research around the turn of the century. Teit, working for American anthropologist and publisher Franz Boas, went on to produce a series of sketch maps of Indigenous groups of the Northwest Plateau. Teit’s maps are unique in that, in addition to their original purpose, they reveal how both internal and ethno-linguistic boundaries, groupings have changed over time.

The challenge of meaningfully putting Indigenous People back onto maps of Canada.
Presenter: Chris Brackley

Abstract       [Click here to view the Presentation]

This presentation will look at my work to redefine standard cartographic norms around the labeling of land areas in Canada. I posit that Indigenous People of Canada have connections to the land that are of more or less equal significance to those of the different levels of Canadian Government. That, for example, the island we know as P.E.I., is as correctly called Miꞌkmaꞌki (land of the Miꞌkmaq people) as it is called “Prince Edward Island”.

This reality, that settler society doesn’t “own” the land, and that it shares the land with First Peoples, demands new cartographic norms. In this presentation I will outline some of the challenges and some of the solutions I have encountered as I shift towards a redefinition of how to label the land on maps.

Navigating Theory in Toponymy: Approaching Indigenous Place Names in the Chilcotin Region
Presenter: Shane Doddridge

Abstract      [Click here to view the Presentation]

The names of geographical features (toponyms) have long been studied across many disciplines, including geography, cartography, anthropology, onomastics, and linguistics. Unsurprisingly there remains little theoretical agreement about how best to approach a study of toponyms, especially in indigenous contexts. By exploring an ongoing collaborative project to map the place names of the Tŝilhqot’in First Nation in west-central British Columbia, this presentation attempts to navigate a path through (and hopefully beyond) some theoretical traditions towards landing on some practical cartographic applications.

Day 1 Session 4: Indigenous and Community Mapping

Mapping for Reconciliation with Students over Multiple Projects and Platforms
Presenter: Stephanie Pyne


Mapping is increasingly ubiquitous in many spheres, including education. Today’s cartography relates to both analogue and digital environments. Extending to participatory collaborations with individuals from a variety of knowledge communities, there is growing attention to mapping experience, emotions, and Indigenous perspectives. This paper tracks the technological and cultural evolution of several interlinked collaborative multimedia mapping projects aimed intercultural reconciliation, with a particular focus on intersections between research and education that are developing in sketch mapping exercises around the stories of residential school survivors from the Where Are the Children website.

Mapping Residential Schools themes first emerged in May 2011 during work on the SSHRC-funded cybercartographic Lake Huron Treaty Atlas (built with Nunaliit technology) in the development of the Residential Schools Map. Upon completion of this project in 2013, further interest and use of the map spurred some improvements and laid the basis for a further SSHRC grant to develop the cybercartographic Residential Schools Land Memory Atlas (built with Nunaliit technology) in addition to other project outputs, for example the book Cybercartography in a Reconciliation Community: Engaging Intersecting Perspectives.

Since 2014, students have been involved in various collaborations in hybrid ‘classroom’/research space contexts in the development of various maps in the Residential Schools Land Memory Atlas. The sketch mapping exercises referred to above provide an interesting example, especially since they provide an opportunity to discuss the most recent iteration, Mapping Survivor Stories, produced with students under the Multimedia Emergent Mapping for Education (MEME) Project using GeoDrupal.

Community Consent & Control in Indigenous Mapping
Presenter: Victor Temprano

Abstract      [Click here to view the Presentation]

At Native Land Digital, we are deeply involved in the process of mapping Indigenous land and history on a global scale. Our most deeply held goal is to provide a platform for communities and nations to see themselves represented according to their own understandings. In developing methods of engagement and communication with nations and individuals, we have run into many complex issues concerning consent and control of data. How do we know who to talk to within a given nation? How do we allow consent to change over time? How do we open up control of our website to the nations we depict?

These questions are fraught with complexities that we will discuss in our presentation. Ultimately, what drives our answers to these questions come back to our larger goal of fostering meaningful connections with communities, and creating a representative, empowering, and meaningful map.

Towards Co-Producing Web-Based Geospatial Technologies: A Proposal for Clyde River, Nunavut
Presenter: Julia Conzon
Peter L. Pulsifer, Shari Fox

Abstract     [Click here to view the Presentation]

The production of web-based geospatial technologies has seldom incorporated diverse ontologies and epistemologies into their technical formulation, leaving critical methodological gaps regarding how such diversity should be meaningfully and digitally represented for the intended users. This challenge is acute among Indigenous and Inuit nations because the development of geospatial technologies intending to represent (via modeling and visualizing) local knowledge have often excluded the users.

With strategies and principles pushing Indigenous and Inuit data sovereignty and decision-making, such as the United Nation’s Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples and National Inuit Strategy on Research, community members and representatives must be included throughout the entire process, from project initiation to application. Therefore, as efforts towards reconciliation and self-determination accelerate, academics/practitioners working with Indigenous or Inuit communities will have to devise and deploy deeper iterative and collaborative methods to develop products that better align with knowledge systems of their intended users. In the case of Clyde River hamlet in Nunavut, they are actualizing Inuit self-determination through community-based initiatives. One such project is the Clyde River Knowledge Atlas (CRKA), which was published in 2018 by Clyde River’s Ittaq Heritage and Research Centre in partnership with Carleton’s Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre.

With feedback from existing atlases hosted on CRKA and new data coming from a sea ice monitoring program, this research proposes following mixed methodologies applied within community-based research to co-produce an interactive web-based prototype atlas with Ittaq and community members, contributing to the discourse on meaningful Inuit Knowledge representation.

Open source content management as a basis for community-engaged web mapping and experiential learning
Presenter: Glenn Brauen

Abstract     [Click here to view the Presentation]

In recent years, post-secondary educators have increasingly expanded student learning experiences integrating community engagement, the application of discipline-specific objectives, and the development of competencies. Adopting an experiential lens within geographic curricula, learning is enhanced when students are encouraged to consider models and their experiences and understandings of places represented in those models, critically comparing and contrasting the two. Community engagement provides such opportunities as students apply their knowledge and skills to topics identified as important outside of their campus context but experiential learning can be designed in a variety of ways. Experiential learning attempts to juxtapose concepts and direct experiences and encourage the adaptation of those concepts through experimentation and reflective observation (Kolb 2015). Geography and web mapping provide excellent disciplinary foundations for just such engagements.

This presentation will provide an overview of an open source, rich multimedia web mapping platform designed to support experiential learning or community-integrated learning exercises, focusing on platform features that support course-based exercises. Based on Drupal, a flexible, widely-used web content management system, the software supports complex information models, a variety of data types, multimedia attachments, relationships between information elements, and flexible search and information display capabilities.

The Drupal community has developed a number of extensions to the software to store geographic information and to create interactive web maps showing subsets of application content. Other system features useful for tuning a web mapping site for use in a course include fine-grained, role-based access permissions; controls that allow students to keep their work unpublished within the web site while still allowing instructor access for marking purposes; and revision control for all content created on the site.

This presentation will show a demonstration system and will discuss ongoing work and future prospects for the project. Work referenced: Kolb, D. A. (2015) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson FT Press.

Day 2 Session 2: LiDAR and Remote Sensing

Utilization of LiDAR data for forest resource management in Japan
Presenter: Kei Ayguci

Abstract     [Click here to view the Presentation]

In Japan, the need to utilize airborne LiDAR measurement technology has expanded dramatically in the forestry fields, such as forest resource analysis, development of harvesting support, forecasting the amount of woody material output, road network planning, and mountain disaster as it can be used to understand complex forest structures and generate accurate forest resource information. It is necessary to utilize LiDAR in forest management because the mass amount of un-harvested forest resources and lack of forestry labor in Japan results in noticeable devastation in forests that cannot function in the public interest and are prone to sediment-related mountain disasters due to damage from typhoons and heavy rains.

Governmental organizations and companies are collaborating to maximize the utilization of LiDAR data both in Infrastructure information and forestry. This presentation will introduce the know-how to acquire, analyze, and manage LiDAR data to support forest management and several unique technologies such as special forest type images and micro topology maps that are essential in forest resource analysis.

Quantifying and Mapping Coarse woody Debris using Airbourne Laser Scanning
Presenter: Lukas Jarron

Abstract             [Click here to view the Presentation]

Coarse woody debris (CWD) is a meaningful contributor to forest carbon cycles, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and can influence wildfire behaviour. Using airborne laser scanning (ALS), we map CWD across a range of natural forest stand types in Northcentral British Columbia, Canada, providing forest managers with spatially detailed information on the presence and volume of ground-level woody biomass.

We describe a novel methodology that isolates CWD returns from large diameter logs (>30cm) using a refined grounding algorithm, a mixture of height and pulse-based filters and linear pattern recognition, to transform ALS returns into measurable, vectorized shapes. We then assess the accuracy of CWD detection at the individual log level and predict CWD volume at the plot-level. We detected 64% of CWD logs and 79% of CWD volume within our plots. Increased elevation of CWD significantly aided detection (p=0.04), while advanced stages of decay hindered detection (p=0.04). ALS predicted CWD volume totals were compared against field-measured CWD and displayed a strong correlation (R= 0.81), allowing us to expand the methodology to map CWD over a larger region. The expanded CWD volume map compared ALS volume predictions between stands and suggests greater volume in stands with older and more heterogeneous stand structure

Use of Remote Sensing Technology for Phenotyping in Tree Improvement Programs in British Columbia
Presenter: Francois du Toit              [Click here to view the Presentation]

Tree improvement programs are essential for the establishment of sustainable, high yield seed sources. Currently, the selection of superior genotypes is primarily based on measures of height and diameter. These measurements are labour intensive, time consuming, and expensive. Additionally, they ignore structural and physiological processes that may provide insights into why specific trees perform better than others, and how populations will perform in future climates. Advanced remote sensing can provide informative structural and spectral indices to measure, analyse, and maintain trials in a new way.

In this presentation we describe how these technologies provide detailed and accurate measurements of crown structure, as well as functional traits. We demonstrate how high-density 3D datasets such as those derived from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and digital aerial photogrammetry, acquired from both unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and aircraft can be used to develop individual-tree metrics for crown and branch characteristics. Additionally, multispectral imagery acquired at targeted wavelengths can be used to produce spectral indices which are proxies for physiological and pigment dynamics associated with photosynthesis, bud burst, drought tolerance, and cold hardiness. Key crown spectral and structural traits of populations within common garden trials of Douglas-fir and interior spruce in British Columbia can be compared to existing information on their performance to demonstrate how remotely derived attributes can provide additional insights into future tree selection.

Findings from this research can be integrated into standardized phenotyping methodologies, which are important not just for monitoring the performance of selected populations, but also for identifying trees that display resilient attributes for sustainable forest management into the future.

Mapping Stream Attributes Important to Fish in Coastal British Columbia with Airborne LiDAR
Presenter: Spencer Dakin Kuiper             [Click here to view the Presentation]
Nicholas C. Coops, Piotr Tompalski, Scott G. Hinch, Alyssa Nonis


With the increasing availability and expanding geographic coverage of airborne LiDAR data used for forestry applications in British Columbia, forest managers are looking to extract additional value from these data sets. The ability of airborne LiDAR to penetrate the forest canopy and extract detailed terrain information makes the mapping and characterization of riparian ecosystems a promising additional application, from which we can further examine the important roles that these transitional ecosystems have in bridging the terrestrial, aquatic, and oceanic environments.

The research presented examines the use of airborne LiDAR data to map and measure stream and vegetation attributes that are important for fish in their freshwater riparian habitats. Using advanced remote sensing techniques on the LiDAR derived 3-dimensional point clouds we can create a digital elevation model from which we can delineate streams across an entire watershed. Within these streams we can generate local terrain and vegetation attributes like slope, canopy height, surface roughness and understory vegetation cover. Using these LiDAR derived metrics, we can extract or model, important stream attributes for fish, such as stream width, gradient, instream wood, and discrete habitat units. Identifying and mapping freshwater fish habitat from LiDAR gives forest managers and conservationists important tools to help protect these keystone species by locating critical habitat and spawning grounds.

Day 2 Session 3: Remote Sensing and Earth Modelling

Integration of Multi-source Terrain Data on Discrete Global Grids
Presenter: Mingke Li

Abstract              [Click here to view the Presentation]

The Canadian Digital Elevation Model (CDEM) and the High Resolution Digital Elevation Model (HRDEM) released by Natural Resources Canada are primary terrain data sources in Canada. Due to their different coverage, datums, resolutions, and accuracies, a standardized framework for national elevation data across various scales is required. This study provides new insights into the adoption of Discrete Global Grid Systems (DGGS) to facilitate the integration of multi-source terrain data at a variety of granularities. In particular, the Icosahedral Snyder Equal Area Aperture 3 Hexagonal Grid (ISEA3H) was employed, and quantization, integration, and aggregation were conducted on this framework. Because of discreteness, a DGGS benefits parallel computing.

An experiment was run in two areas in Ontario, Canada to test our algorithms by parallel computing on high performance computing clusters. Data accuracy was estimated by referring to the ground-surveyed elevations and was included in the spatially referenced metadata. The proposed method can serve as a guide for future development of national elevation service, providing consistent and multi-resolution elevations and avoiding complex, duplicated pre-processing at the user’s end. Future investigation into an operational integration platform to support real-world decision-making, as well as the DGGS-powered geospatial datacube, is recommended.

National Elevation Data Strategy Update
Presenter: Charles Papasodoro

Abstract    [Click here to view the Presentation]

The Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (NRCan) continues its work to implement the National Elevation Data Strategy. Through this strategy, one of NRCan’s goal is to provide Canadians with an accurate three-dimensional representation of the country, in support of government priorities such as flood mapping. Because of the enormous task of obtaining a high-precision and up-to-date national elevation layer, NRCan collaborate with multiple partners across the country.

This presentation aims to provide an update on the activities undertaken as part of the National Elevation Data Strategy, including an overview of the Strategy’s LiDAR and HRDEM coverage, the new HRDEM mosaic product, as well as the new version 3.0 of the Federal LiDAR Data Acquisition Guideline, which now includes an Appendix on Topo-bathymetric LiDAR for flood risk analysis.

Maxar Presentation
Presenter: Ryan Hamilton
Senior Product Manager- Elevation, Maxar Technologies

  [Click here to view the Presentation]

Day 2 Session 4: ArcGIS Workshop
Multivariate Mapping with ArcGIS
Presenters:  Aileen Buckley (Esri), and Paul Heersink (Esri Canada)

  [Click here to view the Presentation (part 1)]

  [Click here to view the Presentation (part 2)]

Multivariate maps encode two or more data variables concurrently into a single symbolization mechanism to reveal relationships between the variables that might not otherwise be apparent (UCGIS Body of Knowledge, This workshop, describes some of the key types of multivariate maps, the rationale for their use, considerations for their design, and relative merits and demerits. Framed within a discussion of the variety of questions that can be answered with different types and numbers of variables, we demonstrate that the multivariate mapping methods available in ArcGIS Online may seem complicated but are in fact simple and somewhat piloted.

With ArcGIS Pro, the options are seemingly endless, providing map makers with the power to drive their multivariate mapping experience from the breadth and depth of their databases. Pro also offers opportunities to enhance multivariate maps to counter the potential for misunderstanding or miscommunication that is sometimes associated with these more complicated maps. Join us to learn through hands-on examples how you can begin to master multivariate mapping with ArcGIS.

No experience is required for mapping with ArcGIS Online, although access to an organizational account is recommended. Familiarity with mapping in ArcGIS Pro will be of benefit for mapping in the desktop environment.

Day 3 Session 2: Urban Wayfinding and Planning

TO360 Wayfinding in Toronto

Presenter: Clare Seldon, Tony Pearce

Abstract    [Click here to view the Presentation]

Since 2011 Steer and T-Kartor have supported the City of Toronto in the delivery of the TO360 wayfinding strategy, created to support walking as the connecting mode that enables multi-modal transportation. TO360 provides information for pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and motorists through a family of products based upon a centralized mapping database. The map’s design specification highlights pedestrian amenities with an inviting and accessible look. Now appearing on hundreds of on-street signs and other platforms, the TO360 map will serve the city’s wayfinding needs for decades to come.

This session is delivered by Clare Seldon, Principal Cartographer at Steer and Tony Pearce, V.P. City Wayfinding at T-Kartor, and will cover aspects from the initial set up of the project to the outputs being delivered today and into the future. Topics will include; • how the municipal dataset was adapted to create the wayfinding basemap • some of the many outputs from the basemap within the TO360 family • the additional products created for TO360 wayfinding including finger posts and the visitor map • the online portal used to keep track of the mapping updates and used for asset maintenance • how the online tool assists the City analyse system growth and future location planning needs

Kingsbridge’s unique map design
Presenter: Clare Seldon, Emily Whiteside

Abstract   [Click here to view the Presentation]

Situated in coastal South Devon (UK) in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Kingsbridge sits on the Estuary and is surrounded by lush, green rolling countryside. During the pandemic many UK residents have had to change their international holiday habits and so, what was once a minor seasonal tourist destination during the summer holidays, now welcomes more tourists to its eclectic selection of shopping and rural activities. A wayfinding system of three map signs was suggested by Steer and partners Trueform to benefit the local economy by encouraging visitors to stay longer in the area and explore all that is on offer.

The map design was developed after researching Kingsbridge’s history and visiting their Museum online. Inspiration was taken from William Cookworthy, namesake of the Museum, who was the first in the UK to create hard paste porcelain in the 1700s. This session is delivered by Clare Seldon, Principal Cartographer at Steer and will cover the bespoke design process for Kingsbridge and how we managed to successfully design a much-loved product during the covid-19 lockdowns of 2020/2021. Topics will include; • the design inspiration of William Cookworthy’s porcelain • the online nature of research and meetings • the final mapping and supporting content

Ottawa Wayfinding to support post-COVID tourism
Presenter: Clare Seldon, David Kopulos

Abstract   [Click here to view the Presentation]

The Ottawa wayfinding strategy was conceived to provide the region’s 11 million annual visitors and growing local population with a consistent wayfinding experience, and to realize the health, social, and economic benefits demonstrated by other ‘Legible City’ projects around the world. A pilot sign was installed in December 2020 to test a new pedestrian wayfinding map that combines international best practice with a distinctive cartographic style that befits Ottawa’s role as “Canada in one city”.

The pilot sign and an accompanying visitor handout map serve as a visible demonstration the city’s commitment to a post-COVID tourism recovery, and stand ready to welcome the world back to the nation’s capital. This session is delivered by Clare Seldon, Principal Cartographer and David Kopulos, Senior Wayfinding Consultant at Steer and will cover the pilot project and visitor map design process. Topics will include; • designing the basemap • the pilot wayfinding signage and bilingual solution • adapting the basemap for the visitor handout map

2021 CCA Conference 6

The political and imaginative forms of fantasy transit maps
Presenter: Jeff Allen

Abstract            [Click here to view the Presentation]

In this presentation, I define and discuss the realm of fantasy transit maps; maps of transit networks, that when drawn, include routes that do not exist in the real world. Their purposes can vary, from more realistic scenarios drawn by transport planners, to optimistic promises used for political campaigns, as well as bottom-up maps created by amateur cartographers often representing quixotic or even unworldly networks. These varying forms and motives are detailed in this presentation via sharing examples of several realized and unrealized plans (including my own!) for public transit networks in Canadian cities.

Using 3D Web Maps to Visualize Urban Policy Data and the Built Environment
Presenter: Jonathan Critchley

Abstract  [Click here to view the Presentation]

This presentation will explore using 3D web maps to visualize Urban Policy data and simplified models of the built environment in order to highlight how policy shapes land use and the built form. It will review examples, design decisions and the technology used to create the maps.

Day 3 Session 3: Mapping the Pandemic

Using cartography and spatial analysis for effective public communication during COVID-19
Presenter: Clio Marsh Nikias

Abstract   [Click here to view the Presentation]

The frequency of emergency events continues to rise in New Brunswick and the use of cartography and spatial analysis has become instrumental for agencies in all phases of emergency management. In 2020 the New Brunswick Department of Justice and Public Safety (JPS) GeoOperations Team experienced some of its greatest challenges to date in supporting the Province’s COVID-19 response and providing Emergency Public Information through our public dashboard.

In this presentation, we will cover the creation and continuous evolvement of the public dashboard and the processes in place to perform daily updates. In addition, we will cover our data management plan which was crucial in adapting to an ever-changing State of Emergency. This has led the team to become a key data analysis hub for executive decision-makers. We will also cover how we collaborated with the communications experts to ensure that the public was getting timely and effective updates every single day. While this presentation will have a lot of content centered around our Provincial COVID-19 response and dashboard, we will also present a small flavour of how we’re leveraging good spatial analysis across the response of other emergency events.

Panel Session: Mapping the Pandemic

Cartographica 56.1 was a Special Issue on the theme “Mapping the Pandemic”

We have invited four contributors to that issue briefly to present the aspects of mapping the Covid-19 pandemic which were covered in their article, and to discuss what changes (if any) they might make in their approach with the benefit of hindsight. Via Online Chat we will then open the floor to questions from the audience and open discussion.

  [Click here to view the 4 Presentations and the Panel Discussion]

The four participants and abstracts of their articles:

Presenter: Yu Lan (Co-authors: Michael R. Desjardins, Alexander Hohl, Eric Delmelle)
Geovisualization of COVID-19: State of the Art and Opportunities
Mapping the prevalence and spread of infectious diseases has never been more critical than during the COVID-19 pandemic. A plethora of Web-based GIS dashboards have been created that incorporate basic GIS functionality; these dashboards have served as platforms for rapid data sharing and real-time information, ultimately facilitating decision making. However, many of them have merely focused on presenting and monitoring cumulative or daily incidence of COVID-19 data, disregarding the temporal dimension. In this paper, we review the usefulness of GIS-based dashboards for mapping the prevalence of COVID-19, but also missed opportunities to emphasize the temporal component of the disease (cyclicity, seasonality). We suggest that advanced geovisualization techniques can be used to integrate the temporal component in interactive animated maps illustrating (a) the daily relative risk and the number of days a geographic region has been in a disease cluster, (b) the ratio between the observed and expected number of cases over time, and (c) mortality count dynamics in a space–time cube. We illustrate these approaches by using COVID-19 cases and death counts across the U.S. at the county level from 25 January 2020 to 1 October 2020. We discuss how each of these visualization approaches can promote the understanding of important public health concepts applied to the pandemic such as risk, spread, and mortality. Finally, we suggest future avenues to promote research at the intersection of space–time visualization and infectious diseases.

Presenter: Fox Underwood
Using Topological Maps to Explore the COVID-19 Pandemic in Canada
Simplified topological maps can preserve the topology of regions within an area and provide a variety of ways to display geographic variables while granting equal weight to all regions. Canada’s topology lends itself well to displaying information with topological maps. The first COVID-19 cases in Canada were identified in January 2020; the virus spread through much of the country in March, with a peak from April to May and a lull or trough in June–August, followed by a larger peak from October to November. Although Canada’s most populous provinces saw the most cases per 100,000 persons, nearly every province experienced peaks from COVID-19. Atlantic Canada and the northern territories experienced the shortest and smallest peaks, with the highest being a November outbreak in Nunavut. Cases in central Canada remained moderate to high for much of the year, while western Canada experienced high peaks near the end of the year.

Presenter: Claus Rinner
Mapping COVID-19 in Context: Promoting a Proportionate Perspective on the Pandemic
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 took a firm grip on the world in early 2020. The global spread of the virus and the impacts of the associated disease COVID-19 are being tracked by numerous institutions, experts, and lay people. Thematic maps are widely used to visualize the many available metrics, including case counts, hospitalization rates, and fatalities. Despite coordination efforts at different jurisdictional levels, variable definitions remain inconsistent, data collection is delayed and unsystematic, and maps may exacerbate the issues of the underlying data. Numerous published maps also conflict with established cartographic guidelines and include design choices that exaggerate the spread of the coronavirus and the threat of COVID-19. In this panel, I want to highlight some of the challenges of mapping the pandemic, illustrate alternative representations that put COVID-19 data into context, and relate these issues to standards of professional ethics in the field of geographic information systems (GIS).

Presenter: Samuel Otterstrom (Co-author Leonard Hochberg)
Relative Concentrations and Diffusion of COVID-19 across the United States in 2020
In this article, we analyze the spread of COVID-19 (corona virus disease 2019) cases and deaths across the United States using county data at different levels of comparison. We use the Hoover index and the differential geographical index to analyze changes in the concentration of COVID-19 at the city-system level (or economic trade area level) from May 2020 to December 2020. We also map the individual county differential geographical (DG) index to show the distribution of COVID-19 cases and deaths in counties relative to national averages. We find that the disease has rapidly diffused and deconcentrated across the city-systems in terms of Hoover indices, and that by December 2020 many city regions had changed from very concentrated COVID-19 levels to greater dispersion than the general population. This event suggests a sizeable degree of rural diffusion in the last months of 2020. Differential geographical indices for the same city-systems also indicate a convergence of population and COVID-19 death geographies. Individual county statistics show clusters of high and low deaths compared with national norms that shifted from the Northeast to the Southeast, and by December included clusters in the Midwest and the central portion of the country, among other areas.

Day 3 Session 4: Climate Data and Modelling the Environment

Democratizing Climate Data for the General Public
Presenter: Noah Stevens

Abstract   [Click here to view the Presentation]

From flooding to wildfires, the impacts of climate change keep making the news. How will it affect you? How can you adapt. 3D interactive mapping solutions eliminate the technology and scientific language barrier associated with raw data and research reports, allowing more time to observe, plan and adapt.

Volumetric Estimates for Coastal Shell Middens on the West Coast of Vancouver Island
Presenter: Robert Gustas
Iain McKechnie & Quentin Mackie

Abstract   [Click here to view the Presentation]

Coastal shell middens (anthropogenic soils primarily composed of fish and shellfish remains) are a quintessential component of the archaeological record on the Northwest Coast. Despite their importance in informing the cultural and environmental histories of Indigenous peoples, the majority of research on shell middens has not sought to estimate the volume of or the biomass (amount of animal material) contained in these cultural sediment deposits. Here we present a new general model for estimating midden volume based on an ellipsoid which relies on site extent and depth determined from previous site surveys.

We in turn use these volume calculations in combination with the density of identified faunal remains in column sample data from middens to estimate the total weight of animals whose remains are contained in midden sites within Tseshaht Territory in the Broken Group Islands on Vancouver Island. We evaluate the accuracy of our volume estimates using survey and LiDAR data from select sites within this area. As part of the evaluation process we developed a new method of 3D visualization of middens using systematic survey and subsurface percussion core data.

This work presents new landscape scale measures of midden volume and biomass within our study area, which has relevance to ongoing research questions.

From coast to coast with NetCDF files
Presenter: Daniel Brendle-Moczuk

Abstract   [Click here to view the Presentation]

While the multidimensional NetCDF data file format has been around since c.1990, some geospatial folks, and potential users, are not familiar, and/or are frustrated with this data format. NetCDFs are used to store and disseminate data such as climatic, (climate modelling, precipitation, temperature, wind, etc) oceanic, (bathymetry, currents, temperature, etc) and usually in time series.

This session will provide a brief overview of the history of NetCDFs, their changes over the years, and how to interact with NetCDFs within a GIS environment, specifically QGIS and ArcGIS. Knowing this file format opens up many mapping possibilities. In addition, this session will highlight the real life mapping uses of various NetCDF data.

Header Image 1: ‘Color Shaded Relief Elevation Model created from LiDAR data’ [Source: Twitter (@NSGeoNOVA)]
Header Image 2: ‘LiDAR point cloud of Dore St, San Francisco’ [Source: Wikimedia Commons]
Header Image 3: ‘Highway image using LIDAR [Source: Flickr (Oregon State University)]