Middleton geomatics researchers focus on Canadian coastline

Published on February 23, 2017

The Applied Geomatics Research Group hosted a two-day workshop on High Resolution Mapping along the Coastal Zone earlier this month in Lawrencetown. Back from left are: Candace MacDonald, Natasha Fee, Nathan Crowell, Matt Roscoe, David Kristiansen, Kevin McGuigan, and Jesse Siegel. Front from left are: Sean Dzafovic, May Kongwonthai, Tim Webster, Ariel Vallis, and Kate Collins.


LAWRENCETOWN - Canada is the country with the longest coastline in the world. Earlier this month the Applied Geomatics Research Group (AGRG) in Middleton hosted a two-day workshop on High Resolution Mapping along the Coastal Zone.

Tim Webster and his team have been applying new topo-bathymetric LiDAR and other technologies (e.g. drones, high resolution satellite imagery) to map the near shore zone of Canada's coastline for the last five years.
The two-day workshop was held at the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Lawrencetown. It was sponsored by the Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia (GANS), GeoAlliance Canada, Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG) and, of course, the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC).

More than 140 attendees came mainly from Nova Scotia and were equally divided between students, government, and industry. There were technology representatives from Sweden (Leica Geosystems) and Ontario (Digital Globe).
In the last five years, Tim has built a team to address a number of coastal resource management issues: aquaculture (oysters, rockweed), oil spill remediation strategies, flood-risk mapping, and coastal erosion. Most of the research projects are in Atlantic Canada, involving local industry, government, and academic partners.
This author has described the technical details of the workshop through his blog site (https://ernestblairexperiment.wordpress.com). Many of these blogs appear on the GoGeomatics website, a national e-magazine for Geomatics professionals.
There are several take-home messages from the workshop. AGR/COGS offers unique training opportunities in new technologies that can be applied to a number of global issues. The presentations by both Leica Geosystems and Digital Globe demonstrated the demand. For parents, interested in learning opportunities for themselves and their children, check out the following links:
-- John Trites web site http://GANS.ca/Geospatial-Careers
-- Discovery Channel video. Interview with Tim Webster
-- Job Expo at COGS. March 23 in Lawrencetown
-- Two day workshop presentations. See GANS web site
If Nova Scotia wants to maximize the use of its coastal resources, and, at the same time protect our coastal infrastructure, in a period of rapid climate change, we need a significant cadre of next generation graduates who are comfortable with the new Geomatics technologies. AGRG/COGS is uniquely positioned in this regard -- right here, on rural Nova Scotia.

Taking a quotation  from GeoAlliance Canada:
"As Canadians, we live and work in a GIANT country. To be successful here, we need to live, breathe, think and act like GIANTS."
I would submit that the acronym GIANTS could be defined as "Geographic Information And New Technology Systems."

Article by Bob Maher