Articles

Maya Daurio and Stephen Chignell win Esri 2021 Scholarship

Image from Ecologies of Harm: Mapping Contexts of Vulnerability in the Time of COVID-19

Image from Ecologies of Harm: Mapping Contexts of Vulnerability in the Time of COVID-19

Maya Daurio, from the Department of Anthropology and Stephen Chignell from IRES, the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability are 2021’s scholarship winners.

Daurio and Chignell’s project,  Ecologies of Harm: Mapping Contexts of Vulnerability in the Time of COVID-19, acts as a complement to statistical renderings of COVID-19, encouraging us to reflect on the lives beneath the numbers. In line with principles of counter-mapping, our research illustrates how harms caused by the pandemic intersect with other injustices and with specific geographies to exacerbate vulnerabilities of marginalized populations.

Congratulations to both on their winning submission.

View the winning submission.

Now hiring Graduate Academic Assistants

Now hiring Graduate Academic Assistants for a new open geomatics textbook

Prof. Paul Pickell (Faculty of Forestry) is hiring several Graduate Academic Assistants to create content for a new Open Educational Resource (OER) geomatics textbook. The successful candidates will assist with creating OER content for a new open geomatics textbook that will be adopted in UBC classrooms.

  • Up to 12 total positions to be filled
  • Duration: April 15 – June 30, 2021
  • Total hours: 40 hours (possibility of extension)
  • Application deadline: April 9th, 2021

Project Details:

The aim of this project is to develop an interactive online textbook with open educational resources (OER) for teaching geomatics across UBC faculties. Existing OER geomatics textbooks are flat: they lack interactive examples, tools, and case studies that make cutting-edge geomatics so engaging. More importantly, Canada is the birthplace of computerized Geographic Information Systems (GIS), yet existing textbooks (both OER and non-OER) adopted in UBC classrooms rarely focus on environmental management issues, case studies, and examples that are relevant to underrepresented northern communities in Canada. Successful candidates will undertake research of existing OER materials (textbooks, websites, etc) and create new content that will be used in the textbook. Successful candidates will also receive training in the use of GitHub, version control, markdown, RStudio, and copyleft principles.

Job Duties: The GAAs will work under the supervision of Prof. Pickell and Evan Thornberry (UBC GIS Librarian).

  • Researching and finding existing OER content on specific topics as well as creating original figures, images, maps, tables, problem sets, questions, suggested activities, etc.
  • Writing a case study on an environmental management problem utilizing geomatics and related to your research work, thesis, or capstone project

Requirements:

  • Enrolled as a current graduate student at UBC
  • Knowledge and experience using any GIS software or packages: ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, QGIS, R, Python, Matlab, Google Earth Pro, Google Earth Engine
  • Knowledge of geomatics applications to environmental management issues in Canada. The following topical areas are considered a high priority: Northern communities, First Nations, climate change, boreal forest, endangered wildlife, freshwater ecosystems, fisheries, glaciers/ice monitoring, environmental justice, resource extraction

Assets:

  • Experience working with Free and Open Source Software such as QGIS, RStudio, Leaflet
  • Experience programming javascript applications
  • Graphic design experience
  • Experience using Markdown or RMarkdown
  • Experience with version control and GitHub

How to Apply:

Please email a one-page cover letter and your resume as a single pdf packet to Prof. Paul Pickell (paul.pickell@ubc.ca). In your cover letter, please outline what environmental management case study you would like to contribute to the textbook. Additionally, highlight what experience you have working with GIS software and emphasize if you have any of the above assets.

Esri Scholarships – 2021 (Deadline: March 1, 2021)

Submissions are open for the Esri Canada Scholarship

Esri Canada’s annual GIS Scholarship

Award recipients receive $2000, ArcGIS software, books, and training and networking opportunites. The award includes registration for one of Esri Canada’s User Conferences in 2021, access to instructor-led courses, and more.
For more information: Esri Canada Scholarship 2021

Applications for this scholarship are due Monday, March 1, 2021.

GIS Day 2020

GIS Day is an annual worldwide celebration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and community. GeoAwareness Week is an annual event highlighting the importance of geographic and spatial literacy and education. This year UBC Library and SFU Library are organizing four events in celebration of GeoAwareness Week and GIS Day:

Intro to Web Mapping – Friday, November 13th, 2020

Open to UBC and SFU communities

This workshop is part of the Web Mapping Workshop Series.

You’ve likely used Google Maps, Yelp, or Craigslist, which all have integrated web map elements, but have you ever thought of creating a web map for your research project? An interactive web map is a great tool for both data exploration and communicating your research with a wide audience, academic and public alike. This Web Mapping workshop series of 2 workshops will help researchers across disciplines understand what a web map is and how to create one in two different ways, namely ArcGIS online and R. This first workshop (Intro to Web Mapping) is not the prerequisite for the second one below (Web Mapping with R) – feel free to attend one or both.

The workshop will begin with a basic overview of technologies, principles, and terminology related to web mapping, such as map tiles and web services. The remainder of the workshop will be devoted to hands-on time with ArcGIS Online.

Time: 9:00 am to 11:00 am

A Zoom link will be sent to participants before the workshop

Registration is required and seats are limited.

REGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP

Workshop: Data Normalization and Classification – Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

Open to everyone

Join June Skeeter, PhD candidate from UBC’s Department of Geography, for this informational data normalization and classification workshop. This lecture-style workshop will focus on police violence data from Canada and the United States, and emphasize the importance of data normalization and show how different data classification methods impact the ways we perceive information.

Time: 11:00 am to 12:30 pm

A Zoom link will be sent to participants before the workshop

Registration is required and seats are limited.

REGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Mapathon – Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Open to everyone

Missing Maps is all about mapping the most vulnerable places in the world in order to better equip organizations to respond to crises. Information about structures, roads, or bridges, for example, doesn’t appear on maps in many places around the world, making it difficult for first responders to know where to go and who is at risk in the aftermath of disasters.

For this mapathon, we’ll be contributing to urgent mapping needs in the Caribbean, an area vulnerable to hurricanes, impacts from which are compounded by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic during this hurricane season.

Please join us in this important effort on November 19th as part of GeoAwareness Week. You don’t need any prior experience, and all of our contributions together can make a big difference.

Time: 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

A Zoom link will be sent to participants before the workshop

Registration is required and seats are limited.

REGISTER FOR THIS MAPATHON

Workshop: Web Mapping with R – Friday, November 20th Rescheduled: Friday November 27th, 2020

Open to UBC and SFU communities

This workshop is part of the Web Mapping Workshop Series.

Leaflet is one of the most popular open-source JavaScript libraries for interactive maps. Here’s an example of a web map created with Leaflet from The New York Times. This workshop will introduce you to Leaflet for R, an R package, which makes it easy to integrate and control Leaflet maps in R without knowledge of JavaScript. You can create interactive web maps right in R Studio! The topics covered include:

  • Using the Leaflet package for R to add titles, markers, popups, create a theme map, change basemap, etc
  • Host and publish your web map through Github

Time: 9:00 am to 11:00 am

A Zoom link will be sent to participants before the workshop

Registration is required and seats are limited.

REGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP

Julia Higson from the School of Landscape Architecture wins Esri 2020 Scholarship

Detail from a map in Julia Higson's Landscapes of Extraction

Detail from one of the maps in Landscapes of Extraction

The winning submission came from Julia Higson’s studies in the Landscapes of Extraction, which presented maps and data on the impact of extraction of drinking water in British Columbia. The study itself had a focus on design and cartography as well as the clear presentation of data.

Congratulations, Julia Higson!

View the winning presentation

2020 Esri User Conference

Register for the 2020 Esri User Conference

July 13–15, 2020

Have you ever wanted to attend the Esri User Conference in San Diego but were unable to attend? Now you can have the joy of attending without being rocketed across the continent in a pressurized cylinder. The Esri User Conference is now online, and it’s free of charge. Be a part of the world’s largest virtual GIS event! Information about the conference is available here:

Esri User Conference, July 13-15, 2020.

To register,  fill out the form below.  An administrator will contact you should there be any issues with your registration.

Esri Conference 2020

Attendance request
  • Your last name (at a minimum) is required for conference registration
  • This is the user name for your already created Esri account (ie, Esri in the US - NOT your UBC Esri account); it is required for registration. If you don't have an Esri account, you must create one first at Esri where the company name is University of British Columbia When you get to the Esri page, shoose 'Sign In' at the top right, then 'Create a public account' at the bottom of the 'Sign in With' page.

    If you are having issues creating your Esri account, please contact Forestry IT Administrative Support

  • Your email is required in case we need to contact you
  • The faculty you are associated with (eg: Forestry)
    What is your position at UBC?
  • Why would you like to go to the conference?

Esri Scholarships – 2020 (Deadlines: February 24th and 28th)

Submissions are open for two scholarships offered by Esri Canada

Esri Canada’s annual GIS Scholarhsip

Award recipients receive $2000, ArcGIS software, books, and training and networking opportunites. The award includes registration for one of Esri Canada’s User Conferences in 2020.
For more information: Esri Canada Scholarship 2020

Applications for this scholarship are due Monday, February 24th, 2020.

 

2020 International Esri Young Scholars Award

Applications are due Friday, Februrary 28th, 2020. The Esri Young Scholars Award program was launched in 2012 to recognize the exemplary work in geospatial sciences of undergraduate and graduate students at universities around the world. It is offered by Esri in cooperation with its international distributors. Any full-time student or recent graduate from an undergraduate or graduate program at a Canadian college or university who has completed a project or research using Esri technology are eligible to apply. The award includes registration, transportation costs, hotel and per diem to attend the Esri User Conference and Education Summit @ Esri UC in San Diego where the Young Scholars display their work and interact with other Young Scholars.

For more information: 2020 Esri Young Scholars Award

GIS Day 2019

GIS Day is an annual worldwide celebration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and community. GeoAwareness Week is an annual event highlighting the importance of geographic and spatial literacy and education. This year UBC Library, UBC Faculty of Forestry, and UBC Advanced Research Computing are organizing two events during GeoAwareness Week:

Introduction to R as a tool for mapping and spatial analysis – Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

This is a beginner-intermediate level of R workshop that introduces the use of R software for handling spatial data. We will discuss the advantage of R in displaying and analyzing the GIS objects (e.g., shapefile and raster), and demonstrate the basic statistical analysis through an example. Participants are required to bring their own laptops having R and R studio installed. Installation of several R packages (e.g., rgdal, sp, raster, and ggplot2) is also encouraged.

Workshop will be delivered by Hyeyoung Woo – Ph.D. candidate, Biometrics lab, Department of Forest Resources Management, The University of British Columbia.

Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Location: Presentation Room, Koerner Library, Room 552

Registration is required and seats are limited.

REGISTER FOR R WORKSHOP

GIS Day Presentations – Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

Please join us at UBC Library for this year’s GIS Day celebrations featuring several GIS- and map-related presentations, as well as a social gathering afterward at Koerner’s pub. Coffee and refreshments will be provided during the event, but lunch will be on your own.

Time: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, with social gathering @ Koerner’s Pub immediately after. A detailed program is below.

Location: Digital Scholarship Lab, Koerner Library, Room 497

Registration is encouraged and appreciated, but not required, and registrants are free to come for portions of the day as their schedules permit. Communications about the event will be sent via email, so stay tuned for more information leading up to the day. Coffee and refreshments will be served.

REGISTER FOR GIS DAY

Full GIS Day Program

9:00 am – 9:30 am

Coffee and Refreshments

9:30 am – 9:40 am

Welcome

9:40 am – 10:30 am

Keynote Presentation
Mapping Is Not Enough: Native-Land.ca and the need for community engagement.

Victor Temprano – Founder of Native-Land.ca and CEO of Mapster

Native-Land.ca, the popular website mapping Indigenous lands, has stimulated conversations and provided open information about traditional territories for over four years now. Yet, we feel we are still at the beginning of our project. The non-profit now running the site has a clear directive: make the site one that is by Indigenous people rather than about Indigenous people. While mapping has proved a powerful tool to engage the public in much-needed conversations about land, this talk will largely focus on Native Land’s plans as we continue to grow.

10:30 am – 10:40 am

Break

10:40 am – 11:10 am

Map-based Research Data Discovery: The Geodisy Project

Paul Dante – Software Developer, UBC Library

Mark Goodwin – Metadata Coordinator, UBC Library

With increasing demand for geographic components in research, there is an opportunity for research data repositories to provide alternatives to text-based searching. The goal of the CANARIE-funded Geodisy project is to create an extensible open-source software method to discover Canadian geospatial research data using a map interface. In this session, we will share the project design and our progress toward normalizing various metadata sources into discoverable geospatial metadata.

11:10 am – 11:40 am

Vancouver Green Bus Atlas

Agatha Czekajlo – MSc Student, Integrated Remote Sensing Studio, UBC Faculty of Forestry

The Vancouver Green Bus Atlas, UBC’s 2019 Esri Canada GIS Scholarship winning project, classifies the amount of trees lining Vancouver’s bus routes. Using Google street-view imagery, the level of tree greenness portrays what we experience day-to-day. Bus routes were ranked according to their overall (median) greenness and its variability (standard deviation). Providing commuters with greener views can benefit their well-being and encourage continued use, thus helping reduce carbon emissions and reach sustainability goals.

11:40 am – 1:00 pm

Lunch on your own

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Mapping urban trees with deep learning and street-level imagery – a story of geospatial open source software

Stefanie Lumnitz – MSc Candidate, UBC Faculty of Forestry

I believe that Geographical Information Science can greatly benefit from open source methods and developments in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision. In this talk I will demonstrate how we can map and classify urban trees from street-level imagery like Google Street View in order to support proactive and informed decision making for urban greenspace management. I will share lessons learned on the application of deep learning and open source software in GIS for urban forestry.

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Forget Points and Polygons: Let’s Talk Place

Bruce Muir – Senior Environmental Planner, West Moberly First Nations

This presentation introduces a study that uses a place-based approach to map the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of Indigenous hunters in northeast British Columbia relating to mineral deposits (licks). Traditional practices and the conventional approach of environmental management are juxtaposed to illustrate effectiveness. Preliminary findings suggest that the approach improves the depiction of TEK, including how spatial information and the interrelations are represented as points, lines, and polygons so that places are accurately mapped.

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Designing a Geographically Expressive Map for the Rockies

Jeff Clark – Principal and Map-making guy @ Clark Geomatics

In designing a map of one of the world’s most magnificent places I wanted to evoke a sense of awe of the wild landscape. To advance geographic interest in and awareness of these grand wilderness areas I decided to create a map that is attractive, tells a story and is geographically expressive. By focusing on visual clarity and precise communication of details to engage readers, it provides a sense of place. Having the map included in the NACIS Atlas of Design was a bonus.

2:30 pm – 2:40 pm

Break with Refreshments

2:40 pm – 3:10 pm

Turning old data into big data: a spatiotemporal history of ecosystem services across British Columbia

Ira Sutherland – PhD Student UBC Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences

Jeanine Rhemtulla – Assistant Professor, UBC Faculty of Forestry

Ecosystems contribute to human wellbeing through cultural experiences, the provision of food and timber, and the regulation of hydrological flows and climatic conditions. However, ecosystem services are dynamic and subject to declines and occasional collapses, especially on a rapidly changing planet. We aim to monitor the dynamics in multiple ecosystem services across all of British Columbia over the past 100 years. Our compilation and analysis of historical data will offer insight into how management and policy approaches have increased and, in other cases, destabilized ecosystem services throughout the history of British Columbia.

3:10 pm – 3:40 pm

Digitization in Context: Map digitization at the City of Vancouver Archives

Sharon Walz – Digital Archivist, City of Vancouver Archives

Digital Archivist Sharon Walz discusses the City of Vancouver Archives’ ongoing digitization efforts, with specific reference to the institution’s cartographic holdings and the challenges and opportunities that can arise at the interface between archival practice and non-traditional uses.

3:40 pm – 3:50 pm

Break

3:50 pm – 4:20 pm

Designing a geospatial pedagogy for the Anthropocene: Bridging landscape architecture and geography through GIS

Douglas Robb – PhD Candidate, UBC Geography

David Zielnicki – Instructor, UBC School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture

Geography and Landscape Architecture share a longstanding
history through Geospatial Information Systems (GIS). However, this history often overlooked in design and cartographic education. Our presentation reflects upon the disciplines’ shared commitment to GIS theory and practice through the lens of a single course taught by two instructors (one a landscape architect, the other a geographer). We argue this fundamental, but undertheorized relationship merits deeper consideration in the context of climate change and the Anthropocene.

4:20 pm – 4:50 pm

Reproducible geo-spatial analysis based on census and other Canadian data

Jens von Bergmann – MountainMath Software and Analytics

We showcase reproducible workflows to access and analyze Canadian census and other geospatial data using open source packages in R. Canada’s high-quality fine-geography census data offers opportunity for interesting data analysis, but also presents challenges. This talk walks through an example analysis, where we pull in multi-year census data, make it comparable through time, run an analysis, and deal with problems like spatial autocorrelation as they come up.

4:50 pm –

Social Gathering at Koerner’s Pub

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For more information please contact Evan Thornberry (evan.thornberry[at]ubc.ca).

Esri Canada GIS Scholarship 2019 Winner: Agatha Czekajlo

This year’s winner of the Esri Canada GIS Scholarship is Agatha Czekajlo, an MSc student in the Integrated Remote Sensing Studio (Forest Resources Management Department, Faculty of Forestry, UBC). Her submission, the Vancouver Green Bus Atlas, classifies popular city bus routes according to their greenness – a measure that Agatha argues has positive impacts on riders’ well-being.

The Vancouver Green Bus Atlas uses Google Street View imagery as a source for street tree locations along popular Vancouver bus routes. Google Street View, Agatha believes, provides a more relatable measure of street-level greenness than aerial or satellite imagery-derived data because it more closely reflects what riders at street-level actually see.


VIEW THE FULL SUBMISSION



Agatha was asked to reflect on her project and write a short summary of her work and inspiration. Here is what she had to say:

My ESRI Canada GIS Scholarship project entitled Vancouver Green Bus Atlas compares the amount of trees, and their distribution, along each Vancouver bus route. As someone who’s commuted up to 3 hours a day to UBC during my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I’ve had my fair share of transit experiences. While having a choice between several buses I found that I often enjoyed the routes that took longer but had more trees and greenery to see along the way. In literature, transit experiences are typically summarized using objective measures of accessibility and rarely investigate the overall experience. I thought it’d be interesting to investigate the difference in Vancouver bus greenness using recent Google street-view imagery to calculate the fraction of trees along each route. My assumption is that if routes have more trees, and are therefore greener, riders will have a more positive experience and will be more likely to take that route again. Showing which bus routes are more or less green can help the City of Vancouver prioritize resources to encourage more transit use in order to meet sustainable goals, such as reducing carbon emissions by 2050.

Ultimately I wanted to make sure the graphics I created were easy to understand, yet effectively explored the diversity of greenness along bus routes. For the spatial analysis I performed several data filtering and spatial statistics functions in ArcMap, such as Generate Points Along Line, Split Line at Point, Spatial Join, and Field Calculator. I chose to showcase bus route greenness using two maps. Firstly, the greenness spectrum map broadly illustrates how green each bus route is by showing the median tree fraction. The greenness matrix map, which shows the standard deviation of tree fractions in relation to the median tree fraction for each route, indicates the route’s level and variability of greenness. I also included more detailed maps of three routes, the #49, #99, and #10, which represent the most, average, and least green routes in Vancouver.

What I found most surprising was that the greenest bus route is the #49, one of the busiest in Vancouver. Coincidently this is also a route I would occasionally take home and enjoy. I think my results indicate that having greener bus routes, even busy ones, is possible in Vancouver, and investing in more trees along bus routes will benefit commuters as well as all Greater Vancouver citizens.


Esri Canada’s annual GIS Scholarship aims to support multidisciplinary studies with a focus on GIS at UBC. The scholarship awards a currently enrolled student with several prizes with the hopes to support them as they continue their studies as well as while they consider their post-graduate and career paths. Several dedicated student scholarship submissions are ranked annually according to several aspects of GIS and cartography including clarity, innovation, and graphic presentation. Congratulations to Agatha for her winning submission!

Esri Scholarships – 2019 (Deadline: March 22)

Submissions are open for two scholarships offered by Esri Canada

Esri Canada’s annual GIS Scholarhsip

Award recipients receive $2000, ArcGIS software, books, and training and networking opportunites.
More info: Esri Canada GIS Scholarship 2019

2019 International Esri Young Scholars Award

Applications are due March 22. The Esri Young Scholars Award program was launched in 2012 to recognize the exemplary work in geospatial sciences of undergraduate and graduate students at universities around the world. It is offered by Esri in cooperation with its international distributors. Any full-time student or recent graduate from an undergraduate or graduate program at a Canadian college or university who has completed a project or research using Esri technology are eligible to apply. The award includes registration, transportation costs, hotel and per diem to attend the Esri User Conference and Education Summit @ Esri UC in San Diego where the Young Scholars display their work and interact with other Young Scholars.
More info: 2019 Esri Young Scholars Award announcement and FAQ

For more information about Esri’s scholarships, visit: scholars.esri.ca.