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Love Spatial Data + GIS? This is the conference for you! After 2 years of going virtual, we’ve decided to bring back our full conference!

Our conference is open to everyone. We have content on cartography and Geographic Information Systems, along with complementary topics such as data analytics, conservation and more!

Tues Oct 18
7:30 AM – 5:00 PM CDT

Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park
1405 Saint Matthews Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3G 0K5

Keynote Speaker:

Qiusheng Wu –University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dr. Qiusheng Wu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research interests include Geographic Information Science (GIS), remote sensing, and open-source software development. Dr. Wu is an advocate of open science and reproducible research. He has developed several open-source packages that have been widely used by the geospatial community (e.g., geemap, leafmap, geospatial). More information about his research can be found at https://wetlands.io.

Presentation: –Cloud Computing and Interactive Mapping with Earth Engine and Geemap

Google Earth Engine (GEE) is a free cloud computing platform with a multi-petabyte catalog of satellite imagery and geospatial datasets. During the past few years, GEE has become very popular in the geospatial community and it has been used for numerous environmental applications at local, regional, and global scales. Built upon the Earth Engine Python API and open-source packages, geemap enables users to analyze and visualize Earth Engine datasets interactively within a Jupyter-based environment. The presentation will introduce Earth Engine and highlight the key features of geemap for cloud computing and interactive mapping. The presentation will also give a sneak peek of the upcoming book titled “Geospatial Data Science with Earth Engine and Geemap”.


Featured Speakers:


Brian MillerCity of Winnipeg – Winnipeg Transit

Brian is a Transit Planner Assistant with Winnipeg Transit, providing GIS and data analysis support to Transit’s planning department. He holds a GIS diploma from Red River College, and a Masters of Science in Soil Science from UM, focused on remote measurements of soil moisture. Previous to joining Transit in 2019, he spent several years teaching GIS at the University of Manitoba in the department of Geography, as both teaching assistant and instructor.

Presentation: Open Ridership Data from Automated Passenger Counters
Winnipeg Transit is launching new open ridership data. About 20% of Transit’s fleet is equipped with automated passenger counters (APC), which count boardings and alightings at each sampled stop. Internally, transit uses the data from these counters for a variety of planning and scheduling purposes. This presentation will go over the data collection process and what’s available in the open data portal


Dean Hintz – Safe Software

Dean is a Senior Analyst for Safe Software, Canada. He designs and prototypes data architectures and applications based on the FME’s spatial data transformation platform. His focus areas include standards based formats and services such as XML, OGC web services and more. The core of his work often involves building complex data models and integration / automation systems across diverse components.


Dean is an active participant in open standards initiatives such as OGC, EU INSPIRE and Building Smart, and has presented at many international conferences around the world. He has also published academic journals ranging in topics from disaster management to open standards to GeoBIM. Dean has more than 20 years of experience in Geographic Information Systems and spatial data applications. His early work included development of an oce
an mapping and imaging system and work with community and resource planners to develop strategic planning, land use development impact evaluation and visualization applications.

Presentation: Flood and Landslide Impact Components for the OGC 2021 Disaster Pilot using FME

The impact of natural disasters is only growing in a world increasingly impacted by climate change. Open standards are one of the keys to providing tools and data to meet this challenge. Safe Software was an active participant in the Open Geospatial Consortium’s (OGC) 2021 Disaster Pilot and provided several critical components to support data extraction, transformation, integration, and automation. This presentation will review the components that Safe provided using the FME platform, including examples across the data value chain from extracting source data through building analysis-ready data to driving indicators and publishing results to the cloud. In particular, we focused on flood scenarios in Manitoba and BC and landslides in BC. We will also review how the FME tools interacted with other components via OGC standards.


Sean FreyParks Canada

Sean has worked for Parks Canada for over 30 years and the majority of that time as a geomatics specialist. From a young age, he has loved all things map-related and enjoys sharing spatial ideas with others.

Presentation: Wildlife Observations Systems and 50 Reasons to use iNaturalist Show the evolution of wildlife observation systems within Parks Canada Identify 50 reasons to use iNaturalist.ca


Grant WisemanStantec


Grant Wiseman is Stantec’s Remote Sensing Technology Manager with 21 years of environmental research experience. Grant obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from the University of Winnipeg in 2001 and a Master of Science degree from the University of Manitoba in 2007. He began his career with Manitoba Conservation from 1999-2006 working on the Protected Areas Initiative and a Canadian Forest Service land-use mapping project with the Manitoba Remote Sensing Centre. Working as a Remote Sensing Analyst with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Grant’s earth observation work is focused on developing new geomatic techniques for sustainable resource management in collaborative projects with the Canadian Space Agency, the United States Department of Agriculture and NASA. He possesses an extensive background in geomatics, having worked on a variety of regional, national and international projects with the Canadian International Development Agency in Indonesia, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Paraguay. He also holds a research associate position with the Centre for Earth Observation Science of the University of Manitoba and was president of the Manitoba GIS Users Group from 2008-2010. Mr. Wiseman has been with Stantec since December 2013 working on a wide range of C-band and L-Band fully polarimetric SAR and Interferomic SAR (InSAR) projects. George is the Stantec’s remote sensing Subject Matter Expert (SME) and is the Global Technical Leader of Stantec’s Remote Sensing Center of Excellence.

Presentation: GlobeWATCH: World Leading Remote Sensing Technology

Stantec’s Remote Sensing experts have developed GlobeWATCH, a suite of the best available earth observation technologies designed to improve data quality, increase coverage, and expedite frequency while reducing project costs and decreasing health and safety risks. GlobeWATCH delivers reliable innovative solutions by applying our vast experience and knowledge working with visible, near-infrared, shortwave infrared, thermal infrared, active and passive RADAR imagery as well as LiDAR and bathymetric datasets. Our analysts use remotely sensed data from UAVs, planes, helicopters, ships/boats, satellites, and the International Space Station (ISS). Our remote sensing team collaborates with environmental specialists to offer our clients new ways to detect, monitor, scan, and identify changes in the environment around the world.


Masha KardashevskayaRESOLVE

Masha Kardashevskaya is a research associate at RESOLVE, University of Manitoba.

Presentation: Assessing the accessibility of GBV-related services to rural areas of the prairie provinces in Canada.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a prevalent form of gender-based violence and can include multiple forms of harm caused by a current or former intimate partner or spouse ( WAGE,2021 ), including physical abuse, emotional /psychological abuse, sexual violence, criminal harassment (stalking), financial/economic abuse, spiritual abuse, coercive control, and domestic homicide. Women living in rural areas face one of the highest levels of IPV in Canada. Police reports for 2018 indicate that IPV in rural areas is 1.8 higher than in urban areas (Burczyska, 2019). The rate of domestic homicide is also higher in rural areas when compared with urban areas (Dawson et al., 2018). Survivors of IPV face numerous barriers when help-seeking in rural areas that are associated with lack or limited availability of relevant resources, isolation, lack of accessible and affordable transportation, lack of childcare, responsibility for the family farm, livestock, and companion animals and other barriers. We have conducted qualitative research to understand the context and explore the barriers that rural women face when leaving abusive relationships and/or help-seeking. To better understand the barriers we have used an ArcGIS online. The presentation is based on this experience of using ArcGIS online and the story map tool to explore and understand the barriers geo-spatially and visually in rural areas of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The databases were developed out of the environmental scan that we have developed as part of this study, data from DMTI, Statistics Canada, and widely available information on the internet.


Wayne LeemanRed River College Polytechnic

Wayne Leeman is an educator in the Civil Engineering Technology Department at Red River College Polytechnic. He has worked in this department as a part-time instructor and is now working there as a full-time instructor. In the past, he has worked as a Branch Director in the Manitoba Government in the surveying, mapping, and remote sensing fields. Wayne is a graduate engineer from the University of New Brunswick and a former Manitoba land surveyor. He is currently teaching courses in legal surveys, engineering economics, and probability and statistics.

Presentation: Geomatics Technology at Red River Collage Polytechnic

The Geomatics Technology Program at Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech) is changing. This program offers an education to students in the collection, processing, storage, analysis, management, and application of spatially-referenced data for improved decision-making. With the launch of the strategic plan 2022-2026, RRC Polytech is transforming to a polytechnic institute. From the perspective of the geomatics technology program, what does this mean? This presentation will speak to such matters as program renewal, blended learning, semesters, course-based registration, applied research, accreditation, recognition of prior learning, co-operative education, industry partnerships, micro-credentials, and the program advisory committee.


Chun-Chih WangUniversity of Manitoba Centre for Earth Observation Science

Chun-Chih (David) Wang is a postdoctoral fellow working with Prof. John Hanesiak at the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Earth Observation Science. He is a member of the Northern Tornadoes Project- an ambitious research project founded by the University of Western Ontario and ImpactWx in collaboration with the University of Manitoba that aims to record historical and present-day tornado events in Canada to the best degree. During Canada’s tornado season, which typically runs from May to September, David conducts quick-response tornado damage surveys with his colleague across the Canadian Prairies. During the offseason, he also works on observational and modeling studies of past significant Canadian tornado events to better understand the Canadian tornado climatology and mechanisms.

PresentationGIS Applications in Constructing the Canadian Severe Weather Database

Like the United States, Canada experiences a fair share of thunderstorm-related hazards during the summer months ranging from damaging winds, hail, flash floods, and even tornadoes. However, due to Canada’s vast landmass and low population density, many of these events went unreported and thus create gaps in the understanding of the true Canadian severe weather climatology. The Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) was launched in 2017 to better document the historical and future Canadian damaging wind and tornado events. Thus far, > 200 previously undocumented tornadoes since the early 1980s have been discovered by searching for tornado ground scars in the landcover satellite imagery and analyzed using GIS mapping. For modern-day events, different GIS applications were utilized in conjunction with social media reports during the planning, field operation, and post-event analysis stages of thunderstorm wind damage surveys. The result is a comprehensive list of > 1,000 events that have been investigated since the founding of NTP, detailing their cause (downburst vs. tornado), intensity, width, and track. The final data is made available to the public via an interactive webpage supported by the ArcGIS platform. The Northern Hail Project (NHP) was established in 2022 to study damaging hail events employing similar strategies and use of GIS software as in NTP. Thus far, > 60 severe hail (> 20 mm in diameter) events have been captured just this inaugural season. The data collected serves as the basis for developing a rating scale for hailstorms as a function of hail size, damaged material, and wind speed. Future database will incorporate flash flood events in Canada to gain further insights into the Canadian severe thunderstorm climatology.


Meredith BacolaUniversity of Manitoba

Meredith is an Assistant Professor in the Jesuit Centre for Catholic Studies, located within St Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba. Her research centres around the interdisciplinary sources that contribute to our understanding of saints in the early Middle Ages. One of her current research projects is to plot using ArcGIS technologies how changes to the landscape affected the development of the cults of saints Guthlac and Pega in the Fenland region of England.

Presentation: Remote Hermitage or Vibrant Community? Using ArcGIS to visualize the development of Crowland Abbey, Lincolnshire

The Anglo-Latin Vita Sancti Guthlaci by Felix explains that St Guthlac (ca.656-714) chose to seclude himself at Crowland for two reasons: he had been influenced by hearing tales of the Desert Fathers and Crowland was part of illius vastissimi heremi inculta loca called the Fens, uninhabitable because of demons and known to very few. While the first reason elucidates how hagiographical models could influence their monastic audience, the second may illuminate widespread perceptions of the fenland landscape. Reconsideration of Crowland’s historical topography will illuminate how this site was chosen for its border location, as a site for ascetic living, healing, and prophesy, encouraged by royal patrons and popular with the laity.
Felix was clearly interested in imitating contemporary exemplars and aligning his subject firmly within the tradition developing in Anglo-Saxon England in the seventh and eighth centuries. However, he was also interested in defining a local, Christianized landscape whose own transformation mirrored that of his subject. The intended audience of this text is charged not only to imitate St Guthlac through his own conversion experience, but to reconsider the Fens through the lens of his hagiographical topography. Indeed, the Benedictine community who re-appropriated the site after the mid-tenth century utilized Felix’s vita to endorse their ancient claims to a sanctified topography, delineating boundaries in light of competition, isolation, and the (twice) loss of their own carefully constructed history.
This presentation aims to explore, using GIS Story Map technologies, the correlations between land reclamation in the Fens and the success of St Guthlac’s cult. It will demonstrate how changes to boundaries, estate ownership, and church construction may be plotted in Story Maps to highlight the extent to which this Benedictine community at Crowland and its landscape remained intertwined from the eighth century through to its dissolution in the sixteenth century. 


Shawn Meng & Tony Viveiros– Government of Manitoba

Shawn is the Growth & Yield forester with Forestry & Peatlands Branch of Manitoba Natural Resources & Northern Development. His work is mainly focused on developing forest simulation models using conventional and non-conventional approaches.

Tony Viveiros is a GIS Professional (GISP) that has been working with GIS for about 25 years. Tony started with Manitoba’s Forestry and Peatlands Branch in 2008 after having worked with forest industry for 10 years. He has a Science Degree from the University of Toronto, a Certificate in GIS from the College of Geographic Sciences in Nova Scotia and a Masters in GIS from the University of Calgary. Tony is a former Board member of the Alberta Geomatics Group and a past President of the Manitoba GIS User Group.

Presentation– Piloting the Creation of Forest Inventories using Machine Learning

Forest inventories provide information on the location, composition and distribution of forest resources and are required for sustainable forest management. For decades, humans created the data that made up a forest inventory. That involved interpreting aerial photographs to delineate forest stand boundaries and recording forest attributes such as species composition, height and density. However, creating forest inventories this way is expensive and time-consuming. The Inventory and Analysis section of Manitoba Forestry initiated a pilot project to explore alternate approaches to developing forest inventories. Both k nearest neighbour and random forest modelling approaches were tested to predict forest inventory attributes such as species, age and height within some of Manitoba’s forested areas. By matching forest plot data collected from hundreds of ground sampling sites with predictor variablessuch as satellite imagery, elevation and climate variables, a series of imputed raster datasets representing forest attributes were generated. Geographic Information System (GIS) technology was then used to combine all imputed rasters and create a ‘Random Forest Inventory’ or RFI. This approach is still a work in progress; however, preliminary RFI results look promising and could reduce the time and cost taken to update forest inventories.


Andre Lederer – City of Winnipeg

Andre Lederer is a GIS Project Leader at the City of Winnipeg. Over his 32 year career he has been involved in many GIS Initiatives including: The provision of GIS support during the Flood of the Century (the last century LOL), to Winnipeg’s Emergency Operations Centre. Development of the CrimeStat and ServiceStat applications. Air photography administration.  The development of the City’s Spatial Data Infrastructure. Teaching GIS introductory and advanced classes to over 1800 city employees. Providing GIS support to all City of Winnipeg Departments. Andre’s latest project is the creation and propagation of the City’s first Linear Referencing System which is what he’ll be speaking on today.

Presentation-The City of Winnipeg’s Linear Referencing System

Andre will discuss the City’s road network history and adoption of a new LRS. He’ll look at some of the hurdles during development and finally the benefits of the new System.

Andre Lederer – City of Winnipeg


Steven Hills – MGUG Education Chair
Steven has been a GIS Instructor at Assiniboine Community College teaching geospatial technologies to GIS, Land & Water and Agriculture students since 2006. Prior to teaching he spent 19 years as a GIS Analyst & forester with industry and government agencies in 4 provinces. He is a GISP and recently completed his GeoEdC certification via the US-based GeoTech Center and the GISCI.

PresentationGeospatial Master: MGUG Education Initiative

Geospatial professionals can provide valuable assistance to schools, teachers and students as they learn to use and apply spatial and data analysis techniques to classroom studies and projects. MGUG has heard from educators that they’d like to be able to access potential speakers for classroom topics. The MGUG Education Committee is looking to provide a speaker service to secondary and post secondary faculty, students or student clubs. This presentation will outline the steps that the MGUG Education Committee is taking to develop this program to assist teachers in Manitoba.