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Carto 2005: Conference Report


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Below is the official report of this past July’s Canadian Cartographic Association / Association of Canadian Map Librarians annual conference:

CARTO 2005: Joint ACMLA and CCA Conference
July 26 - July 30, St. John’s
Conference Report

Prepared by Alberta Auringer Wood
Based on conference abstracts and reports by Colleen Beard (CB), Trudy Bodak (TB), Marc Cockburn (MC), Christine Cullingworth (CC), Wenonah Fraser (WF), Siobhan Hanratty (SH), Diana Hocking (DH), David Jones (DJ), Larry Laliberte (LL), Hugh Larimer (HL), Jennifer Marvin (JM), Susan Mowers (SM), Andrew Nicholson (AN), Roger Wheate (RW), and Barbara Znamirowski (BZ)

The preliminaries to the conference began on Tuesday morning with executive committee meetings and workshops. Three consecutive workshops were held in the Queen Elizabeth II Library of the hosting institution, Memorial University of Newfoundland. David Raymond gave one on AMap Production Using ArcGIS 9.x to start. After a coffee break, he was followed by Edith Punt who conducted one on Arc 9.2 Cartographic Enhancements for the next release. The rest of the afternoon after a lunch break was one on ADiscriminating and mapping of hydrologic features with ArcGIS and Arc Hydro presented by Andrew Millward.

Carto 2005 delegates were treated to Newfoundland's famous hospitality at the joint ACMLA/CCA Ice breaker Reception held at St. John's historic Newman Wine Vaults. This cozy setting created by the stone and brick confines of the wine vaults was an unusual, but excellent, space for association members to catch-up with one another and to meet new people. The generous amounts of seafood available at the occasion also added to the cheerful atmosphere of the reception. The event was sponsored by the Queen Elizabeth II Library, and University Librarian Richard H. Ellis welcomed Carto 2055 attendees on behalf of Memorial University. Mr. Ellis also took the opportunity to publicly thank and commend Alberta Auringer Wood, on the eve of her retirement, for her many years of service to the library community. The joint ACMLA/CCA Ice Breaker Reception was a great success and served to kickoff the conference in a congenial and hospitable fashion. Many thanks from the members ACMLA and CCA to the Queen Elizabeth II Library administration for sponsoring the reception and to Dan Duda and his local arrangement committee for organizing the event. (MC)

The venue for the remainder of the conference sessions was the Music Building on campus. The Plenary Session was held in Petro Canada Hall, the recently opened addition to the structure. Current CCA President, Christine Earl, introduced Dr. Henry Castner, one of the eight founding members of the Canadian Cartographic Association (CCA) when it was born in 1975, officially opened CARTO 2005 with his address on “Those Unfranchised Cartographers: 30 Years Later”. Dr. Castner began by reviewing the beginnings and history of CCA. From its creation, CCA was to improve communication among cartographers, including research. One of the driving motivations was to include in the new organization the many a) “unfranchised cartographers” b) people with interests in maps and mapping who were not comfortable in the larger, primarily surveying oriented, cartographic organizations at that time. By structuring itself based on interest groups, CCA announced its willingness for these people to join and to cater to their interests. Today, thirty years later, Dr. Castner identified groups of “unfranchised cartographers” to whom CCA should be reaching out, such as Quebec francophones, government cartographers, theoretical cartographers, and children under the age of sixteen. (TB)

There was a coffee break followed by the first atlas session chaired by Diane Lacasse. Claire Gosson (Natural Resources Canada) noted that the first national atlas in the world was published by Finland while Canada’s was the second. The Atlas of Canada will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2006. During the past years, it has supplied authoritative, current and accessible geographic information products at a national level. It was published for the first several editions in book form (1906, 1915, and 1957), the latter in particular being of extra large format allowing use of a scale of 1;5 000 000 and containing many more maps. From 1969 to 1974, both a separate sheet format and bound volume format were used with map scales varying from 1:15 000 000 to 1:7 500 000. From 1978 to 1995, 93 separate sheets were issued using a main map at a scale of 1:7 500 000, while currently for the 6th edition, it is issued both as separate sheets and accessible interactively via the web. The Internet will continue to be a major focus for the atlas publication.

Claire was followed by Steven Fick (the chief cartographer at Canadian Geographic), who discussed both the print and the online editions of the Canadian Atlas. Both products have been released by Canadian Geographic to coincide with the magazine’s 75th Anniversary. Mr. Fick began his talk by looking at the development of the print atlas. Although discussed for many years, Canadian Geographic had difficulty finding the appropriate partner for the project. After rejecting a number of different groups, Canadian Geographic eventually chose to work with Reader’s Digest on the atlas. With Reader’s Digest circulation reaching 4 million Canadian readers and Canadian Geographic’s renown for presenting geographic information in an engaging manner, both parties felt that they could form a true co-production and deliver an excellent atlas. The marketing opportunities offered by Reader’s Digest were also very attractive for Canadian Geographic. From a cartographic perspective, it was decided early on that the atlas should adopt an regional eco-zone approach to organizing the atlas, have a focus on urban Canada, and be highly visual, including use of photography. MapArt was also recruited to provide the reference maps. The publication of the Canadian Atlas has been a tremendous success, with the first print run selling out in just a few weeks. The second part of Mr. Fick’s presentation focused on the release of the Canadian Atlas Online. For this product, Canadian Geographic turned to DBx Geomatics from Gatineau Quebec for assistance. Many of the features of Canadian Atlas Online include improved cartographic design, sophisticated web functionality, multimedia components, educational resources, and expandability options. In a future phase, 1:50,000 scale maps will be shown along with postal code data, more games, and more thematic content. The Online atlas project is also looking for new partners and talks are currently taking place with Statistics Canada. (AN)

Brian Eddy (Carleton University) spoke next on the “Cybercartographic Atlas of Canada’s Trade with the World: A Progress Report on Research and Development.” The concept of Cybercartography embodies the theory and practice of cartography in the emerging information era. It is primarily oriented toward teaching. Its main elements involve incorporating multiplicity of scale, multi-media and multi-thematic content, a diversity of delivery modalities, user interfaces and user contexts. It is expected that a prototype will soon be available with updates to be provided via their website. The launch of the atlas is expected in December 2006.

The morning session concluded with “For Future Generations: Mapping Indigenous Knowledge in Support of the Whitefeather Forest Initiative” presented by Andrew Chapeskie (co-authored with Alex Peters). In his presentation on the mapping of indigenous knowledge, Mr. Chapeskie (President of Taiga Institute) focused on the work being conducted as part of the Whitefeather Forest Initiative (based in Northwestern Ontario). Led by the Pikangikum First Nation, this initiative has played a valuable role in moving the First Nation into the 21st century, while maintaining traditional values. For example, the First Nation began their “Forest Initiative” strategy by incorporating the Elders’ indigenous knowledge and traditions into the data collection process. The end product included the mapping of First Nation cultural and ecological sites of importance, both today and many generations ago. Moreover, native pictographs also appear on the maps. With such knowledge, the Pikangikum First Nation will be able to take advantage of economic opportunities such as eco-tourism; while at the same time maintaining and preserving traditional knowledge, practices, and the environmental sustainability of First Nation lands. (AN)

Dr. Robert (Bob ) O’Neil of NRCanada was the featured speaker after a typical Newfoundland lunch of cod and potatoes, held at the University Club at Memorial University and sponsored by several organizations. Dr. O’Neil’s talk centred on the Atlas of Canada, which aims to provide a consistent federal government view of Canadian issues for Canadians. The Atlas, which is celebrating its 100th birthday next year, not only provides basic information for the casual user, but also complex data for the academic community. It includes the latest in visualization technology, and users may interact with available data and access data sources. The sixth edition takes advantage of the strengths of mapping on the Internet and continuous updating and linking to other data sources. It was an informative and interesting presentation. (HL)

The atlas session reconvened at 1:30 pm for a second part with three speakers rather than the originally planned two. Ed Light (Service Nova Scotia) described the GeoNOVA portal website, gateway to Nova Scotia's geographic information, its roots in the hardcopy atlas. In addition to base data, it includes, for example, dynamic links to 2003 election results. Peter Paul (Atlas of Canada) then outlined the continuing need for small-scale base map data for the “big picture” versus the details seen at larger scale: relative versus absolute accuracy, federal versus provincial, blanket versus quilt. He called it “binoculars in a world of microscopes.” Cameron Wilson (NRCan) introduced as the “father of geogratis,” closed the session ranging from a 1890 lithographic press to current spatial data infrastructures, in the production of national atlases. (RW)

Following the completion of the Atlas Sessions, Steven Fick introduced us to some of the fascinating history of the Canadian Geographic magazine which is celebrating its 75th anniversary year. The Royal Canadian Geographical Society was founded in 1929 by Charles Camsell, northern geologist and cartographer, and 27 other Canadian geophiles. The Society’s first publication was called the Canadian Geographical Journal and began publication in May 1930. The journal originally had an Anglo/colonial focus, reflecting its contemporary society. Articles and production were society-based with few, if any, professional staff. It developed a reputation, particularly in the 1950=s, for its strong coverage of the north, but also, similar to National Geographic, featured articles on Africa and other exotic locations. In the 1980’s it incorporated more colour illustration and evolved toward a more professional staff; now most articles are by professional writers. Maps are produced by cartographers and the publication has benefitted from developments in cartography. It used to cost over $4,000 per issue to produce maps when working with film and scribing. Now, electronic techniques have greatly lowered costs and allowed an increased amount of cartographic content. Canadian Geographic has a wide range of readers, both lay and professional and a high number of readers per copy with often several people in the same household reading the issue. Steven also illustrated the growth of the GeoMap, a frequent cartographic feature which has grown over the years from a half-page image to a two-page spread. He also introduced some of the related products, such as the print and online atlases produced by Canadian Geographic, independently or in association with other publishers or organizations. (DJ)

After the coffee break, the final session of the afternoon facilitated by Trudy Bodak was on: “Metadata Standards: Why we need them and how we get there.” Our speakers represented three perspectives: academic teaching, academic libraries, and national initiatives sponsored by federal government. Sally Hermansen, (University of British Columbia) divided her talk into two parts: “How we teach metadata” and “How we use metadata for student research projects.” She described a typical approach to teaching introductory GIS courses, and how metadata fits into this process. Students begin by learning to recognize the key features of spatial data and attribute data, including coordinate systems, datums, projections, raster and vector file models, resolution including scale and pixel size, spatial and logical consistency of data, as well as forms of analysis and display, age of data and data reliability. In follow-up assignments students use a standard set of questions regarding data features to assess the appropriateness of data sets for their research projects. Hermansen noted that whereas cartographers once saw metadata as the source information which one then puts on a map, new digital technologies provide other options for packaging and presenting metadata. For example, metadata may come as a supporting text file, appear on a data producer’s web site, or come bundled with spatial files. In using diverse data sets students learn to distinguish between key federal, provincial and commercial data sources and to recognize the extent to which metadata can vary in quality, appearance and reliability. Hermansen concluded by stressing that educators must encourage data providers to provide quality metadata, and teach students to be critical of map web sites in which data sets are not attributed. Our next speaker, Grace Welch (Library Network, University of Ottawa) provided a brief overview of the evolution of geospatial data information management issues. In the 1990’s, libraries were “data poor:” often accepting whatever data were available, and as a result experiencing the consequences of sketchy or non-existent metadata. Since then, considerable energy has been spent on negotiating data partnerships and data agreements, resulting in the widespread growth of data library collections and data services. In organizing data collections, libraries have become aware of the critical need for better metadata and its essential role in providing services to users. Libraries have worked closely with national committees and stakeholders to adopt metadata standards. Since 2000 we have seen several important achievements: the adoption of FGDC as the Canadian standard for metadata, the emergence of web-based discovery portals for data and metadata, and the inclusion of metadata creation modules in leading GIS software (e.g. ArcCatalog). Welch stressed, however, that we still face many challenges. Welch concluded with several recommendations: that we increase dialogue between various communities, that the production of metadata be implicit in data information management strategies, that we provide more training and support mechanisms to encourage metadata production, that we reward the creation of good metadata in a standardized format, that we identify ways to share workload and expertise, and that we establish a national academic portal to facilitate sharing of metadata and data discovery. The final speaker was Cameron Wilson (GeoConnections) who stressed the importance of considering the relevance of metadata, and suggested that the traditional definition of metadata as “data about data” is too narrow. A broader definition (b): data about data and services. (b) is more appropriate, given new technologies and web-based services. Metadata is required for such services as web map services, catalogue services, web feature services, and geo-data discovery services. Wilson described how the GeoConnections Discovery Portal can link us to data, organizations and services provided by Canadian and international organizations. Natural Resources Canada has offered workshops in metadata creation and these have been attended by a broad range of data producers including representatives from provincial governments. He concluded by stressing that we must continue to work cooperatively: developing partnerships, monitoring the needs of our users, and connecting data suppliers with users. A brief question and answer period followed. It was commented that as a last session of the day, the speakers had definitely made what could be “a boring session interesting!” But although our progress has been significant, it is also clear that we still face considerable challenges. Several members of the audience reiterated the need for more training. It was also noted that we need clear policies on how to capture or treat “legacy,” “lost” and “dead end” data sets that are often accompanied by no or relatively unusable metadata. Perhaps a slide point introduced by Grace Welch provided the day’s most fitting conclusion: “[We wish to] work toward a future when we can stop talking about metadata and just do it!” (BZ)

Late afternoon saw a meeting of the Bibliographic Control Committee which will be reported in full elsewhere. It included discussion on the status of reporting catalogued map records to the Library and Archives Canada for inclusion in Amicus, as well as plans for future cataloguing workshops.

A bit later in the afternoon and into the evening was The Ninth Nearly-Annual CCA/ACMLA Orienteering Event at Bowring Park. Diana Hocking was the organizer and reported that it was the most relaxing one for her. The map already existed, and the local club course planner, Nolan White, also provided both maps and controls. All she had to do was enjoy a peaceful outing with assistant Jean McKendry to hang some controls and wait for competitors to arrive. Unfortunately, due to many programming delays during the day, several who had signed up did not make it to the park. But those who did, made it worthwhile. The clear winner, Tim Wykes, was most deserving of the honour. Last year, he made the orienteering map while also a major conference organizer, and the year before at Royal Roads he had not really got the hang of the sport at all. He had obviously been secretly practicing! Runners-up, Rick Gray and Paul Heersink, were some way behind. John Fowler needs a watch next time, so he will not throw away the great prizes by coming in late. Sally Hermansen, this time with CCA President Christine Earl, proved again that choosing the right running mate nets you Top Female every time. Henry Castner made a great score, for an old-timer. And Trish Connor won the Good Sport award for low score. Edie Punt and Lori King were Top Rookies, both eager to do even better next year. A special mention should go to Alun Hughes and family who were merely walking in the park, and took a map unofficially, successfully finding many controls. We’ll expect great things from them all next year. Many thanks to Nolan for all his work and to David Mercer for making the arrangements. (DH)

Thursday morning the attendees reconvened in the Music Building to begin with a session on Data Archiving. Facilitator Anna Jasiak introduced the session, affirming the need for data archiving, without which today's data will unavailable for future re-use or replication. This session is a follow-up on Wendy Watkins=s Carto 2001 presentation on data archiving. The first presenter, David Brown (Library and Archives Canada), spoke on “The Management and Preservation of Geospatial Data,” which was based on his report co-authoured with Grace Welch for the GeoConnections Policy Advisory Node. He noted the case for government archiving of geospatial data: the importance both of temporal analysis, not just current analysis, and that of the Canadian geomatics industry, having $1.5 billion revenue in 2000 according to a Statistics Canada survey in 2000. He presented a continuum of custodial data management standards and practices, noting that database backups are not a long-term preservation strategy. Although no single solution exists for a government data management framework, Mr. Brown argued that the requirements for a solution are clear: cost-effectiveness, preservation (addressing, e.g., technology obsolescence) and metadata, identified core business data products, and accountability. Putting rules in place to meet these archiving requirements will be the key. The second presenter, Christine Cullingworth (University of Winnipeg) talked about “Issues Surrounding the Archiving of Geospatial Data,” and was a research contributor to the report for the GeoConnections Policy Advisory Node. She highlighted GeoConnections’ achievements in furthering development of policies and practices, and particularly CGDI’s role in providing an underlying foundation with which to share applications, services and data, and noting the CGDI Developers Corner. Ms. Cullingworth provided an overview of distribution issues: intellectual property rights and restrictions and security and confidentiality, and custodianship issues including ongoing access issues, and the growing potential of open source and standards, and the need for innovations such as metadata crosswalks. The third presenter, Jean-Pierre Lemieux (NRCan, Centre for Topographic Information Sherbrooke or CTIS), spoke on “Archiving of NRCan Geospatial Data.” NRCan is maintaining Terabytes, and soon Petabytes (a petabyte is is equal to 1,024 terabytes or 2 to the 50th power (1,125,899,906,842,624) bytes) of Geospatial Data distributed through the NTDB, GeoGratis, Toporama and GeoBase portals@. Mr. Lemieux began by describing NRCan’s three types of license. Currently, Mr. Lemieux explained, some 93 servers house CTIS’s data, with active storage in the Terabytes (RAID), and some 75 Terabytes on tape. With this in mind, while users are demanding access to larger and larger amounts of data, Mr. Lemieux advocated downloading on an as-need basis. NRCan manages their datasets in terms of editions and versions, e.g., NTDB 3.2 is edition 3, version 2. A new edition represents a reprocessing of all data product files, and major data changes. A new version represents discrepancy corrections and updates, to some product files. Metadata files are attached to each edition and version of a dataset, and are archived along with the datasets. The fourth presenter, Gaetan Drolet (DLI/StatsCan) gave “Gone Today, but Here Tomorrow? Canada's National Data Archive: Update on an over optimistic Outlook from CARTO 2001.” This paper was written by Wendy Watkins and Ernie Boyko. Wendy Watkins presented the original paper in 2001. Mr. Drolet recapped the National Data Archive consultation process explaining that phase two of the process saw a loss of momentum, with a change in key players and the lack of a lead player. Nonetheless, he argued that the glass is nearly half full. New developments since 2001 include two major reports, National Consultation on Access to Scientific Research Data (NCASRD) March, 2005 (key partners, NRC, CFI, CIHR) and Archiving, Management and Preservation of Geospatial Data: Summary Report and Recommendations (GeoConnections Policy Advisory Node: Working Group on Archiving and Preserving Geospatial Data) (Brown, Welch and Cullingworth) February 2005 (see publications, key documents). In addition, he identified other progress made since 2001, such as more mainstream metadata standards, and several metadata template tools. On an individual level, we must work proactively, adopting the standards, preserving our unique collections, sharing data (for which the mechanisms have improved) and workload, and being involved in lobbying for a National. (SM)

This was followed by the CCA annual general meeting and a session chaired by Cathy Moulder focusing on topics primarily of interest to map librarians. Cathy Moulder (McMaster), Colleen Beard (Brock), and Andrew Nicholson (University of Toronto, Mississauga) presented what they felt were three of the more interesting things that they learned at the Map and Geographic Information Collections in Transition conference held in Washington DC in May of this year. They reported that 150 people were in attendance, including seven Canadians. Cathy discussed changes in the US data culture concerning access to geospatial data. Until recently, Canadian librarians have looked at their American counterparts with envy as they enjoyed free and uninhibited access to government produced geospatial data. Changes in legislation since 9/11 and privatization has allowed the U.S. government to partner with commercial bodies resulting in the creation of value added data complete with a price tag and restrictive licensing clauses. American librarians are newly embarking upon consortial and lobbying strategies that their Canadian colleagues have long since become well versed in to combat this shift. Colleen discussed a presentation concerning digitization of analog collections. This topic is important for several reasons, specifically preservation, provision of remote access, and sharing unique collections through co-operative projects. Colleen related what she learned to how Brock is embarking upon a digitization project of their historical maps. Andrew reviewed the concerns expressed in Washington about archiving government geospatial data. Many US government agencies are now including archiving in their long term mission statements and planning documents. There was a recognition expressed for the need for support from the map and GIS librarian communities in this endeavour. Budget constraints, preservation, and storage were cited as the major impediments. Anne Draper, Chief, Government Documents Cataloguing Section of Library and Archives Canada, provided an overview of the structure and initiatives of the newly formed agency. Anne focused on the impact of the merger on the selection, legal deposit, acquisitions, and cataloguing in AMICUS of cartographic materials. She informed the group that during summer 2004, published cartographic materials have been catalogued in AMICUS. These materials will become part of the depository system in 2007. Unpublished maps and geospatial data will not be included in these initiatives, but will continue to be under the jurisdiction of the Geomatics division of LAC. (JM)

After this session and fortified by box lunches, Alberta Auringer Wood led a group of 12 intrepid map librarians via taxies on a tour to The Rooms, the newly opened archives, gallery, and museum of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Meeting our tour guide in the multi-storey atrium at the entrance of the striking building set on the heights of Fort Townshend with a magnificent view of the downtown and harbour entrance, we had a general, twenty minute tour of the building which provided us with an introduction and locations of galleries. We were then transferred to Melanie Tucker and Greg Walsh of the Archives Division who gave a brief welcome to the facility in the spacious reading room. They described the services that they offer to researchers, as well as equipment that was available. There is a separately enclosed room for microform readers, two computers for Internet access, electrical outlets for notebook computers, and an extra-large table for use with maps. The storage vaults which allow all their maps to be housed in the building were visited, though not by their oversize elevator which they use to move materials between the floors. Greg demonstrated the use of their electrically-powered “shelf picker” with the moveable compact storage shelves which hold map cases as well as 5 shelves of boxes for rolled maps and extend to a height of about 12 feet.

In the intervening time, several demonstrations were held in the Music Building. Patricia Connor (University of Western Ontario) and co-authored by Sean Irwin and Iris Gutmanis demonstrated I-MAP SWO. This freeware is the product of a joint venture between the Geography Dept. at Western, Patricia Connor (cartographer, geographer), Sean Irwin (programmer) and Iris Gutmanis (epidemiologist). The product was demonstrated so that attendees could determine if it has a useful role to play for teaching or research purposes in their workplaces. It is an easy-to-use desktop application suitable for either Mac or PC computers. I-Map SWO (southwestern Ontario) was designed in response to SWO epidemiologists and health planners with small budgets (and little expertise in GIS or custom drawing packages like Illustrator or CorelDraw) looking for a product to create base maps and visualize health data using various classification systems and methodologies on maps. Since communicating this information to the public is an important role for this group, they also made it their objective to develop a product where the output would remain crisp for reports (i.e., the capability to render postscript images, not just jpegs). Christine Earl (Carleton University) gave a demonstration on Geomatics at Carleton University. This summarized the program and courses available, as well as proposals for the future. Plans are to eventually offer courses that will lead to an Honours B.A. or B.Sc. in Geomatics which will give the program and the course offerings greater visibility and identity. Patty Zhao (Atlas of Canada) presented a short introduction to Mapping Snow in the Atlas of Canada. On the website are three maps on snow cover. Map subjects included are: the median start date, median end date of continuous snow cover, and average maximum snow depth. She also covered data problems, major steps converting the point data to a contour map, and some technical issues encountered during the conversion process. Xiuxia Liu (Carleton University) presented a demonstration on Web-based Map Transfer. She included three main methods of transferring maps: static maps, embedded media, and the database approach. The static map approach dealt with the file formats such as JPEG, PNG, and GIF, which are supported by most web browsers. The embedded approach referred to interactive media (e.g., 2D/3D animations, movie), which are supported by browsers with the aid of plug-ins/viewers. The database approach integrated with interactive web mapping applications, which are manipulated through database management systems. The advantages and disadvantages of the three methods were evaluated in the presentation.

The tour group returned to join the ACMLA annual general meeting already in progress by a few minutes. The AGM will be reported on separately. There was a repeat of the tour in the afternoon for another group of eight, primarily CCA members. It was quite an interesting event also.

In the evening, the banquet was held on another high hill overlooking the city, but further from the water. Upon arrival by bus or car, nearly the entire group assembled on the hillside to take photos with the city, South Side Hills, and water in the background. The Admiral’s Green club house was a wonderful facility for a well-attended banquet. The food was very good. There were speeches, drawings and contests for lots of door prizes, and much fun for all on hand.

Friday, July 29, saw the group reassembled in the practice facility at the Music Building to hear a session chaired by Paul Heersink which began with an Education Panel discussion of representatives of both colleges and universities on:
  1. how they teach cartography and GIS
  2. how what they teach fits into the larger program
  3. how they develop curriculum
  4. what kind of balance they maintain between practical and theoretical issues
  5. can colleges learn from universities and vice versa when it comes to teaching cartography and GIS
Sally Hermansen (UBC) mentioned that most geography and GIS programs still include at least one cartography course. She feels positive about cartography in academia for the next few years, however with that being said, retiring traditional cartography academics are being replaced by GIS, spatial modeling, and geovisualization academic specialists. Some other key remarks that were reflected in her answers to the above mentioned questions were: that cartographic design has not been lost in GIS technology, and teaching a mix of technology and theory creates the best fit. An example is not just training students how to use ESRI software, but educating them as to the underlying theory of perception, cognition, and cartographic design. Sally has her students critic maps for two weeks before they start to draw/hand map with a computer, this is to get them to think before they draw. Tim Wykes (Fleming College) noted that the college perspective is different although they have also been going through the transition where the focus has turned more to GIS. Sadly, the curriculum is based on economics, if they cannot keep student enrollment at a certain number then the program is cancelled. Colleges award certificates and/or diplomas and have a combination of different people who enroll, i.e. students out of high school, post-degree students, or educators. The student=s main focus is job placement, thus a decision has been made about what is being taught, i.e. software is based on the industry because they are the ones hiring the technicians. The teaching of theory has declined, as well little is taught about information visualization. They also cannot use “cartographic” in their course description, but use the term “Geosciences” instead. The course work tends to be applied or hands on with small assignments. According to current students (with previous degrees) whom Tim polled, the main differences between college and university are that college has lower tuition fees, more computer hardware/software availability, and much more course work. Rick Gray (Ridgetown College) attended university and then college. His initial statement was that the university taught him to “think” and college taught him to “do.” He referred to himself as a “GIS jockey,” not a “cartographer” because his maps tend to be ephemeral, i.e. models disease in crops based on weather. He made an excellent point on the ratio of job opportunities for GIS technicians versus those available for cartographers. The main interest of college students is to get a job. One course is taught in the Environmental Management diploma, and this program takes students straight from high school. This panel was followed by Marcel Fortin (University of Toronto) and Jennifer Marvin (University of Guelph) talking about “Libraries: Bridging the Geographic Literacy Gap.” This presentation showed the importance of GIS services that focus on more than simply providing access to data and software, but instead informing a user at a more fundamental level. The speakers described the more traditional roles of libraries as repositories of information and providing access to information, but also the educational role that libraries have in this modern world of digital information. Information literacy (including Geographic Information Literacy) is helping people find, use (read), evaluate, and think critically about information and maps. It also raises awareness of the authenticity, validity, and reliability about that information or map. Marcel discussed the beginning of map literacy, the slow start to modern geographic information literacy, GIS in libraries, and data access landmarks. He also mentioned the current state of GIS holdings and library GIS services. Jennifer described the elements of Geographic Information Literacy to include: cartographic basics and mapping theory, software basics, data and database basics, geographic analysis, and the integration of paper maps and paper statistical sources with electronic information. Building awareness is the first step of literacy, as are also creating initiatives such as tutorials, help guides, one on one consultations, and group instruction. Collaboration both internally (within the university) and externally (different associations, consortiums, and government departments) is additionally very important. The presentation finished by indicating the possible areas of improvement, which included increased awareness among users, better liaison with departments and faculty, support from library administration, professional development, data needs, and collection development. (CC)

These presentations were followed by a coffee break in the display and exhibitors’ area. Several local firms had set up booths and provided financial support for the conference, as well as a number of prizes for attendees. These included Norman Wade Company Ltd.; M. Francis Kelly Limited; Surveys and Mapping Division, Dept. of Environment and Conservation, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador; Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG) Newfoundland; and the Centre for Topographic Information, Natural Resources Canada. The maps submitted to the International Cartographic Association as the Canadian exhibit and several posters were also on display.

After the morning break the first session dealing with historical topics took place chaired by Alberta Auringer Wood. First off there was Michael Staveley (Memorial University) who read John Robson's (U.Waikato, NZ) paper on James Cook's contribution to the mapping of Newfoundland, with many stunning examples of the island's early cartography. Gerald Penney (independent archaeologist and early maps and books dealer, St. John’s) aptly followed with a presentation on the early cartography of St. John's and what he believes is the earliest known map of St. John’s: that done by Henry Southwood as am inset map of the harbour in 1675. (RW) Paul Light, a student of COGS (Centre of Geographic Sciences), presented his research as a result of his COGS project on “The Evolution of the Nautical Chart: 13th to 19th Century.” He unfolded the historical events of the nautical chart noting its importance in the way man perceived and discovered the world. The presentation included reference to the Romans, sailing charts, development of rhumb lines, projection, scale, latitude determination, triangulation, and milestones such as the advent of the British Admiralty charts in 1800. To conclude the session, Alun Hughes (Dept. of Geography, Brock University) provided a very entertaining history on the difficulties encountered in establishing the route of the first Welland Canal in 1818. Although one may think the 150-foot rise of the Niagara Escarpment would be the main obstacle to overcome when constructing a canal, Hughes described that what appears to be an insignificant rise in the landscape, known as the Niagara Falls Moraine, caused more hardship. This stretch of the canal that cuts through this moraine, known as the “Deep Cut,” extends from Port Robinson to Allanburg (NTS sheet 30M/3&6) - a mere 4 kilometers. Originally surveyed in 1818 by William Hamilton Merritt the principal force behind the canal the cut was intended to divert water from the Chippawa Creek to his mills situated on Twelve Mile Creek in St. Catharines. However, due to the loose composition of the moraine, the slumping activity was the major impediment in construction. The surviving field notes Hughes studied revealed several surveys that were conducted (including Merritt’s survey); plans to traverse the escarpment by a railway; an unsuccessful attempt at building a tunnel through the moraine; and plans of alternate canal routes that threatened the water supply for Merritt’s mills. However, assuring his water supply, Merritt was determined to see that the canal did indeed take the Deep Cut route to his mills on the Twelve Mile Creek regardless of the difficulty in construction. His determination saw the opening of the first canal by 1829, aka Merritt’s Ditch! (CB)

During the lunch break the presenters of posters were available for questions and comments. The posters were “Cartography at COGS” by David Raymond, “Austro-Hungarian Maps” by David Jones, “Modelling Biodiversity Using the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction in the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve” by James R. Ferguson, and “Tactile Maps” by James Richmond.

Conference organizer Dan Duda chaired the after lunch session. With a growing interest by academic libraries in scanning historical maps, the back to back presentations by David Raymond and Edith Punt were greatly anticipated. They did not disappoint! The first paper “Current Technology for Historical Research: GIS and Comparative Cartography” made use of historic maps of Newfoundland to highlight the issues associated with scanning maps with a known projection, in order that they can be integrated into a GIS environment. The presenter, David Raymond (Centre of Geographic Sciences, Nova Scotia) detailed the four main steps involved in the print to digital conversion process, along with the problems associated with each. The steps include Data Capture, Geometric Correction, Georeferencing and Overlay Analysis and David=s discussion of the process was very informative. One example was the explanation of scanning creep, where the scanner introduces distortion into the process and as a result, there is a need for a Geometric Correction of an image after it is scanned. David also outlined the procedure of using graticules to line up historic maps with modern projections, providing a more error free method in aligning old maps with current data. Finally, the most practical part of the presentation was when he invited delegates to contact him with any questions relating to scanning historic maps for use in GIS. No doubt there will be a few! Anyone who had just finished reading the highly visual publication Cartographica Extraordinaire, eagerly awaited Edith Punt=s presentation, "Building a portal to a new world". After reviewing the Rumsey website, Edith spoke about the various “behind the scene” aspects in compiling the book through the use of mapping examples. In one fascinating series of maps titled “Who’s Land is it Anyway,” Edith argued that the Indigenous Peoples understanding of land was better represented on a 1814 Lewis and Clark map which described tribal territories with sweeping text. Edith then displayed a map of the same area, published 53 years later, where the First Nations presence on the land had been reduced by denoting their territory with dashed lines representing various treaties. Finally, a third map was displayed showing that by 1879 the lands granted to First Nations in the Dakotas had been reduced to an awkward triangle wedged in among the orderly squares of the Government=s public land survey. This and the other examples in Edith’s presentation brought home the fact that historic maps have a critical role to play in understanding how landscapes, at all scales, have come to be. (LL)

Next Alberta Auringer Wood (Memorial University) introduced the Fabian O’Dea Map Collection, which was donated recently to the Queen Elizabeth II Library of Memorial University. Her overview covered the scope and importance of the nearly one hundred maps in this collection, donated by his family after his death in 2004. The historical maps of Newfoundland he collected will be useful to scholars who want to see early maps of the area. The earliest map is a woodcut from 1556. The most recent one is dated 1979. There are harbour and nautical charts, as well as land surveys. The majority of the maps are from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and about half of them were not previously in the library=s collection. It was interesting to be able to view nearly thirty of the maps, which were on display in a special exhibit in the Queen Elizabeth II Library during the CARTO 2005 conference, and to imagine how developments in survey techniques, politics and printing have affected the cartography. Over the next while, the staff at the library intend to complete a listing of the maps and to scan them as appropriate, so they can be included in the library’s digital collection. As a conclusion to this session, we had the second presentation by Dr. Alun Hughes who is an animated speaker with an engaging narrative style. This time he talked about "John Graves Simcoe and the Naming of Upper Canada." John Graves Simcoe was the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada (1792-1796) and was responsible for naming many places there at that time. He applied a county-based naming policy, deriving names for townships, districts, and rivers from similarly named counties in England (that is, place names in Yorkshire, England, were applied in the county of York, Upper Canada). French and German names were replaced and even some English names were changed. He advocated naming a city “Niagara”, not changing it to Newark, and some of the names attributed to him were in use before he arrived. He was naming what previously had no name, such as counties, ridings for elections, and townships--they were just being surveyed. He also named some counties after English statesmen, though it is not always clear who they were. It appears that he was honouring families, not individuals. Simcoe demonstrated a broad, fairly consistent naming policy as he oversaw the naming of Upper Canada, and he was not strictly substituting English names for aboriginal ones. (WF)

After a final coffee break and opportunity to view exhibits and posters, the final session began which was facilitated by Rodolphe Devillers. Neil McNaughton (Director, Surveys and Mapping Division (SMD), Dept of Environment and Conservation, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador) talked about and demonstrated MapsNL, the online portal for Newfoundland and Labrador maps which is OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) standards compliant. The map viewing client displays .gif images of multiple layers of coverage and vector data from any OGC compliant Web Mapping Server. Several indexes are available, including for air photos. It is possible to see geodetic information. The site address is: http://www.MapsNL.ca/. Following this presentation was Gaetan Drolet (DLI/Statistics Canada) who spoke about citing statistics, data, and maps. He advocates use of proper citations and did a proposal in May 2004 to develop a citation guide that would include monographs, databases, the Census, maps, and so on. He briefly demonstrated a web tool that will assist this endeavour.

In his talk, “Land Indeed,” Bert Riggs (Centre for Newfoundland Studies, QE II Library, Memorial University) described a rich collection of papers which represent four generations of the Peyton family. Of particular interest are the documents relating to Thomas Peyton’s tenure as Land Surveyor. In this role, Peyton made duplicates of land deeds and surveys he also submitted to the government. These records held by the Centre, which are in excellent physical condition, not only provide a wealth of information for genealogists, but they also provide insight into settlement patterns and land use, demographic growth patterns, origins of place names, as well as the development of the land survey in the province. The Peyton Family Collection (collection number 150) is heavily used at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. At the moment there is no on-line finding aid; however, Mr. Riggs indicated they were hopeful that the Centre would be able to create a database based on this collection. Dan Duda had the unenviable task of giving the final presentation of the conference, on a topic which is so uncertain that few were surprised when his general conclusion was that no one seems to have answers. 20 June 2005 saw the introduction to Parliament of Bill C-60, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, which is the first significant move on this issue in quite some time. Along with Richard Pinnell and Elizabeth Hamilton, Dan is on the ACMLA Copyright Committee, and assured the audience that as per their mandate, they will continue to follow the progress of the legislation and communicate what they know to the ACMLA. For more information on the status of copyright legislation in Canada, see Richard Pinnell's report, submitted 28 June, 2005. (SH)

It was reported later that many from the conference spent an enjoyable Friday evening at the George Street Festival. This was despite the rain. Others enjoyed dinner in groups downtown.

On Saturday, about 30 attendees went on the tour/field trip. Despite some lingering fog and even a bit of rain, they enjoyed a two hour boat tour out of St. John’s Harbour to Cape Spear on the "Scademia", a 90 foot schooner. The weather improved throughout the day. There was a bus tour of some of the historic sites of the city, a tour of the Johnson GEO CENTRE, and the day-long adventure wrapped up with a tour of the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company in the historic village of Quidi Vidi. Everyone is looking forward to the meeting next year in Ottawa to help celebrate 100 years of the Atlas of Canada!

For more reports and photos of the conference, visit earlier postings in this blog.


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