MGUG | Manitoba GIS Community

MGUG Fall Conference 2016 - October 12th, 2016

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• 2016 MGUG Award

Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Time: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Venue: Delta Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Address: 350 St. Mary Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba

We invite you to join a dedicated group and vibrant community at Manitoba GIS User's Group Fall Conference 2016 held at the newly renovated Delta Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba on October 12th, 2016.

Every year MGUG's Fall Conference brings together over 300 GIS professionals from the private industry, government, non-profit agencies, and education sectors.
MGUG's membership is now over 1500 people and it continues to grow. Our goal is to facilitate communication between people interested in GIS, cartography, and geomatics.
Abstracts and workshop proposals being accepted at until July 31st. Accepted speakers are eligible for complimentary registration. Please contact us for more information.

Pre-Conference evening Mixer/Ice-Breaker:

Pre-conference evening Mixer/Ice-Breaker is Tuesday, October 11th from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM at the Delta Hotel.

Informal post-conference lounge get-together will take place immediately after the conference closing on Wednesday, October 12th.


Register Now!

Eventbrite - Manitoba GIS User Group Fall Conference 2016

Conference Registration Information:

Conference registration fees will be kept to a minimum and all registration fees are non-refundable but are transferable to another participant for this event:

• 75$ - Early Bird Admission (by September 12th)
• 90$ - Regular Admission
• 40$ - Student Admission (student ID required)

And will cover:
• Attendance for All Sessions
• Continental Breakfast
• Hot Lunch
• Refreshments & Breaks
• Exhibition/Trade Show Admission
• Entertainment & Free Wi-Fi
• Chances to Win Conference Prizes
• Pre-conference mixer

Please subscribe to MGUG News to receive updates.


As a non-profit organization, membership in MGUG has always been free and we hope to keep it this way through the support of our generous sponsors.
When you sponsor our Conference you are participating in an exceptional event and increasing your organization’s exposure to a diverse audience of geomatics professionals and decision-makers from across Manitoba.
Your contribution helps to make MGUG the meeting place for GIS professionals in our Province. We appreciate your contribution and look forward to make this event successful for you.
2016 Sponsorship packages and forms are now available, please contact us at if you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting.


Agenda and Speakers

Key Note Speaker: Emily Eros GIS Lead, American Red Cross
Title: Missing Maps: Putting the World's Vulnerable People 'On the Map'
Abstract: Accurate maps play a critical role in understanding human communities, particularly in post-disaster settings and for populations at risk. While open geospatial data has become more common, many developing regions are still blank spots on the map. For this reason, the American Red Cross and its partners launched a project called Missing Maps, which aims to map 200 million of the world’s vulnerable people by 2021 – crowdsourcing open map data for anyone to access, use, and update through OpenStreetMap. This session will describe the project’s remote and field mapping methods, discuss the technical tools developed for the project (including mobile apps and offline servers) and discuss future directions.
Bio:Emily Eros is the GIS Team Lead at the American Red Cross, where she manages the team’s international programs, disaster response activities, and efforts to promote open geospatial data. Eros' work includes the Missing Maps program. As part of the project, she recently planned and managed efforts to map over 5,000 villages in West Africa using local volunteers equipped with motorbikes and cell phones. She has provided remote or on-the-ground support to disasters such as the European migration crisis, the West Africa Ebola outbreak, and the Nepal earthquake, and has conducted projects in over 15 countries. Eros holds a Master’s in City Planning from MIT and is especially interested in using data to improve people's lives.

Bob Fraser Google
Title: Location and Semantic Location at Google

Abstract: Location is tremendously important for providing useful content in a timely manner. In this talk, we will discuss some of the challenges associated with determining a useful location for a user, and we will look at some of the insights and products that Google is building from aggregated anonymous location data to improve user experiences in the real world.

Bio:Dr. Fraser is a software engineer working on location within the Geo product area at Google Inc. in Mountain View, California. Prior to this position, he conducted research in the area of computational geometry and has published over 15 journal and conference papers in the area. Other areas of interest where he has published include bioinformatics, computer vision, and computer science education. Prior to Google, Dr. Fraser worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Manitoba where he was offered a prestigious NSERC postdoctoral fellowship. He completed the Ph.D. at the University of Waterloo, the M.Sc at Queen’s University, and B.Sc degrees at the University of British Columbia and Carleton University.

Ryan Smith Prairie Climate Centre
Title: Behind the Scenes of the Prairie Climate Change Atlas
Abstract: This presentation reveals some of the 'behind the scenes' work done by the Prairie Climate Centre that led to the publication of the Prairie Climate Atlas - an online tool designed to inform us of the risks and opportunities associated with climate change on the Prairies (available at Some of the GIS and data management tools used to produce the Atlas will be discussed, as well as a brief discussion on using climate data to answer important climate change research questions.
Bio: Ryan Smith is a research associate with the Prairie Climate Centre, a new organization founded by the University of Winnipeg and International Institute for Sustainable Development. Ryan has spent the past decade in part developing software that translates complex global climate model output into visually pleasing and intuitive geovisualizations of local climate change impacts. His most recent work has been on the Prairie Climate Atlas, an online tool to teach Prairie dwellers of the risk and opportunities of climate change. Check out the atlas at

Corey King Zenfri
Title: Using Location Data for Gaming and Other Entertainment - State of the Art & Emerging Trends
Abstract: Location data, photogrammetry and map services have become so ubiquitous that they can now be used to create totally new forms of mass market entertainment. Unlike prior media technologies, GIS's allows experiences to be created that are more intimately connected to a user's real world environment, generating a level of intimacy and a sense of transformation not possible for mediums of the past.

With the mass market acceptance of this medium through games like Pokemon Go, we're getting just a taste of where things are headed, but the future has lots more in store.

Bio: Corey King is an award-winning storyteller and producer, who has worked across a range of mediums including Film, Publishing, Journalism, Gallery Art and Gaming. His most recent and widely known projects have positioned him as a pioneer in location-based augmented reality and virtual reality entertainment. His largest project to date is "Clandestine Anomaly", a location based AR game released a year prior to the Pokemon Go craze; it has won acclaim nationally and internationally for its innovative design and technology. His latest projects utilize AR, VR and GIS technologies to push these innovations even further. Corey was a 2016 recipient of the Future Leaders of Manitoba award, and has been named one of CBC Manitoba's Future 40.

Keith Hartley Canada Post
Title: A striking talk on lightning maps and flashy open source GIS tools.

Abstract: is a global lightning detection network. Completely volunteer driven, lightning maps (or blitzortung) is a collaborative effort to show near real time lightning strikes through a variety of means, most popular being the website. With an insiders look on the network Keith will talk on the lightningmap's history, how the system works, and FOSS-y (free and open source software) tools to retrieve & analyze the shocking amount of data received.

Bio: Keith received a BA in Geo from the University of Winnipeg in 2006, and currently works at Canada Post designing delivery routes. In his outside time he researches active transportation, plays with open source GIS tools, and constantly watches the weather. As licensed pilot you could say it's a little bit of an obsession.

Matthew Johnson President, M3 Aerial Productions
Title: UAV Technology in Precision Agriculture
Abstract: Farmers and agronomists can use processed NDVI data to help make quick and efficient crop management decisions based on the relative health of a crop; such as when, where, and how much fertilizer, pesticides, or H20 to apply. With a combination of aerial, and on-the-ground data analysis (ground truthing), producers are now able to assess the condition of their crops and make decisions in a way that is more cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable than has ever been possible.

Matthew will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using fixed-wing vs. multi-rotor UAVs, and how M3 Aerial has been utilizing them as a service in the agriculture industry. Topics covered will include some of the problems with NDVI analysis, restrictions and limitations of the current technology, and the importance of GIS throughout the process.
Bio: Matthew Johnson is the owner and founder of M3 Aerial Productions, a UAV-based imaging and geomatics company operating out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Matthew attended the University of Manitoba where he obtained three bachelor’s degrees; in Geography, Physical Education and Education.
He is now a secondary school teacher, an entrepreneur, and a Captain in the Canadian Armed Forces Primary Reserves.
M3 Aerial Productions was established in 2015, and provides services across most of Canada, including Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada. Their primary function is to collect data by utilizing both fixed wing, and multi-rotor UAVs equipped with high resolution cameras, near infrared, and multi-spectral sensors. This data is used to provide processed, georeferenced orthomosaics for precision agriculture, mining, and other industries.

Glen McDonald University of Manitoba
Title: Monitoring Naval and Low Altitude Air Traffic Throughout the Canadian Northwest Passage Corridors.
Abstract: The use of GIS in the selection of suitable potential High Frequency Surface Wave Radar (HFSWR) site locations for full maritime surveillance of the Northwest Passage.
Bio: Glen is currently a graduate student at the University of Manitoba completing his masters of environment thesis. He was a geomatics technician in the Airforce for 12 years and retired from the Canadian Forces after 24 years of full time service.

Sean Frey Parks Canada
Title: Lessons Learned in UAV Acquired High Resolution Orthophotography and 3D Point Cloud Models.
Abstract: The presentation describes the application of DJI Phantom 3 Pro quadcopter acquired imagery with Agisoft Photoscan software to produce orthoimagery and 3D models for projects in a national park setting. The focus is on practical tips learned from a team new to the technology.
Bio: Sean Frey is the Geomatics Coordinator for Riding Mountain National Park in SW Manitoba. Combining his love of maps, technology and outdoors has allowed him to work for over 20 years in the geomatics field in a broad array of applications. Sean 's pragmatic approach to meeting the user needs of the park and sharing his experience, not to mention the waived conference fee, compelled him to present today.

Wendy Amy MNC
Title: ParcelMap BC - Compiling a Parcel Fabric for the province of British Columbia
Abstract: MNC, ESRI Canada and MDA partnered together with The Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (LTSA) to develop ParcelMap BC (PMBC), creating a single, complete, trusted, and sustainable electronic map of all titled parcels and surveyed provincial Crown land parcels in BC. The resulting framework forms a complete visual portrayal of parcels connected with information in the Land Title Register and Crown Land Registry.

This solves the long standing request by LTSA stakeholders for an easy, efficient means of accessing land title and survey information using an electronic map of surveyed parcels in British Columbia. Intuitive map-based access to this information improves business efficiencies for government and private industry, and provides value to the general public.

MNC will share their journey through the fabric compilation and conversion of approximately 2 million property parcels into ESRI’s Parcel Fabric data model, highlighting applications developed and lessons learned:

1. ArcGIS and FME technology developed for modelling property parcel shape files into Esri’s fully functioning Parcel Fabric which supports spatial adjustment improvements of the fabric (LSA) - a strong desire for the Surveyor General’s office.
2. Desktop GIS applications developed for collecting cadastral ties from survey plans, precision input of parcel geometry (COGO), and workflow management.
3. Our ArcGIS Collector application customized to collect cadastral ties in the field for the purposes of assessing the fabric’s spatial quality.
4. On-line GIS technology developed for submitting digital CAD files for the purposes of registration of survey plans, complete with automated quality checks to confirm adherence to business rules such as closed, topologically clean parcel polygons and required data content i.e. control points and annotation.

Over half the province is operational with ParcelMap BC, with completion planned for early 2017.
Bio: Wendy Amy manages GIS projects and mapping programs at MNC. Over the past 17 years, she has led many large GIS mapping projects through to successful completion including: the Alberta Government’s Public Land Disposition mapping project (DIDS), Alberta’s Property Parcel (TITLES) project, Manitoba Hydro’s GIS Integrated Property Parcel Mapping project, and British Columbia’s Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA) ParcelMap BC. These projects included managing teams of professional engineers, technicians, developers and subject matter experts. As Project Manager, Wendy builds solid project team relationships and delivers to the project commitments.

Brian McGregor and John Lehr University of Winnipeg
Title: Application of GIS to a Historical Problem: Mapping the Frontier of European Agricultural Settlement on the Canadian Prairies - 1871 to 1920
Abstract: Previous attempts to map the movement of the agricultural settlement frontier on the Canadian Prairies have relied on census data that is only available at five year intervals thus missing detail during periods of rapid expansion. They also used arbitrary population densities to determine when an area was considered settled. It is argued that the emergence of community institutions, such as churches, post offices and schools is a better measure of when an area was truly settled and that, of these, schools are the superior measure because, at the time of settlement, their creation was determined by demographic and spatial criteria enshrined in Territorial and Provincial legislation.

Using the dates of school establishment a series of maps showing the occupation of land on an annual basis from 1870 to 1920 was created with GIS. These maps illustrate the advance and, in some areas, the retreat of the settlement frontier. GIS offers the opportunity to overlay socio-economic and physical data to enable evaluation of the principal factors bearing on the process and pattern of settlement. Analysis of these maps challenges the concept of the frontier as one continuous line and reveals some nuanced relationships between settlement, the environment, and the emergence of a rail network on the prairies.
Bio: Brian McGregor is an Instructor in the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg. He holds an MA from Queen’s University and a diploma in GIS from the College of Geographic Sciences. He has published articles in Canadian Journal of Urban Research, Canadian Ethnic Studies, Great Plains Research, Manitoba History and Prairie Perspectives where he applied GIS to a variety of historical and contemporary issues.

John Lehr is a Senior Scholar in the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg. He holds a MA from the University of Alberta and a PhD from the University of Manitoba. His research interests focus on the historical geography of western Canada, particularly on the agricultural settlements of Ukrainians, Jews and Hutterites. His recent publications include Community and frontier: A Ukrainian settlement in the Canadian parkland, (University of Manitoba Press, 2011), and Inside the ark: The Hutterites in Canada and the United States (University of Regina Press, 2014).

Lesley MacKenzie Consortech
Title: Improving Data Integration and Quality through Digital Uploads

Abstract: As the first step toward creating a full electronic submission protocol, York Region, the City of Vaughan and the Township of King initiated a Digital Plan Upload pilot enabling developers to submit CAD plans through a portal. During this initial phase, Consortech developed the web-based and ETL solution, which receives the submission, validates the data, and reports on acceptance criteria compliance. Data is then transformed into a standardized GIS format allowing for quick visualization with municipal base data. A successful pilot will create efficiencies in the urban development review process, enable better integration into GIS, improve data quality, reduce costs, and support environmental sustainability.

The main challenge was to design a solution which would be easy to use, but would remain flexible enough to evolve over time, while giving significant benefits to all stakeholders. By using GIS ETL tools to automate and orchestrate the process, the system can easily adapt in the future to accept more data formats, add more validations and produce different outputs.

Bio:Lesley MacKenzie graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. She is passionate about geomatics and has been working in the field for over 14 years. Her main focus is leveraging ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) with the context of data workflow and process optimization.

At Consortech, Lesley provides consulting, training and solution design services on various GIS and IT platforms including Safe Software’s FME Desktop and FME Server. Her motivation lies in helping her customers develop automated data workflow processes so they can focus on the fun stuff, real GIS work! Lesley was one of the first specialist in North America to obtain Safe Software’s FME Certified Trainer and FME Certified Professional certifications.

Christopher Hall
Title: Use of VR Technologies in GIS

Abstract: The Portal Winnipeg came to be via an elaborate ploy - how else was I going to get my wife to agree to blowing our life's savings on the most advanced virtual reality equipment on the market?! But to my amazement she agreed, and The Portal Winnipeg, our fine city's first (and Canada's third) Virtual Reality (VR) Arcade, came to be. While The Portal Winnipeg's initial focus is to introduce VR as a form of entertainment, future plans include exploring commercial ventures. This presentation will form an overview of the how VR can be utilized within GIS, with applications including the real estate industry, architecture, construction, planning and more.

Bio: Chris holds a BA in Human Geography from The University of Gloucestershire, and an MSc in Applied Geographical Information Systems, from Kingston University in the UK. Chris immigrated to Winnipeg in June 2013, and joined the MGUG board of directors after the 2015 conference. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Trails Manitoba, and manages trail mapping projects within the province. Chris opened Winnipeg’s first Virtual Reality (VR) Arcade in October 2016, just two months after using the technology for the first time. The Portal Winnipeg primary focus will be to offer VR games and experiences for consumer entertainment; however commercial ventures will be explored in due course. Chris’s presentation will form an overview of the future of VR and GIS.

Brad Ashley GeoAlliance
Title: GeoAlliance

Abstract: TBA

Bio: Brad Ashley has over a decade of experience in the Geomatics Industry, primarily focusing on Surveying and Mapping. He attended Acadia University and the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Nova Scotia for his education. He is currently the Technical Coordinator for Canada West for MMM Group Limited and for the past two years has taken on the role of President with the Alberta Geomatics Group. During his time with the AGG, he has worked with the group to focus on partnerships and events that assist with the growth of the community.
In addition, Brad became the co-chair of the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table (CGCRT) in 2014 and lead the discussion on the future of that community under the banner of GeoAlliance Canada.

Geoff Gunn and Jeff Diamond IISD
Title: Manitoba BioEconomy Atlas

Abstract: Manitoba has challenges, biomass is a solution. Excess phosphorus in waterways and a changing climate drive us to find smart solutions that meet multiple needs. Biomass not only replaces coal and fossil fuels for heating, in many cases it removes excess nutrients from our waterways. A barrier to its adoption, however, is a low density across all scales, preventing industrial and institutional consumers from making initial investments in sustainable technologies. The Manitoba Bioeconomy Atlas combines a web-based spatial inventory of conventional and unconventional biomass sources with a custom logistic optimization model to support economic and environmental decision making. We integrate harvesting, storage, transportation, and delivery costs to allow consumers - including biomass processors and industrial users - to better estimate the stability of their investment. The Atlas puts information in the users' hands, building a rural economy for a more sustainable Manitoba.
Project Page:

Bio: Geoffrey Gunn is a Project Officer working with IISD’s Water program where he specializes in applications of remote sensing, spatial-temporal analysis, and scientific data visualization. An alumnus of the University of Regina (BSc. Hons) and University of Manitoba (MSc.), he has conducted geographic field research in grasslands, forests, oceans, and the Arctic.

John Teillet Government of Manitoba
Title: History retrospective going into 10 years of MGUG

Abstract: This is the first in a series of talks on the history of GIS in Manitoba. So much of GIS is where we are at and looking forward to cool technologies and applications. It is important to remember where we came from. This brief talk will look back at the first GIS Conference held in Manitoba and a pioneer in Manitoba GIS.

Bio:John Teillet is a Geomatics and IT professional with more than 25 years of experience in GIS and modern information technology. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Winnipeg and a Master’s degree from the University of Manitoba – both with a major in Geography
John is active in improving the state of GIS and Geomatics in Manitoba. One of his goals is to continuously improve communication and partnerships for the Geomatics community. Towards that goal, he volunteered at the first GIS Conference. In the early 1990s, John organized the SPANS User Group, which was probably the first GIS user group in Manitoba. John is one of the founding members of the Manitoba GIS Users Group (MGUG). John was the vice-president in MGUG’s first year of operation and was the second president of MGUG. John just stepped down as the chair of MaGIC - the Manitoba Geospatial Information Committee after serving for several years.

Philip Giles Modern Earth
Title: Introducing the new MGUG website

Abstract: Modern Earth will walk you through MGUG's new website portal.

Bio:Philip Giles joined Modern Earth in 2009, bringing 15 years of international (London UK, Long Island, NY) senior management experience to his role as Sr. Account Executive. This plus his sales and marketing experience for a full range of companies gives him a global perspective that is truly Web-wise in assessing the needs of Modern Earth’s clients, and he was promoted to the newly created position of Vice President in 2011. Philip’s experience in small to medium sized businesses and organizations contributes to his uncanny ability to analyze online business needs.
As of January 2012, Philip was promoted to President of Modern Earth Web Design, and continues to guide the company on its trajectory of success. He graduated from Cambridge University with a Master’s Degree in Natural Sciences. In his spare time Philip is a board member of Dry Cold Productions, The Selkirk Chamber of Commerce, and Chair of the Cambridge Society of Winnipeg and Manitoba.

Workshops: Pre-registration will be accepted at the registration desk on the day of the conference. Attendance is limited to 20 individuals.

Workshop Esri Canada
Title: Drone2Map
Pre-registration will be required as space will be very limited: With a vast number of sensor/platform systems in the market today, access to high resolution imagery for supporting various business objectives is becoming easier than ever. This includes Worldview-3 (WV3) 30cm satellite data and 10cm or better Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) data. But how can you take this imagery and quickly integrate it into your GIS with the accuracy you need? What can be done to reduce the time from image acquisition to a GIS ready product? ArcGIS provides a number of tools for making your multi-sensor data GIS ready. In this workshop we will provide an overview of the new Drone2Map for ArcGIS application for processing UAV data, including sensor support and data required for image processing.

Workshop Consortech
Title: How can ETL (extract, transform and load) power Open Data initiatives” an expert’s take on data dissemination and integration
Pre-registration will be required as space will be very limited: Open data initiatives have grown over the past decade and continue to enable users to consume information at a rampant pace. Governments have had to adjust accordingly, making the decision to create centralized, transparent ‘’Self-Serve’’ data portals, opening up public data to millions of users. These types of projects come with their own set of challenges -bringing together data from various sources, data models, overcoming format barriers, and ultimately, making the end result available to the public as a usable product. ETL processes and the use of FME, take care of most of the heavy lifting on many of these projects, creating efficient and automated workflows for data management, transformation, and sharing, including web services that enable easy data upload/download services. In this workshop, you’ll see how to implement both data upload and download solutions; breaking them down into the main elements such as the interface, the data processing and the delivery. We’ll address the important questions that help shape the design and functioning of the data download/upload solution.


Hotel Information:

If you or your team require accommodation for the event, the Delta Hotel Winnipeg will offer discounted room rates of $169.00 plus taxes. Please contact the main desk at (204) 942-0551 and make mention you are attending the MGUG 2016 Fall Conference.

Treat yourself to contemporary sophistication at the Delta Winnipeg Hotel. Boasting a convenient downtown location in Winnipeg, Manitoba's capital city, our recently renovated hotel provides a wide assortment of four-star amenities to ensure a memorable visit.

Delta Hotel Winnipeg
350 St. Mary Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 3J2
Phone: (204) 942-0551

Last day to book: 9/20/16
Marriott hotel(s) offering your special group rate:
• Delta Hotels Winnipeg for 169.00 CAD per night Book your group rate for Manitoba GIS User Group

MGUG Award Information

The creation of a MGUG Award is intended to recognize an individual, group or organization that has made a significant contribution to the Manitoba Geomatics community through:
• Educating and advancing the skill set of future and current geomatics professionals; or,
• Being a leader/pioneer by introducing and advancing the use of geomatics in an organization or department; or,
• Helping to develop the geomatics community in MB; or,
• Being a geomatics leader by introducing or advancing the use of geomatics software or a geomatics technique in the province; or,
• Contributing to overall business/information awareness of Geomatics; or,
• Being a contributing factor to the economy and industry of Geomatics.
Award winner will receive a complimentary conference ticket.
To submit a nomination for the award, contact by September 1, 2016.

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