2018 Fall Conference

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2018 Fall Conference

October 17, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

2018 MGUG Fall Conference

  October 17, 2018
Club Regent Event Centre
1425 Regent Ave. W.
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2C 3B2

Click here for 2018 conference schedule PDF



Interested in sponsoring or having an exhibitor’s booth?


contact us at info@mgug.ca or check out our Sponsorship Information and Sponsorship Form

Call for Abstracts – Closed

Do you have an interesting GIS project which you would like to share at our 2018 fall conference? MGUG would like to hear from you!


MGUG is now accepting abstracts for speakers and workshops at our fall conference.
Want Free Registration?
We are now accepting:
Abstracts/Program proposals– Join us and give a 20 minute presentation on your projects!


Post-Secondary awards submissions – Closed

All Post-Secondary/Secondary Students welcome to apply!


MGUG Award Nominations – Closed

MGUG is thrilled to announce two Award categories this year!
Lifetime Achievement Award
Outstanding Project/Team Award
for more information contact us at info@mgug.ca
Award winners and speakers get free registration to the conference!



Hotel Information

Coming in from out of town?  We have you covered !

Rate is only available until rooms sell out, don’t wait to book your room!

Let them know you are attending the Manitoba GIS User Group Conference for a special rate!

Canad Inns Destination Centre at Club Regent


Keynote speakers:




Paul Ramsey 

Crunchy Data

Owner, Clever Elephant Solutions


Modernize your Geospatial Practice with One Neat Trick!

There is an unstoppable trend in technology, business and organizations toward more collaborative and horizontal models: open source software, open data communities, open standards, open APIs, and even open organizations. This talk will cover some of the open transitions sweeping the geospatial, and how to navigate them. What is open source software, and when should you use it? What meaning do open standards have in a cloud based world? How can government agencies start to work with open data communities?


Paul Ramsey is an open source programmer and educator. He has been working with geospatial software for over 15 years: consulting to government and industry; building a geospatial software company; and programming on open source software. He co-founded the PostGIS spatial database project in 2001, and is currently an active developer and member of the project steering committee. In 2008, Paul received the Sol Katz Award for achievement in open source geospatial software. Paul speaks and teaches regularly at conferences around the world.


Paul Morin

Director, Polar Geospatial Centre

The World Turned Upside-Down.

With the delivery of the ArcticDEM and the Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica the geospatial community finds itself in a very unusual situation. We have better topography of the ice on earth than the land, and we have more high-resolution, high quality, repeat DEMs for Nunavut than we do of Winnipeg. This remarkable achievement happened through a collaboration between the US National Science Foundation and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency which employed a constellation of sub-meter optical satellites, petascale academic supercomputing and open source photogrammetry software. The result is a 2 meter posting DEM of the Arctic and an 8 meter of the Antarctic, along with a collection of more than 200,000 time-stamped DEMs that cover almost any location at the poles more than 5 times.

Resulting products of the DEMS create a long list of implications when the data is applied to current science goals. We not only see tree crowns but we can measure logging and blow downs allowing the carbon balance to be calculated. Thermokarst collapse, ice loss, coastal erosion and anthropogenic effects are not only detected but precisely quantified. We’ve moved remote sensing from measuring differences in the color of a pixel to calculating quantitative change in volume.

With this abundance of topographic wealth comes a new set of challenges. Data at this resolution is immense and measured in the hundreds of terabytes to petabytes. In addition, choices have to be made about which DEM to use. Leaf on or off? Should it be from 2014 or 2018? How do we deal with versioning of the photogrammetry and filtering algorithms? This is quite a pandora’s box.


Paul Morin is Founder and Director of the Polar Geospatial Center, an NSF science and logistics support center at the University of Minnesota. Morin leads a team of two dozen responsible for imaging, mapping and monitoring the Earth’s polar regions for the National Science Foundation’s Division of Polar Programs. Morin is the liaison between the National Science Foundation and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s commercial imagery program. Before founding PGC, Morin was at the National Center for Earth-Surface Dynamics at the University of Minnesota, and he has worked at the University of Minnesota since 1990. Morin serves as the National Academy of Sciences–appointed U.S. representative to the Standing Committee on Antarctic Geographic Information under the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (ie, the Antarctic Treaty System). One of his current projects is ArcticDEM a White House initiative to produce a high-resolution, time-dependent elevation model of the Arctic using Blue Waters. http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4549841/arctic-dem. Morin’s professional interests include mapping areas of the Earth that are difficult to reach, scientific visualization and using scientific art for formal and informal education. Morin has dozens of publications in a variety of fields including remote sensing, geoscience education, the carbon cycle, and scientific visualization. In 2015 Morin was awarded an honorary doctorate at Colorado College for his outstanding contributions in the Geoscience field. Morin’s art/visualizations have been in numerous publications including National Geographic, Nature and Wired. He has contributed to the BBC/David Attenborough production “Frozen Planet” and is spearheading the effort with Google to improve polar geospatial data, imagery and Street View in Google Earth and Maps.

Featured Presentations:



PostGIS SQL Query Festival

Paul Ramsey 

Solutions Architect at Carto

Owner, Clever Elephant Solutions


You’re part of the SELECT group of PostGIS users, but you want to UPDATE your skills, to INSERT some knowledge on performance and how to structure queries for common spatial analysis problems. You should go to the PostGIS Query Festival!

JOIN your friends at the festival main stage, WHERE the headlining act will look at common use cases, like nearest neighbor joins, overlay, calculating with geodetics, automatic form fills, and other classic spatial queries. DELETE your preconcieved notions about relational databases, and learn about how PostGIS can be used with advanced features from PostgreSQL for use cases like scheduling, feeding event queues, and modelling unstructured data.

There will be SQL on slides. There will be few pictures. The presenter may use the word tuple in the unironic sense, and talk about relations to whom you are unrelated.


Paul Ramsey is an open source programmer and educator. He has been working with geospatial software for over 15 years: consulting to government and industry; building a geospatial software company; and programming on open source software. He co-founded the PostGIS spatial database project in 2001, and is currently an active developer and member of the project steering committee. In 2008, Paul received the Sol Katz Award for achievement in open source geospatial software. Paul speaks and teaches regularly at conferences around the world.

He successfully developed over 700 Square miles of F Class Airspace for testing and training for Beyond Visual line of Sight (BVLOS) UAS operations at Foremost Alberta, the 6.5 year airspace project came to fruition in November 2014.

Over the past 8 years Sterling also served on numerous committees with Transport Canada, working on UAS airspace issues and he was a member of the committee which developed the current Knowledge Requirements for UAS operations below 25Kg within line of sight. (TP15263)

In November 2015, Sterling was the recipient of the “Pip Rudkin Award” for outstanding personal achievement  in the unmanned systems sector in Canada, voted on by the members of the Unmanned Systems Canada Association.

“Using ArcMap As a Tool to Locate Licensed Wastewater Treatment Facilities
in Manitoba, and to Analyze Water Quality in La Salle and Rat River Watersheds?

Asit Dey, Xiaowei (Charlie) Wu, Xueke Jia, Government of Manitoba

The objectives of this study are to locate all licensed wastewater treatment facilities in the Province of Manitoba using ArcMap, the total wastewater contribution from the licensed wastewater treatment facilities in La Salle watershed and Rat River watershed, and to identify if there is any correlation between the treated wastewater quality (i.e., total suspended solids, BOD5, fecal coliforms, unionized ammonia, and phosphorus) and the surface water quality in the above stated watersheds .


Asit Dey has a PhD in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Manitoba, Master of Science Degree and Bachelor of Technology (Hons) Degree in Agricultural Engineering from India. Asit is currently working with Sustainable Development as an Environmental Engineer. In addition, Asit volunteers in Bichitra- Bengali Association of Manitoba, Manitoba Association of Government Engineers, and India Chapter of EGM.

Xiaowei(Charlie) Wu graduated from the university of Manitoba with bachelor degree of science in Biosystems Engineering in 2018 and registered as EIT in APEGM. He has worked with different companies as junior environmental engineering student to further develop knowledge and field work experiences in water and environment area. With the passion about water and environment, Charlie devoted his time to this project besides his school works and hopes his work contributes for a better aquatic environment.

Xueke Jia is currently a graduate student pursuing her Master of Science (M. Sc.) degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba. She worked as an Environmental Engineering student for the Government of Manitoba and she helped the creation of the ArcMap of Wastewater Treatment Facilities (WWTFs) in Manitoba. After the completion of her Bachelor’s thesis research about wastewater treatment in 2017 fall, Xueke became passionate about topics on environmental engineering and enthusiastic to contribute to the sustainable future.

Marine Protected Area in the Canadian Arctic 

Jarrett Friesen, Government of Canada 

Canada’s marine waters are divided into 13 bioregions based on ecological significance and oceanographic similarities. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has developed marine protected areas (MPA’s) to protect ecologically significant marine areas with unique attributes and restrict activities that may impact the conservation objectives of an area. As part of the Central and Arctic Region, it is our goal to create a network of marine protected areas in the Western Arctic Bioregion, a broad geographic region which includes portions of the marine waters in the Inuvialuit Settlement region in the Northwest Territories as well as the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut. Through the research and mapping of literature sources, traditional knowledge, and scientific data, we are developing a plan to identify key conservation priorities in the Western Arctic Bioregion, the areas that are most important to these species, and a network to connect these areas and allow the movement of species between protected areas.


Jarrett Friesen works for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada providing GIS support for the Oceans Program of the Central and Arctic Region. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies, majoring in Wildlife Management. The study and enjoyment of wildlife and the outdoors has always been his primary interest. His position with Fisheries and Oceans Canada allows him to contribute to the protection of marine areas that coincide with species occurrence and activity. As the federal government is aiming to protect 10% of Canadian marine area by the year 2020, important work is currently being completed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to better understand and protect Canadian waters.

Converting Data into Information: Bridging Client Wants with User Needs

Sean Frey, Riding Mountain National Park

This presentation distills 20 years of geomatics professional experience into the core skills needed to process spatial data into information that meets users’ needs rather than trying to feed client wants.  It attempts to help see beyond the phrase “I want a map” to truly understand the longer term needs of people in their roles within your organization. The presentation builds on the foundation of the Tomlinson method of GIS user needs.


Sean Frey is the Geomatics Coordinator for Riding Mountain National Park. 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.

5 Massive Changes Coming to the UAV (RPAS) Industry

Matthew Johnson, M3 Aerial Productions Inc.

The UAV industry is developing through the pinnacle of the technological revolution, and as such, is subject to changes in hardware, software, and regulatory developments on a regular basis. There are five major changes that are coming to the industry that will be discussed in this session. One of them, “Beyond Visual Line Of Sight” will the biggest shakeup to the industry since the DJI Phantom hit the market!


Matthew Johnson is the owner and founder of M3 Aerial Productions Inc., a UAV-based services and training company based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He is a former high school teacher (5 yrs), and Captain in the Canadian Armed Forces (9 yrs) and has been at the helm of M3 Aerial since 2015.  Matthew has personally trained over 350 UAV pilots from several industries across Canada, running courses in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, Northwest Territories, and Atlantic Canada.

Matthew is specifically interested drone swarm technology, and is currently developing a platform for mapping large areas utilizing a team of UAVs that work collaboratively to gather data in a fast and efficient process.

Most recently, M3 Aerial Productions has begun developing specialized training programs for law enforcement, forestry and conservation specialists, education professionals, agricultural producers and agronomists.

Have a question about drones?  Matthew is very approachable!

GIS Implementation for a Rural Planning District

Justin Synchena, Synchena Consulting Inc.

Discussing the deployment of ArcGlS Software for the Red River Planning District. By employing various tools, we’ve deployed a number of cloud and enterprise based webmaps. Desktop software with distributed databases lets GIS information flow between the planning district and its member municipalities.


Justin has 12 years experience in the IT and GIS fields, specializing in the municipal and small government setting. Synchena Consulting was established in 2011 as a IT/GIS service provider to municipalities and small government clients.

Justin is a graduate from the Computer Analyst/Programmer course from Red River College, which has helped him focus on the “Information System” part of GIS.

He manages numerous municipalities IT and GIS environments and has experience with GIS Implementation and Project Management.

Cassandra Clouston started with Synchena Consulting in 2017 as a GIS Consultant and has 15 years of experience. 

Determination of potential critical habitat for the Golden–Winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) in Riding Mountain National Park

Chris Hay, Manitoba Infrastructure

The Golden-Winged Warbler (GWWA) is a species at risk in Canada, with critical habitat in Riding Mountain National Park. This project’s purpose was to create a new model for the bird’s potential critical habitat in the park. Recent Sentinel satellite imagery underwent PCA and unsupervised classification to serve as the base data for the models. GWWA observation points from within the park were used to define suitable habitat. Data were manipulated using ArcGIS geoprocessing tools (particularly zonal histogram statistics) and MS Excel. Two new GWWA potential critical habitat models were produced for the park: 1) class scoring (via scoring suitability of land classes) and 2) residuals (via consideration of average GWWA observation areas as ideal land composition).  Both models were validated as working effectively, and heat maps of the park were produced for each.


Chris Hay recently completed his formal education and is currently employed with Manitoba Infrastructure as a GIS Co-op Student. His education consists of a Bachelor’s of Environmental Science at the University of Manitoba, Master’s of Science in Biology at Western University in London, Ontario, and the Red River College Advanced Diploma in Geographic Information Systems Technology. His background is in conservation, particularly field work doing vegetation surveys and habitat assessment, but he has increasingly been involved with species at risk data management and GIS work. His Master’s research was on tallgrass prairie fungi in Ontario and he is in the process of publishing his results to Canadian Field Naturalist and Fungal Ecology. Chris plans to continue his career path in the intersections between conservation and GIS.

Lake Winnipeg BloomFinder

Dr. Paul Cooley, NextGen Environmental Research Inc.

The BloomFinder project aims to improve the understanding of the eutrophic and dynamic character of the south basin of Lake Winnipeg by the public. BloomFinder is all about enabling an adaptive user community by locating the algal blooms and making that information available on-line for people to make informed decisions about their planned activities on the lake. BloomFinder combines high resolution satellite imagery and social media. Satellite images show where the algal blooms were recently. Users can provide real-time updates on the algae on your beach or watersport area using NextGen’s BloomFinder social media group. BloomFinder gained more than 1,000 unique visitors in the first three weeks of operation, July 2018.


Dr. Paul Cooley is the founder and president of NextGen Environmental Research Inc., a research and development firm specializing in satellite (multispectral, Synthetic Aperture Radar) and UAV technologies on land, water and ice based in Winnipeg. Paul has background in international development, environmental assessment, biodiversity assessment, acoustics, and uses GIS as a modelling tool. NextGen currently is funded by the Canadian Space Agency’s Earth Observation Application Development Program to study lake ice hazards during the spring melt period on Lake Winnipeg using RADARSAT-2 data. NextGen is developing methods for near-real-time risk assessment modelling using satellite data in part using Google Earth Engine. This summer Paul initiated the first working group in Canada to begin the commercialization of agricultural spraying by UAV.  NextGen and ROGA Drone currently are preparing a proposal to the Government of Canada. If funded, we will be the first in Canada to conduct research efficacy trials required for commercial UAV spraying operations.

Winnipeg: Where to Walk and Where to Talk

Matt Sebesteny, City of Winnipeg

Winnipeg is a city noted for its absence of freeways, historic buildings and lack of a standard grid network of streets. Development has undergone various styles over the decades, but not all have been facilitative of walkable neighborhoods and spaces. Combining quantitative measuring techniques with how far people are willing to walk, He illustrated on a practical level which neighborhoods are pedestrian friendly and which would be prime locations for future initiatives.


Matt is a GIS technician with 3 years of professional experience with the Manitoba Government and Red River College, with a background in Environmental Studies, Forestry and Project Management. He developed Red River College’s first comprehensive thesis on a numerical walkability index for the City of Winnipeg, as well as executed various unique aquatic survey and conservation projects for over 80 lakes with the Government of Manitoba including many in remote, logistically challenging regions.

Throughout his personal and work life he has been highly interested in outdoor activities, including cottage and camping life and ranging from fishing to hiking to swimming. In some capacity, there seems to always be a GIS project for what he is looking to do. He also enjoy being a family handyman and watching action and comedy shows.

Walkability has been a point of passion for him for a long time. He has grown up in an area where nearly all trips commanded a car, and community amenities are scarce. He believes Winnipeg has a long way to go in order to become a better place to live, work and most importantly stay.


How to create and grow a tech based company in Manitoba

Bryce North, Serial Entrepreneur | Advisor | Speaker

How to develop, grow, and scale a successful technology business right here in Manitoba. Learn how to leverage the tools, resources, and entrepreneurial ecosystem within the province.


Bryce North has over 10 years experience in building, scaling, and running startups. He has built a reputable track record and won awards for his achievements in entrepreneurship. His focus on quick validation methods that utilize proven sales and marketing techniques has granted him numerous advisory roles and speaking opportunities worldwide. From being featured on Canada’s Dragons’ Den to building e-commerce brands and tech companies that have scaled and sold in over 60 countries, Bryce is sought after to share his experience and to work closely with most, if not all, of Manitoba’s innovation hubs.

His years spent serving as a CEO and mentor in technology startups has given him deep insight in building high-performing sales teams, obtaining quick traction and growth, fundraising, scaling global operations, while executing on intense sales and marketing strategies. Bryce has helped numerous companies raise millions of dollars and scale their operations through his management and marketing training.


Going Up? Modernizing the Elevator Inspection Process with Esri Workforce and Survey 123

Jocelynn Johnson, GeoManitoba & Christina Bouchie, Office of the Fire Commissioner

The current elevator inspection process run by the Office of the Fire Commissioner was bulky and inefficient. This project attempts to translate 6.5 million inspections and several hours of data entry to a one-step mobile process that can be utilized anywhere in the province. This project is currently being run through Workforce and Survey 123 with limited number of inspectors with a hope to roll out to all inspectors and several different types of inspections within the next year.


Jocelynn Johnson, GISP, graduated from the University of Manitoba in 2009 with a B.Sc in Geological Sciences and from Red River College in 2011 with a diploma in Web Development. Jocelynn will be completing her Bachelors of Technology in Geographic Information Systems from BC Institute of Technology in 2019. She has worked at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum- Mineral Sciences, the Manitoba Geological Survey, and Manitoba Infrastructure before settling down at Manitoba Sustainable Development – GeoManitoba as a GIS Technologist. Jocelynn is the current President of the Manitoba GIS User Group, as well as, sits on the board of GeoAlliance and encourages everyone to get involved with their local GIS user groups.

Christina Bouchie graduated from Red River College in 2002 with a diploma in Computer Analyst/Programmer. She has worked for The Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) for the last 11+ years. Christina has been a key player in the development and implementation of several process improvement projects within the organization. Recently, Christina has been involved with the Transformational Excellence team’s initiative to promote and implement LEAN. She has been expanding her GIS knowledge and looks forward to learning how GIS can benefit current process improvement projects within the OFC.


GeoAlliance Progress Report 2018

GeoAlliance Board of Directors

GeoAlliance Canada will be coming to Winnipeg to present their annual progress report.  MGUGgers have the opportunity to ask questions and weigh in, as people on a national level call-in to participate.

People wishing to attend this in person require paid MGUG conference tickets. If you want to participate in the web-call only please register here as spaces are limited by the software.

For more information visit geoalliance.ca

An Historical Survey of the Hydrology in Winnipeg
(There used to be dozens of creeks and an old oxbow in Winnipeg)

David Loftson

As a kid, I would bicycle all over the city. After I’d been down every street, I focused on the rivers and the creeks. I wondered where the creeks came from. I’d follow them back to see where they started but they all petered out very quickly. Like the creek in Kildonan Park, it was large and significant in the park but then it disappeared before Main Street. What happened to it, to all of them? It took many years of investigation but finally I found out what happened to all of the creeks. This presentation will fully explain what I found out about “The Missing Creeks”.


David Loftson has worked as a Design and Graphics Technician at Manitoba Infrastructure in Water Engineering and Construction for 10 years. For two years, he did a biweekly radio series on CBC radio 1 entitled “Flat Not Boring”. He delved into the history of things Winnipeg and the first in the series was the creeks and rivers that existed at the time of European settlement (about 150 years ago). A year ago, he gave a walking tour to planners from the Canadian Institute of Planners
conference of the two downtown creeks that existed in Winnipeg pre-settlement. He cooks and operates Pop-Up restaurants periodically serving Syrian food. The funds raised are donated to Syrian refugees.  He was a bike messenger for five years and has lived in Winnipeg all his life.

Mapping Historic Manitoba

Dr. Gordon Goldsborough

This presentation will describe an eight-year project of the Manitoba Historical Society to document historic sites — buildings, monuments, cemeteries, and more — around the province and make the information available via an online SQL database and a customized Google Map.


A native Manitoban, Dr. Gordon Goldsborough is an aquatic ecologist at the University of Manitoba and an active member of the Manitoba Historical Society, being a Past-President, Webmaster, and an Editor of Manitoba History magazine. He is presently doing a weekly radio series on CBC Radio 1 and has written four books, including the national bestseller “Abandoned Manitoba” and its sequel to be published in mid-October.



October 17, 2018
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:




Club Regent Event Centre
1425 Regent Ave W.
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2C3B2 Canada
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