Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Geomapix Gateway May Newsletter is Out! - Read about our project work and internship with COGS student Allen MacMillan


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Centre of Geographic Sciences: Student Final Term Project

Since 2009 our team has been working with the Centre Of Geographic Sciences (COGS) to provide graduating student a final term project and possible student internship.

Each year a COGS instructor contacts us to look at ideas for developing a work term. The goal is to create a real world project for the student so that they can get their feet wet when it comes to entering the GIS industry.

The process is completely professional and creates an opportunity for the sponsor to have a look at new GIS software processes and functions prior to implementing them across the business. The student gets a chance to build a project concept from beginning to end and build a project work plan, budgeting, and researching the proposed project. The final term project usually leads into an internship to prepare the student to enter the workforce.

Visit Landmark Geographic Solutions IncPowered By GeomapixOur 2013 student, Allen MacMillan, is a second-year cartography student with a keen eye not only for cartographic design but building a GIS and modelling for our project. Working with a local development authority we decided to look at a crop suitability model. The suitability model is based on growing hops for the brewery industry in the Annapolis Valley.

The goal was to identify the geographic data requirements and build a spatial analysis tool to identify a low, medium, and high potential of growth and put together a cartographically pleasing map product to be delivered to the Nova Scotia Agricultural Department.

By identifying data requirements we can understand what information needs to be collected or improved to build the suitability model correctly. Also by creating a Geographic Information System and analysis tool it will give the agricultural department the ability to expand their expertise in crop suitability mapping.

First off, Allen researched the best growing environment for hops; which is fast draining soils, South facing slope for sun exposure (using a TIN Model), a PH level of 5.6 or above, and excluded areas within 2 km of the shoreline. Other geographic data included identifying non forested and non wetland areas.

So Allen set out to create an Esri ArcGIS suitability model which became the heart of the entire project. Allen built the model so that values could be inputted into the model to build and output suitability areas for other crops.

The final touches are just about complete and we will be presenting the final map, GIS data, and modelling to the Nova Scotia Agricultural Department.

As a LGS Inc. intern, Allen is developing a Map Atlas generator using our Nova Scotia Geodatabase for Esri ArcMap. This will allow the production of custom maps for print and webGIS. Thank you Allen for all your hard work!

Please visit Allen’s portfolio website @

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Partner Profile: Gerry Watson of Snowbound Studios

We are always happy to identify partners that have made us successful. We're recognizing Gerry Watson of Snowbound Studios in New Minas, Nova Scotia, for his great work as our development partner.

Gerry has a keen eye for web design and has the uncanny ability to understand exactly what a client needs when it comes to web development. We have been able to work with him on a variety of GIS web applications including our flagship product, the Local Information Utility (LIU), the AGRG Community Mapping Project, and our new LIU product for a building inspection tracking system.

Gerry likes to learn, has a creative streak and wants to help solve problems. These are traits that can’t all be taught through higher education. Gerry sees the world as we do; that you can be a successful tech firm in rural Nova Scotia when you build local partnerships.

As a small firm it is difficult to be able to do all things tech. That's why LGS Inc. connects with small business expertise like Snowbound Studios because buying local and  growing the rural economy is important to us.

He sums his experience in web development quite nicely by saying;

“I am not a trained geek, it just came naturally, my education is in Geography and History, two topics that I still find deeply interesting BUT how does this make me suitable for web development? . . . I'm not sure - but I'm pretty certain it helps. I find this job requires a person, who likes to learn, has a creative streak and wants to help solve problems. These are traits you don't learn in school - well I didn't anyway.”

Gerry’s mission with Snowbound Studios is simple. He wants to work with people, talk to them, and help them realize their goals while continuing to foster his own personal and professional growth and development.

Visit Gerry’s website at or give him a ring at +19023652406

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