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Events - Announcements -  Industry News

  • August 27, 2021 5:12 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)
    • President, Executive Committee: Peter Hettstedt
    • Vice President, Executive Committee: Melanie Wawryk
    • Finance/ Treasurer, Executive Committee: Alex Brossault
    • Membership/ Secretary, Executive Committee: Hanna Sjostrom
    • BeSpatial/AGM Project Management, Executive Committee: Wendy Baldin
    • Programs, Executive Committee: John Bacon
    • Web Executive Committee: Jeff Norris
    • BeSpatial/AGM and Event Logistics: Mohamed Nishath
    • Strategy & Outreach: Susan Muleme Kasumba, Past President
    • Communication: Gayathri (Gaya) Ganesan
    • Education: Iain Greensmith
    • Eastern Section: Marikka Williams
    • Western Section: Melanie Wawryk
    • Northern Section: Paul Beach & Krista Bullock
    • Director at Large: Andrew Lyszkiewicz
    • Director at Large: Joel Meier
    • Director at Large: James Burn
    • Director at Large (YPN): Brooke Hickmott

    Welcome New Board of Directors

    Welcome to the board Peter Hettstedt, Jeff Norris, James Burn and Joel Meier! We're excited to have such talented professionals join us in moving BeSpatial forward. Stay tuned for their director profiles to come in future eNews.

  • August 20, 2021 1:35 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    Joel started his GIS education at the University of Guelph. Then attended Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) and graduated with a specialty in remote sensing. After COGS Joel graduated with a Master's of Science from a joint program between The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. For the past 5 years Joel has been working in municipal GIS but also has experience at the federal level and within the private sector. Joel's main passions within GIS are RPAS and business intelligence. 

    Board position and email: Director-at-large 

  • August 13, 2021 11:37 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    James Burn, LET, C.E.T., CGS, GISP, EP

    James attended Brock University where he received his B.Sc. in Environmental Geology, and later attended Niagara College receiving a post graduate certificate in GIS and Geospatial Management.

    Over the past 20+ years, James has worked in the engineering field in both the public and private sectors and is currently the GIS Lead and a partner at GM BluePlan Engineering. In this position, he supports core engineering services as well as the Infrastructure Planning, Hydraulic Modeling and Asset Management teams.

    James is a Licensed and Certified Engineering Technologist in geomatics as recognized by the PEO and OACETT respectively and is also certified with the Canadian Institute of Geomatics in Geospatial Management and GIS/LIS in addition to being a certified GISP.

    Company and Position

    GM BluePlan Engineering Limited - GIS Lead, Partner

    Board position and email: Director at-large

  • July 02, 2021 12:48 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    A warm welcome to our new President of BeSpatial Ontario.

    Peter obtained a B.Sc. in Geography from the University of Calgary, graduating in 1987. While working as a research assistant in the Yukon in the summer of 1986, looking into permafrost landforms, he was introduced to surveying. After graduation he worked as a surveyor and Party Chief for an exploration company in both Africa and the Middle East. Once kids came along in the mid 90’s, he didn’t want to be an absentee parent, and he transitioned into a sales role promoting new Survey technologies, including GPS, Reflectorless Total Stations and in 2001 the introduction of terrestrial LiDAR to Canada. He has been involved in the Geomatics/Geospatial industry ever since.

    He now works as Business Development Manager for J.D. Barnes Ltd. and its subsidiaries, including First Base Solutions and Onsite Locates Inc., consulting with clients to provide the appropriate geomatics or geospatial services to make their projects successful.

    Peter joined the Board of BeSpatial in late 2020, and was nominated and accepted the role of President at the 2021 AGM.

    Board Position & e-mail: President 

  • June 30, 2021 11:38 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    Development Services at The Town of Perth wants to make better use of the Stats. Canada data available for their Town.  Many statistics are grouped into specific geospatial zones. The Town of Perth would like to use these zones for planning purposes such as walkability, food deserts, proximity to parks, etc. 

    Are there any BeSpatial members currently working with this type of data for their Region or Municipality? 

    Please reach out to Brad and share your knowledge!

    Bradley Wright                              
    Director of Development Services, 
    Corporation of the Town of Perth

    80 Gore Street E
    Perth, ON K7H 1H9

    Tel: 613 267 3311 #2235
    Email: development@perth.ca

  • May 17, 2021 5:20 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    General Organization & Pheedloop

    • The organization of presentations was great on Pheedloop, and I appreciated being able to filter presentations for specific days, topics, speakers, etc.
    • For the MApps gallery, I thought providing the entries in a video was great. I would have loved to have links to active apps and maps as a supplement to this so I could view some additional details for each entry.
    • I liked having the notifications for presentations and other sections of the event that were starting - it was definitely helpful when I was busy during the scavenger hunt!


    • This was great, and it was very clear how to get gamification codes and redeem them. I liked having multiple options for getting gamification codes and how this encouraged interactions with the exhibitors!
    • The only suggestion I would have here would be to have a notification through Pheedloop giving a 5 minute warning for when the prize draw was happening so everyone could get their final ballots in.


    • Presentations were well-organized and it was great having the chat options for asking questions along with a moderator to collect questions.
    • I'm not sure if this is just a Pheedloop setting - but I did notice in a few presentations, the presentation stopped broadcasting as soon as their time ended. As we had a little bit of time in between sessions, I would have loved to have the option to either continue viewing the broadcast or to disperse out to the exhibit booths. Alternately, a 5 minute warning for the presenter would work if there isn't an option to allow the broadcasts to go longer.


    • I loved the private chat / video meet now options and really appreciated being able to start a chat with other attendees. I actually ended up reconnecting with someone I knew who was presenting, and it was much nicer to start our conversation with a quick chat than sending him an email separately. A few others also reached out through chat, and it was great being able to talk with them on Pheedloop itself rather than having to go to email or set up a separate call.
    • The poll and quiz options were great and I especially liked the word clouds for quiz responses being generated in real time.

    Thank you so much again for all of the work that went in to making this event fantastic. Many of the events I've attended over the last year have just been presentation after presentation, with very few options for engaging with presenters and connecting with other attendees. I thought Pheedloop really tied everything together and made it feel more like an in-person conference - even little touches like having a map view of the exhibitor booth with people icons at each booth made it feel special. 

    If there's anything here you want further clarification on, please reach out!

    Katherine O'Hearn, 1st time BeSpatial volunteer

  • May 06, 2021 4:54 PM | Hanna Sjostrom, GISP (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the recipients of the 2021 People's Choice MApps Award :

    Best App:  District of Muskoka - Floodline and LiDAR Mapping 
    Best Map: Nebyu Woldeyohanes - Debris Flows in the Bow River Valley, between Banff and Lake Louise, using DEMs

    For more details, visit MApps Award 

  • May 06, 2021 9:28 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    Best Public Sector GIS

    2021 Gold Award: City of Guelph

    Innovation in GIS

    2021 Gold Award: City of Richmond Hill: Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) tool

    Best Web GIS

    2021 Gold Award:  Town of East Gwillimbury: Parks and Trails Web Story Map

    Visit  the Awards Page for more results announced at BeSpatial'21

  • May 06, 2021 9:25 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)


    View the Top 10 Submissions 

    For details on how you can apply for a 2022 awards, please watch for updates on the Student Bursary page

    Xuyang Han | York University

    Clustering Marine Automatic Identification System (AIS) Data Using Optimized Density-Based Spatial Clustering of Applications with Noise (DBSCAN) 

    Abstract: Today, maritime transportation represents substantial international trade. Sustainable development of marine transportation requires systematic modeling and surveillance for maritime situational awareness. In this research, we present an enhanced density-based spatial clustering (DBSCAN) method to model vessel behaviours. The proposed methodology enhances the DBSCAN clustering performance by integrating the Mahalanobis Distance metric that considers the correlations of the points representing the locations of the vessels. The clustering method is applied to historical Automatic Identification System (AIS) data by proposing an algorithm for generating a clustering model of the vessels' trajectories and a model for detecting vessel trajectories anomalies such as unexpected stops, deviations from regulated routes, or inconsistent speed. Besides, an automatic and data-driven approach is proposed to choose the required initial parameters for enhanced DBSCAN.

    Two case studies present outcomes from the openly available Gulf of Mexico AIS data and Saint Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes AIS licensed data acquired from ORBCOMM (a maritime AIS data provider). This work's findings demonstrate the applicability and scalability of proposed method for modeling more water regions, contributing to the situational awareness, vessel collision prevention, safe navigation, route planning, and detection of vessel behaviour anomalies for auto-vessels development towards the sustainability of marine transportation.

  • May 05, 2021 10:53 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    Dear BeSpatial 

    We would like to thank you all for such a successful virtual event! I believe we had a record – over 290 folks online on day one, and over 200 on day two! Your support is greatly appreciated.

    We are so grateful to both of our BeSpatial Co-Directors: Wendy Baldin and Mohamed Nishath, and to our Web Co-Directors Melanie Warwryk and Jeff Norris. Honorable mention to Hanna Sjostrom. Not just for their leadership in the event and our virtual platform Pheedloop, but behind the scenes on the event days, along with our other board members, these folks were busy keeping the sessions going and fixing glitches. You all did such an amazing job!

    We truly appreciate all of our volunteers who helped make our event successful. From preparation in the months leading up, to help on the day of. Even though we were virtual, there was still much to do. Our volunteers really stepped up.

    To our speakers – your sessions were so interesting and thought provoking. You delivered so much information for folks to digest and consider as they move forward in their day jobs. We appreciate the effort you put in to your presentation. Thank you to our moderators who kept things on track.

    Our keynote speakers, Biju Misra and Alex Miller - inspiring with very timely messages. Thank you both!

    And for those who had a part in our event, big or small, we thank you.

    Our poll at the end of the day indicated a 60/40 split for virtual and in person for our next event. We will keep you informed about our decision.

    Warm Regards,

    Susan, Past President & Peter, President

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