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BeSpatial'22 Plan Now!

When: May 3-4, 2022
Annual General Meeting with program sessions and EXPO showcase.

Call for Submissions: BeSpatial Student Bursary

Bursary value: $500

The BeSpatial Student Bursary is an annual award that recognizes the contributions of students studying at Ontario post-secondary institutions to the geospatial and information community. This is a great opportunity for students to get name recognition and begin participating in community events.

To be eligible for this award, students must be currently enrolled in a certificate, diploma, post-graduate diploma, undergraduate, or graduate studies program in Ontario.

Broad topics for consideration can include the application of GIS in the following areas: Education, Geomatics Engineering, Environment, Natural Resources, Public Safety, Transportation, Facility and Asset Management, Business, and Analytics.

Application Guidelines

To be considered for this award, eligible students are asked to submit a story map (or poster) and short paper detailing their project completed as a requirement for their studies in Ontario. Additional details are as follows:

  • Project descriptions should be no longer than 500 words and include its purpose, data used, and the solution that it provides.
  • The use of maps and other data visualization elements to describe project results are strongly encouraged.

Deadline for Submission: April 15, 2022

Questions regarding the bursary should be sent to the attention of the Director of Education.


Xuyang Han - York University

Geomatics Engineering
Dept. of Earth & Space Science & Engineering | Lassonde School of Engineering 

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


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.

2019 Student Bursary Winner

Devon Kleinjan - University of Guelph

2019_Winner_Devon_Kleinjan-3-D Datascape Mapping of Toronto

Devon Kleinjan is entering his final year at the University of Guelph, studying Landscape Architecture. He is supplementing his professional degree with a minor is GIS. He is currently working as a Landscape Intern with the Hamilton Conservation Authority. His BeSpatial project submission stood at the intersection of Landscape Architecture, Geography and Technology. He is looking forward to being a part of BeSpatial for the professional and personal connections it can provide.

2018 Student Bursary Winner

Nebyu Woldeyohanes - Nipissing University, Ontario

Nebyu Studying Invasive Plant Distribution by Using GIS

Nebyu Daniel Woldeyohanes is a 3rd year Environmental and physical Geography student at Nipissing University, focusing in GIS and Environmental Management. He was born and raised in Ethiopia, coming to Canada when he was 15. He aspires to be a GIS specialist to be able to solve real life problems.

His project studied Invasive Plant Distribution through the Identification and Impacts of Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) on Lake Tana, Ethiopia.

2017 Student Bursary Winner

Kyle Wittmaier - Nipissing University, Ontario

Kyle Wittmaier  Nipissing University, Ontario

Suitable Locations for Solar Panel Farm Development in the Niagara Region

This project was completed as part of the requirement for 2016 Esri GIS Scholarship. The objective was to identify the most suitable locations for se

tting up solar panel farms in the Niagara Region using GIS mapping techniques.

In recent years, Canada has invested heavily in renewable energy and the completion of this project would provide useful information in determinati

on financial feasibility for establishing solar energy generation facilities. Location of suitable sites was determined using GIS multi-criteria evaluation analysis tools. The three main criteria were: accessibility/boundaries, topographic factors, and existing land cover/use. All criteria were individually analyzed and then combined using the Weighted Sum tool before Boolean logic was applied to remove restricted development areas. The results show that there are three clusters of suitable locations present in the Niagara Region near the municipalities of Lincoln, Niagara Falls, and Fort Erie. These are the areas where future solar panel farm development should be considered.

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