"What's On at
INFORMATION PROCESSING (GIP) PROGRAM, CARLETON UNIVERSITY
KING SEPTEMBER 14, 2001
This is the sixth
article in a series created to bring OARS members
up-to-date on remote sensing and related activities
in industry, academia, and government.
OARS is grateful to
Dr. Douglas King, Professor, Department of Geography
and Environmental Studies, Carleton University for
preparing this article. - Ed.
The Geographic Information
Processing (GIP) Program in the Department of Geography
and Environmental Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa,
Ontario is one of the largest and most diverse in Canada.
It offers a variety of degrees and an extensive set of
courses in both undergraduate and graduate levels. They
range from a specialized GIP Honours Degree to
combined degrees with other Departments such as Biology.
Ten courses in geographic information systems (GIS),
remote sensing and cartography are available at the
undergraduate level, and five graduate courses for
Masters and Ph.D. students. Teaching and research
supervision are provided by four professors and three
instructors. Additionally, other applications courses
include these subjects in their curricula.
B. Courses making up
the GIP Program
Any or all of the
following courses can be taken, depending on the degree
selected (see part D below).
- One introductory
course in the GIP fields (not required for
students with high school Geomatics).
- 5 GIS courses, from 2nd
year to 4th year. Early courses are
introductory, later courses are advanced
including multivariate modelling and error
- 2 remote sensing
courses in 3rd and 4th year
including image processing, thematic mapping and
- 2 cartography courses
in 3rd and 4th year
including cartographic design and computer
- A practicum placement
in government or industry to gain GIP work
experience. (Ottawa, being home to major Canadian
government geomatics agencies and many geomatics
firms, is an ideal location for GIP-type
- One statistics course
on using multivariate statistics for analyzing
complex human or physical geographical data.
- A 4th year
honours research project or workshop
requiring the preparation of a major report.
Two teaching laboratories
consisting altogether (as of September, 2001) 30 high end
computers with the following data processing and analysis
software: ARC/Info, ARCView, PCI Image Analysis, IDRISI,
MapInfo, CorelDraw and PhotoPaint. Another laboratory,
part of the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre,
has six computers and similar software and is devoted to
research (see part F below).
Below are summaries only.
For details, please refer to the web sites or contact
Professor King (see part G below).
1. Specialized GIP
B.A. Honours Degree
limited-enrollment program (current maximum is 16 in
each year) is for students who wish to focus on the
acquisition, management, analysis, and display of
geographic information. Applications in planning,
environmental and resources management, hazard
mapping, demographics, market analysis, and education
will be explored. Practical experience will be gained
in GIS, digital cartography, remote sensing, and
quantitative analysis. Students take all the courses
listed in part B (above) plus additional courses in
Geography or other programs.
2. B.Sc. Honours
Physical Geography with Concentration in GIP
Within the physical
geography program, students take a subset of the GIP
courses in part B (above) plus the Practicum and the
Honours research project/workshop.
3. Minor In GIP
Students may enroll in
other departments such as Biology or Political
Science and take a subset of six of the courses
listed in part B (above) plus two other required
geography courses as a minor to their
4. Individual courses
Students may take any
of the above courses without being in a specific GIP
degree program provided pre-requisites for the course
E. Graduate Program
Two seminar-type courses
and two directed-study courses in GIS, remote sensing and
cartography are offered. A graduate level introductory
GIS course is available to students without previous
experience. Also, complementary courses can be taken at
the University of Ottawa for credit.
Three professors and two
adjunct professors conduct research in which GIS, remote
sensing or cartography are major components. Other
research involves application of these techniques.
The GIP graduate program
currently has 15 Masters and Ph.D. students.
Research projects include: Web-based Cartography,
Geomatics in Developing Countries, Biophysical Modelling,
Multi-scale Vegetation Analysis, Land Cover Mapping,
Environmental Assessment, and optical and radar
applications. Additionally, extensive fieldwork and
remote sensing data acquisition are significant
components in projects on (1) high-resolution airborne
digital camera imaging for ice storm damage monitoring,
mine contamination of adjacent forests, and forest
regeneration assessment, (2) multi-scale ecological data
analysis for species conservation (jointly with the
Biology Department) and (3) indigenous land use analysis.
The following four recent
graduate theses illustrate the broad range of research
topics that may be pursued. Contact the Department for
- The role of
geomatics in supporting sustainable development
policy-making. Ph.D. thesis.
- Modelling forest
structure and health using high-resolution airborne
imagery: Investigation of spectral unmixing and
spatial analysis of radiometric fractions. Ph.D.
- Temporal analysis of
forest change at an abandoned mine site using
high-resolution remote sensing. Masters thesis.
- Cartography and the
geometry of space: Re-imagining the legacy of
Claudius Ptolemy. Masters thesis.
F. Geomatics and
Cartographic Research Centre
The Centre is one of three
formal university Organized Research Units in the
Department. It is run by Professors F. Taylor (Chair) and
D. King. It has its own laboratory and conducts research
in geomatics and cartography with Canadian and
G. More Information
Summaries of the degrees
and minors in the undergraduate and graduate programs are
available from: http://www.carleton.ca/geography/geography/geo_ug_main.html
Details of these programs
and courses are in the Geography entry of the university
Chair: Professor Doug King, phone: 613-520-2561;
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org up to July 2002.
After that, Dan Patterson, phone: 613-520-2561;
Professor Fraser Taylor, phone: 613-520-2561; e-mail:
ONTARIO LAND INFORMATION PROFESSIONAL O.L.I.P.
These Power Point
slides were originally published as a feature article in
the November 1999 issue (Vol. 22, No. 2) of the OARS
Newsletter. They are reproduced here because of potential
interest to members who have joined since then. Thanks to
Mr. Murray LeGris, Executive Director of the Ontario
Association of Land Surveyors (AOLS) for giving OARS the
permission to post.
For more information
about AOLS or OLIP, visit www.aols.org.
If you have Microsoft
Power Point on your computer, Click here.
If you do not have
Microsoft Power Point on you computer, Click
file containing the slides and a viewer will need to be
downloaded to your computer. Once the download is
complete (1.08 Mb so it might take a while depending on
your internet connection speed), open the file 'OLIP.exe'
and follow the prompts. 2 files will be unzipped. Open
the file named 'pngsetup.exe' and the slide show will
BY LAWTON TAM
This is the fifth
article in a series created to bring OARS members
up-to-date on remote sensing and related activities in
industry, academia, and government; and with our emphasis
now on relying upon the Internet for dissemination and
communication, it is the first to appear on our website.
In remote sensing,
attention is usually focussed on image analyses and
applications. Data acquisition although basic to the
entire process, is somewhat taken for granted; and this
is often the case with the most common source of airborne
data, aerial photography. By profiling the Airborne
Sensing Corporation in Toronto, OARS hopes to introduce
the highly specialized field of taking airphotos to
members unfamiliar with the subject and to update
long-time practitioners on current practices and trends.
OARS is grateful to
Mr. Alexander Giannelia, President of the Airborne
Sensing Corporation for providing materials for this
articles and for making it possible.
AIRBORNE SENSING CORPORATION
photography suitable for mapping (photogrammetry) and
visual analysis (photo interpretation and image analysis)
is a highly sophisticated process requiring specialized
equipment and techniques and skilled operators. In
Ontario, only 3 firms (at the time of writing) meet the
federal government's requirements for aerial photography.
The Airborne Sensing Corporation in Toronto is one. The
company, established in 1981, is based at and operates
out of the Toronto City Centre Airport on the Toronto
Islands. Although the process of taking precision aerial
photographs remains essentially unchanged over the years,
the business aspect has expanded. Previously, the
practice was to fly the photography and deliver only the
exposed films and the hard copies. Today, because of
convergence of technologies, deliverables tend to also
include airborne GPS data to facilitate downstream
processes and products.
offers a full range of services in black-and-white and
colour aerial photography - from project planning, flight
planning, flying, film processing to producing digital or
hard copies. Additional services include providing data
for aerial triangulation by GPS and creating digital
is one of the first In Ontario to apply GPS technology to
aerial photography and photogrammetric mapping. Its photo
lab is Ontario's first private colour aerial
||Two Piper PA-23-250 Turbo
Aztec F ( Model F of the Aztec series with twin
turbocharged piston engines ) with "Category
A" camera ports.
||Two Zeiss Jena LMK
photogrammetric camera with forward motion
Each camera is equipped with precise
time interface for GPS/INS work.
||Two 6-in Zeiss Lamegon
and lenses are calibrated to National Research
Council of Canada and U.S. Geological Survey
||Zeiss LMK-1000 models.
Magazines have "Real Time Data
Projectors" to imprint position, time, and
other data on each exposed frame.
||Primary navigation is by
the "Accuphoto GPS Flight Management
System" which uses real-time, differential
GPS as input. Secondary navigation is by either
the "ARNAV R-40" Loran-C receiver or
the "TRIMBLE 2000A" GPS receiver.
Backup is either the KOLLSMAN Navigation
Telescope or the BENDIX B-3 driftmeter.
is the one used to fly the flight lines.
"Secondary" system is used by the pilot
to get to the project site. It will also be used
to navigate the flight lines if the primary
system fails. When used in this role, the time
interface on the camera is de-activated. The
telescope and driftmeter are traditional tools
for visual navigation along flight lines. They
are used mainly to confirm line starts and stops.
Kinematic GPS System:
provides precise position of perspective centres
at the instant of exposure. It consists of base
station receivers and equipment on board the
Receivers: Three NOVATEL MILLENIUM and two
NOVATEL 3151 receivers, all with geodetic
antennae, tripods, and data-logging laptop
board each aircraft are:
(a) a NOVATEL
MILLENIUM dual-frequency carrier phase receiver,
identical to the base station receiver;
(b) an antenna
and pre-amplifier specific to the make of the GPS
receiver. Supported makes are Astech, Trimble,
and Novatel. (When switching receivers, the
original antenna and pre-amplifier can be
dismounted and appropriate units installed
(c) a notebook
computer for logging GPS data for post
(d) high speed
serial link between receiver and computer.
VERSAMAT model. Processes film, contact prints
Mark IV-C model. Produces 9" x 9"
colour or black-and-white prints and
and DEVERE models.
model. Processes colour_prints, diapositives and
enlargements up to 42".
and reflection types.
Model 4000HT. For rasterizing individual
||Pen plotter. HEWLETT PACKARD
Draftmaster E-size model. For plotting flight
lines. Uses in house-developed software to
register exposure points onto paper map from GPS
data captured onboard.
||Flight planning, GPS
post-processing, block adjustment, geodetic
transformation and datum transformation packages.
7 permanent staff,
plus part-time personnel and interns.
and General Manager
Lab Manager and Assistant General Manager
Pilot and Assistant Maintenance Manager
Part-time Staff and
May 1999 - August 2000. Geomatics Engineering
Program, University of Calgary.
Student, May 1 - August 30, 2000. Geomatics
Engineering Program, Ryerson Polytechnic
Student, May 1 - August 30, 2000. Geomatics
Engineering Program, Ryerson Polytechnic
Technician and Software Developer.
completed in 19 years.
Photogrammetric mapping, forest inventory, base mapping,
environmental studies, water quality surveys, mineral
exploration, digital orthophoto production etc.
Clients ( the company
works either as prime or sub-contractor ): Canadian
government, Ontario and other provincial ministries and
municipalities, US counties and municipalities, local and
foreign land developers.
Project areas: From
Idaho, U.S. in the west to Bermuda in the east and from
Iqaluit (Frobisher Bay) in the north to Aruba in the
o Forest Inventory
Scotia Ministry of Forest Resources. Year:
1997/1998. Site: Pictou County/Cape Breton
Island. Photography: 1: 10,000 colour. Coverage:
4,500+ line-km each. Services: Aerial
photography, film processing, sample prints.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Year:
1994. Site: Northern Ontario. Photography: 1:
20,0000 B&W. Coverage: 6,000+ line-km.
Services: Aerial photography, film processing.
Roanoke International Airport. Site: Roanoke,
Virginia. Photography: 1: 40,000 B&W.
Services: Airborne GPS data ( kinematic
GPS-derived co-ordinates of antenna ) for aerial
triangulation, aerial photography, film
processing and printing. Services were provided
for obstacle mapping by a consultant in a US
Federal Aviation Administration program.
Similarly, 13 other airports east of the
Mississippi River were covered.
Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Site: Hwy
400, Toronto - Barrie. Photography: 1: 3,000
B&W. Services: Aerial photography, airborne
GPS data for aerial triangulation.
and Engineering Studies
Marshall Macklin Monaghan acting as consultant to
the Government of Bermuda. Site: Bermuda.
Photography: 1: 30,000 colour over coral reefs,
1: 10,000 over land. Services: Aerial
photography, film processing and printing.
Labrador Hydro. Site: Proposed flooded area for
the Lower Churchill Project and transmission
corridors to St. John=s, Newfoundland. Photography: 1:
8,000, 1: 12,500 and 1: 20,000 colour. Coverage:
40,000 sq. km. Services: Control survey network
development, aerial photography, raw kinematic
and static GPS data for network adjustment,
airborne GPS data for aerial triangulation, film
processing and production of paper prints and
diapositives from 5,000+ negatives.
The Map Factory- HJW, U.S. Sites: Dade &
Broward Counties, Florida. Photography: 1:24,000
B&W. Services: Aerial photography, selecting
ground control points and providing airborne GPS
data for aerial triangulation.
Major U.S. consulting engineering firms. Sites:
U.S. cities such as Fort Myers, Miami, Orlando,
Palm Beach, St. Petersburg, Tampa in Florida;
Atlanta, Savannah in Georgia; Charleston, Myrtle
Beach in South Carolina; Nashville in Tennessee.
Photography: 1: 24,000 colour. Services: Aerial
photography, airborne GPS data for aerial
Private developer. Site: Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Photography: 1: 30,000 colour. Services:
Targetting, aerial photography, airborne GPS data
collection, aerial triangulation, digital
HJW for NYNEX. Site: Boston, Massachusetts.
Photography: 1: 40,000 B&W. Coverage: 5,000
sq. mi. Services: Aerial photography, aerial
As in other
fields today, the practice of aerial photography is
affected by new and continuously improving technologies;
and additionally, by the convergence of remote sensing,
photogrammetry, cartography, GPS and GIS. To gain some
perspective, OARS has asked Mr. Alexander Giannelia,
President of the company, to comment on the following in
terms of their effects on airborne data acquisition:
inside quotation marks and are reproduced verbatim.)
find them to be an inevitable development. Issues
that need to be resolved are the fact that aircraft
environments are inimical to the successful and
reliable operation of electronics and why abandon
film technology when it has overcome these problems.
The only advantage we see in digital is the reduced
post-processing time because scanning should not be
necessary. This however has to be balanced against
our experience that downloading of KGPS/INS data is
already an onerous task, so why add to the confusion.
in favour of film is strictly related to the
practicality of handling large data sets in an
optical/chemical as opposed to a digital manner.
However, if the market demands digital and we cannot
emulate it using film-based imagery, we will go
historical anecdote: In 1981, when the Airborne
Sensing Corporation purchased its first camera, a
Fairchild KA2, we were asked why we didn't buy a
first order film-based photogrammetric camera. Our
view at that time was that digital cameras would be
available soon, so why invest in "old"
technology? In 1982, we purchased our first
photogrammetric camera; in 1991, our first FMC camera
with GPS interface and in 1996, our second FMC camera
with GPS interface. We are still waiting."
Airborne Sensing Corporation specializes in all the
data collection, processing and preparation for
photogrammetry. Softcopy photogrammetry with its
emphasis on image quality has raised concerns which
did not exist in vector- based (as opposed to digital
orthoimage) mapping. Now more clients are asking for
time matching on large blocks to ensure uniformity of
image. Film handling is more critical to avoid
contaminants and our expertise in image quality and
colour imaging is more in demand now than ever
has been the main reason for the company=s growth
since 1993. Our ability and willingness to undertake
the risks of GPS projects anywhere anytime gave us
the opportunity to open the U.S. market.
Interestingly, the acceptance of GPS was much higher
in all areas except Ontario, with some clients only
now being able to use such data effectively.
of GPS missions however are greater because the crew
now has to land to set up base stations, survey in
the locations of those stations relative to the
project area, and sometimes wait for optimal
constellations. The risks of the data collection not
going well are ever present and can only be managed
by establishing and following strict
Resolution (1m) Satellite Imagery:
notice that with 1m data becoming available, there is
an even greater awareness of what georereferenced
image data can do and this has resulted in even more
aerial photography work being requested. We don=t
however expect that Canada will ever be
rephotographed from the air as was done between 1946
photography will be used increasingly as a
non-intrusive means of measuring and assessing the
ground at the decimeter level."
1988, we have used electronic data communication
regularly in our mission control and client
communications. We use the Internet both as a source
of information as well as a means of disseminating
late breaking news.
our clients in the mapping business have
traditionally acted as "retailers" for our
products, we have not yet created a site to download
images. Two clients in particular have commenced
programmes where our imagery will be available on the
Web under their auspices.
the Internet has the potential to be the best
distribution system for up-to-date aerial imagery and
will very quickly replace traditional photo libraries
and order systems and we welcome this
6. Vision of
the Airborne Sensing Corporation:
long as this planet remains the same size and has to
support an ever increasing population, there will be
a growing need for an industry which quickly,
accurately and fairly allows the measurement of the
Earth' s surface with minimal intrusion. And as long
as the community of users continues to show its
diversity, we feel that decentralized custom sources
of Earth data will have a growing place in the
information on the company or on aerial photography,
contact Alexander Giannelia at:
Toronto City Centre Airport
Hangar 6, Suite 110
Toronto, Ontario M5V 1A1
Fax: 416 203-9843
The article below was
published in the June 1999 issue (Vol. 22, No. 1) of the
OARS Newsletter and is reproduced verbatim here.
GEOMATICS ENGINEERING OPTION AT RYERSON POLYTECHNIC
by Lawton Tam
This is the second of a
series of articles to bring members up-to-date on remote
sensing and related activities in industry, academia, and
government. In the last issue, Ontario Hydro ( now
Ontario Hydro Services Co. ) and the Earth Observation
Laboratory at the University of Waterloo were profiled.
This issue covers the new Geomatics Engineering Option at
Ryerson Polytechnic University. OARS Newsletter would
like to thank Professor Ian Hale of the Department of
Civil Engineering at Ryerson Polytechnic University for
providing materials for this article and reviewing the
are blurring the boundaries of traditional disciplines
dealing with geographically-referenced data. Technologies
once considered the exclusive domain of surveyors and
mappers are now commonly employed directly by a wide
range of users such as resource planners and civil
engineers. Sometime ago, the term "geomatics"
Geomatics has been defined
as the art, science, and technologies involved in
managing geographically-referenced information, including
its acquisition, storage, analysis, and dissemination.
The term, therefore, not only encompasses
"traditional" disciplines such as surveying,
remote sensing, photogrammetry, and cartography, but also
the more "recent" ones such as spatial data
management and GIS. In Ontario, the Association of
Ontario Land Surveyors, the professional licensing body
on surveying for the province, has broadened its
definition of surveying and mapping to include geomatics.
Hence, "geomatics" is replacing "surveying
and mapping" in usage.
The Department of Civil
Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
at Ryerson Polytechnic University now offers 2 programs
leading to the Bachelor of Engineering ( Civil ) degree:
one is pure civil engineering; the other is the new
Geomatics Engineering Option. The Geomatics Engineering
Option is created to meet the needs resulting from
increasing integration in the practice of civil
engineering and geomatics. It is the latest in a series
of programs aimed at providing surveying/geomatics
education through Civil Engineering at Ryerson*.
* Other geomatics
programs are available at Ryerson, but without an
In the mid-1960s, the
Association of Ontario Land Surveyors ( AOLS ) approached
Ryerson with a request for a separate Survey Technology
program in the then Department of Civil Technology. As a
result, a 3-year program leading to a diploma in
Surveying Engineering Technology was created in 1966.
In 1972, the program was
extended to 4 years, leading to a unique Bachelor of
Technology degree, the first to be offered by Ryerson. It
was named "Geodetic Sciences" until 1981 before
reverting to the more familiar "Survey Engineering
Technology". The program focussed entirely on
surveying and related engineering subjects. Course
credits were equivalent to about 80% of AOLS
accreditation requirements. Although extremely popular
with employers and well-regarded by schools of graduate
studies in Canada and the U.S., the program appeared as
less desirable than other engineering programs at Ryerson
because it was not fully accredited by the Canadian
Engineering Accreditation Board ( CEAB ) or the AOLS.
Since the early 1990s,
there has been a growing market for non-geomatics
professionals who have sufficient knowledge and skills in
geomatics to support their primary responsibilities. In
particular, the trend of a strong linkage between
geomatics and the various engineering disciplines (
especially civil ), has been apparent, and because of it,
the need for a professional education program which
combines the two was defined.
Accordingly, in 1995,
shortly after Ryerson became a university, the 4-year
Survey Engineering program was restructured into the
"Geomatics Engineering Option in Civil
Engineering", after consultation with advisory
committees, leading practitioners and educators in
geomatics, accreditation boards, and faculty and student
committees at the university. Restructuring was carried
out mostly by Professors I. Hale and M. Hodson, under the
direction and guidance of Dr. R. Salvas, department
The Geomatics Engineering
Option is unique in Ontario. It is one of only 4 such
programs in Canada. ( The other 3 are at the University
of Calgary, Universite Laval, and the University of New
Brunswick ). It is a program in civil engineering with
special emphasis in geomatics. The intent is to prepare
graduates for career opportunities in civil engineering
as well as in the geomatics industry. It has full CEAB
accreditation. With the AOLS, accreditation requires
additional courses in cadastral surveying and
professional practice that are not in the present
The first 2 years of the
Geomatics Engineering Option and the regular civil
engineering program are common. After completing the
second year, students can choose to enter the Option.
Curriculum for the Option focusses on digital mapping,
remote sensing, information and communication
technologies, spatial data management systems, and GIS.
Courses unique to the Option are as below:
- Geodesy and
Planning and Engineering
- Satellite and
Information Management Systems 1
Information Management Systems 2
- Survey Design
1. All courses are one semester in
2. Survey Law and other Legal Surveying
subjects are omitted with the understanding that their
coverage will be provided external to the Option.
3. A one-semester course,
"Introduction to Geomatics", is prescribed for
both the regular program and the Geomatics Engineering
Option in the 4th semester ( Year 2 ).
Field school at present is
not a requirement but will be in the future. A co-op
program is in place for students either entering into or
already in the Option ( after the second and third year
). To date, arrangements with the geomatics industry have
been informal. In 2000, they will become official and
students will be guaranteed relevant assignments for
their work terms.
The Option was available
for first time in 1998, for the fall semester. The time
line is as follows:
year intake of potential Option cohort.
Last graduating class of the former
"Survey Engineering" program.
- Option available for the first time. Intake
was 4 students.
out of 80 second year students have committed
to the Option.
graduating class of the Option.
Projected steady state
enrollment in the Option is 25.
For more information,
Professor Ian Hale
Coordinator, Geomatics Engineering Option
Department of Civil Engineering
Ryerson Polytechnic University
350 Victoria St.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5B 2K3
Phone: 416- 979-5191
Fax: 416- 979-5122