The Sessions

Alberta Data Partnerships; Where We Are and Next Steps


Alberta Data Partnerships (ADP) is a not-for-profit, public private partnerships with the mission to make Alberta’s spatial data more comprehensive and accessible. The organization works to connect the creators and users of geospatial data through a unique partnership model to ensure that the products and services that support Alberta’s geospatial needs remain accessible, affordable, useful, and of high quality. This presentation will provide an overview of ADP’s history and how the organization works with the Government of Alberta and its private partners to deliver data products to our stakeholders. It will also describe ADP’s new initiatives.

Applying Geospatial Technologies to Wellsite Geological and Drilling Operations


Oil and gas drilling operations in Western Canada could benefit from increased usage and sharing of geospatial data in real-time between office and field teams. This sharing of data would allow for informed decisions to be made more quickly and effectively with reduced risk of misunderstanding during stressful or late-night situations. Unfortunately, since most personnel in the field are subcontractors and do not have dedicated teams of geospatial specialists, it is not feasible for them to implement their own spatial data systems. Furthermore, clients are unwilling or unable to provide licenses to the expensive software packages and databases they use to plan and execute drilling programs. Our company has developed an easy to use and affordable platform that subcontractors or subcontracting agencies can implement to store and share relevant data while also automatically generating the reports necessary to satisfy client and regulator requirements. This platform uses fully free and open source software and retains open source licensing.

Assessment of Available Sight Distance and Identification of Collision Causes on Highways using Remote Sensing Technology


The Available Sight Distance (ASD) on highways is extremely difficult to assess and compute using traditional methods such as site visits. The current practices of sight distance assessment are associated with many challenges such as the reliance on manual observations, time consumption, and the great effort required to conduct a large-scale implementation. This work proposes an algorithm that can automatically assess the ASD of an entire highway in an efficient and robust manner using Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data. The proposed algorithm was first validated and then tested on Alberta highways. ASD was calculated on entire highways and compared to the minimum sight distance required by Alberta Design Guidelines. Locations with insufficient sight distance were identified. The results showed that at all locations identified with limited sight distance, the driver’s vision was restricted by the pavement surface of road vertical crest curves. A review of historical collision data of high collision locations was then conducted. The review revealed clusters of traffic collisions along the regions defined with sight distance limitations indicating that restrictions on drivers’ vision could have contributed to the collision occurrence. Assessing sight distance limitations on existing highways and introducing safety countermeasures will help save lives of people who die on roads every day.

Automated CAD Validation Using FME


Automated CAD Validation Using FME discusses a solution developed for automated validation of CAD survey data for import into a corporate GIS. While the system, as implemented, was specific to CAD import, the principle can be applied to virtually any data format

Breakfast and Keynote: GIS is facing an emergency with NG 9-1-1 and Alex Miller has a map


GIS pioneer and President of Esri Canada Alex Miller will show how GIS professionals working in municipalities and provinces are central to preparing for NextGen 9-1-1.  Learn how to make your community ready for this mandated radical change to accurately deliver emergency services.

Digital Transformation of Weed Inspections or How I learned to configure Survey123


Inspections for noxious weeds in the County of Grande Prairie has seen many changes. From mainly paper based reports to simple web map editing tools to mobile data collection with Collector for ArcGIS and Survey123 for ArcGIS and other workflow integration tools. This presentation will outline some of the successes and lessons learned on our journey towards Digital Transformation.

Emergency Response Management: A Guide to App Development using ArcGIS Online, Operations Dashboard and Quick Capture


This project aims to enhance the efficiency of emergency management through the functionality of GIS. We accomplished this by integrating real time data generated through crowd sourcing with field and mobile data collection. The data is manipulated and displayed in three different applications, focusing on emergency service personnel, field crew and the general public. For emergency service personnel, we created a dashboard which displays real time information about the emergency. The field crew are distributed real-time social media updates regarding alleged road blockages via our mobile application. Once they verify the data, the emergency services are alerted. The general public will have access to an app displaying verified road blockages, safely guiding them to the closest emergency shelter.

Five steps to a better Geospatial Strategy


Developing a geospatial strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. You just need to focus on what matters: understanding business needs, defining success, and making good choices. In this presentation, I review five key steps to help focus your strategic planning efforts and ensure you’re headed in the right direction. Topics covered include: mapping the business needs, defining success, configuring the building blocks, testing for fit and planning for change.

Geomatics and the Modern Farm: The Olds College Smart Farm Story


Phase One of the Olds College Smart Farm focuses on crops. Working with our industry partners from the agriculture and technology sectors, we are incorporating the latest technologies aimed at improving productivity, while efficiently and sustainably using resources. The goal is to produce more, using less. Two thousand acres of our current farm will be transformed into the Smart Farm. Geomatics technologies form the backbone of the Smart Farm, from documenting field boundaries and cropping history, using RPAS/drones to help with crop scouting, precision Ag equipment to apply inputs, and an assortment of software tools to synthesize, analyze and present farm results. Along the way, our students become active participants in helping solve the production challenges of the modern smart farm.

How to develop automated and streamlined data processes


The Forest Management Branch (FMB) of the Government of Alberta monitors forestry activities within the Province. Disposition Holders are required to submit information about their activities in the form of tabular and spatial data once a year. The FMB was looking to streamline the largely manual data validation activities as they rolled out new data requirements. A portal was developed allowing disposition holders to access templates, upload their data and track the progress of their submission through different stages of acceptance. The organization gained benefits from a modular process design of the solution, allowing for future expansion of the data processes such as additional validations or input formats. Auditors become involved in the submission process only after basic requirements are met. In this presentation, learn how FME technology was leveraged to develop automated and streamlined data processes. FME Server orchestrates and handles the data validation process, for both schema and spatial checks including data duplication, overlaps, and donut hole tolerances.

How to “Sell” GIS Projects to Senior Management


If you have a product to sell or a visionary project to pitch, you need to win the attention and approval of a non-technical audience.  You need to decode complexity, make technology understandable – and most important of all, convey the value of the outcome in a way that’s meaningful to senior management.  If you come from a technical background, it’s a tall order to fill.  But it is possible.This presentation will show you how to transform your pitch into a story that grabs executive attention and shows why your project is valuable – and how it solves issues that are important to the organization.  You’ll learn how to eliminate technical jargon that turns listeners off.  And you’ll discover the words that work in selling technology.

Integrating AlbertaOneCall and Cityworks using Cityworks API and FME Server


Alberta One-Call is a private, not-for-profit corporation providing a communications service between people who intend to disturb the ground in Alberta and the utility operators who register their buried facilities (Members of Alberta One-Call). The request to have buried utilities identified and marked prior to an excavation is called a Locate Request. When you submit a Locate Request, Alberta One-Call then notifies member utilities of the planned excavation. Once notified, member utilities must locate and mark their underground lines free of charge for the public within the required timeframe. When the City receives a locate request, it is categorized, and the contents of the email are “copied and pasted” into the City Map application. City Map was the previous CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) before Cityworks was procured and implemented. For every Locate Request email, the “copy paste” process takes approximately 5 minutes. During the busy period (late spring/summer) for Locates, there are around 300 requests made per month. This equates to 1500 minutes/25 hours of effort to enter Service Requests into City Map. With the move to Cityworks, City of Airdrie immediately recognized the importance of integrating and automating the creation of service requests in Cityworks. The locates@airdrie.ca email account is scanned every minute for incoming emails from Alberta One-Call using FME Server. When it finds a new locate email, FME Server reads the xml attachment containing the ticket information and Cityworks service request API creates service requests by eliminating data input and human interaction. Each Cityworks service request is automatically populated with caller information, ticket type, latitude and longitude coordinates, excavation size, excavation depth, work type etc. As a result of the Alberta One-Call integration, City staff doesn’t spend time reading locate request emails or copying data from one system to another. Instead, they can focus on scheduling and prioritizing work.

Integrating SaaS-based AI & Digital Mapping with Traditional Emergency Response Planning (ERP) Techniques


Optimizing industry standard Emergency Response Planning (ERP) practices by digitally leveraging web and map-based Field Automation and Field Data Capture (FDC) technologies allows first responders to make split-second decisions faster and eliminate unnecessary decision making in a time of crisis. Now, how can we make this even better, and what does artificial intelligence have to do with it?

It Ain’t Heavy, It’s Just Data


For too long, organizations have spent a lot of money collecting large 3D datasets like LiDAR and then leaving it on a hard drive, on a shelf, collecting dust. Maybe they didn’t have space to save it on their server, maybe it didn’t fit in their folder naming structure or maybe, they didn’t even have software to even open the files. Often, they have event wasted money on a redundant purchase, due to lack of visibility across the organization SOLV3D has worked with our customers to bring this data out of the file room and into their daily workflows. Come hear about some examples of how this changed their business and solved their client challenges

Jedi Level Communication Mastery


Lunch and Keynote: Unstoppable GeoAlberta: mental health…mental wealth.


Lunch, Conference Opening and Greeting from the City of Red Deer >> Keynote: Leading with Greatness


Maintaining Infrastructure in a Public Works Environment Using Mobile-GIS


Without a true work order system in place, the Transportation and Agriculture Services (TAS) department has fully engaged their GIS as a work order system. Using ESRI’s web-based products of WebMaps, Collector, WebApps, etc, TAS has deployed their self-created work order system for several of their programs, such as winter road maintenance, pothole program and weed inspections. Not necessarily easy, but learn how TAS has been able to implement their own GIS-based work order system.

Managing Gravel with GIS


The County of Vermilion River is using GIS in every aspect of the gravelling program; planning, tracking and reporting.

Medicine Hat’s New GIS Framework; The First Year


In July 2018 the City of Medicine Hat relaunched its corporate GIS Department using a shared services framework. A hybrid model was approved by senior management whereby there would be a centralized core GIS team, while other departments would keep (and continue to manage) their dedicated GIS resources. We celebrated our first anniversary as a department in July 2019. At the 2018 GeoAlberta conference I presented our roadmap for the first twelve months. One year later I would like to share the highs, lows, successes and failures that we have experienced from this new beginning.

Milsoft Utility Solutions Workshop: Explaining and Understanding the Milsoft E&O System


An in-depth look at workflow and process for each of the E&O’s solution, the purpose each product serves, and how Milsoft allows all the products to work together creating a seamless environment from the utility personnel out to the consumer.

Online Mapping Tool to Assist in Renewable-Energy Siting


There has been a growing awareness and rapid increase in Renewable Energy Development across Alberta. Our tool is an online GIS viewer that allows users collate key GIS layers required to begin site selection for renewable projects in Alberta. Using a set of demonstration mapping areas, we can inform micro-site selection at sub 15-meter resolution with open-sourced data and Solstice’s environmental mapping and analytics. Based on a set of demonstration mapping areas, we can inform micro-site selection at sub 15-meter resolution using open-sourced data and Solstice’s environmental mapping and analytics. Overall, the online mapping tool provides data combined into policy-relevant environmental-mapping layers that enables end-users to view potential regulatory constraints or opportunities in areas of interest.

Pictometry Workshop: How Likely Are You to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse


This entirely hands-on workshop will give you the skills you need to maximize the potential of the CONNECTExplorer interface. Time is of the essence! Build a workspace utilizing a variety of measurement and annotation tools, working independently and in teams to monitor the environment for related threats, and preparing capabilities to respond to the same. You will be challenged to adapt to changing circumstances, constantly updating intel and most importantly, to survive. The first part of this session will be dedicated to learning how to use CONNECTExplorer, covering image navigation, use of GIS data through searches and visual display, basic measurement tools, and image exporting. The second part will be the Zombies workshop.

BYOC: Bring Your Own Computer

Policing the 106th Grey Cup: How the Edmonton Police Service Utilized ArcGIS Online for Event Management


The City of Edmonton hosted the Grey Cup in 2018. This presentation will outline how the Edmonton Police Service used ArcGIS Online

Safe Software Workshop: Computer Vision for Geospatial Data


Computer vision is an actively developing area of computer science. In this workshop, you can learn how to utilize Open CV library for geospatial purposes and go through the processes of collecting datasets, training models, and searching object on images. See how geospatial products can make all these parts more effective, and how the results can be integrated with other datasets.

STAC, ZARR, COG, K8S and Data Cubes: The brave new world of satellite EO analytics in the cloud


Satellite earth observation technology has developed rapidly in the past five years, with numerous advances in spatial resolution, spectral information, frequency of observation, and cost-effectiveness (open data). This rapid development has led to big data problems, with NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) projected to grow from 27 petabytes (PB) in 2018 to more than 246 PB in 2025. To handle these big datasets, cloud computing technologies are being used that change the way that satellite EO datasets are stored, indexed and analyzed. This session will discuss a number of these new cloud-native storage, indexing and analysis systems including SpatioTemporal Asset Catalogs (STAC) for indexing data, ZARR and Cloud-Optimized-GeoTiffs (COGs) for data storage, Kubernetes (K8S) to handle the horizontal scaling of computations, and data cubes to provide time-series analytic capabilities.

Table Talks


The Journey to Open Data


This talk will focus on the City of St. Albert’s journey to establishing an Open Data Program, culminating with the launch of an Open Data Portal in February 2019. Topics will include:

  • Our approach to building the Open Data Program.
  • The processes and workflows we developed to support the Open Data Program.
  • The technology we used to launch the Open Data Portal.
  • Successes we achieved and challenges we met along the way.
  • Lessons learned.

The Power of Google Earth Engine for Habitat Modelling at fRI Research


At fRI Research, we use Landsat imagery to derive remote sensing products for habitat modeling and mapping. Compiling, processing and compositing imagery over large habitat mapping areas have always been a challenge due to storage requirements, processing time and obtaining cloud-free observations. To support research on a study area covering over 70 Landsat scenes, we turned to Google Earth Engine as the main tool for remote sensing because it has petabytes of ready-to-use publicly available data sets and a cloud computing infrastructure for fast processing. This presentation will introduce you to Google Earth Engine and how we use its API to filter Landsat imagery for cloud-free pixels and perform routine processing tasks for compositing, mosaicking, exporting and generating derivative products such as NDVI.

Utilization of Mobile GIS for Water Utilities


Strathcona County Utilities has been using mobile GIS for field staff for over 4 years and have come to rely on it heavily. Let us show you what we are doing including; hydrant inspections, organics cart audits, main flushing and our dashboard that brings together our common operating picture. All delivered though ArcGIS Online without custom apps or other software.

Visualizing proprietary and public real estate data in real time for a better home buying and selling experience


The REALTORS(R) Association of Edmonton (RAE) partnered with Trenlii Inc. to create a powerful platform for every REALTOR(R) to visualize proprietary and public data. The responsive site allows real estate professionals to not only intuitively explore the entire breadth of data in the local MLS® System but also have layers of data superimposed onto this map-based solution.

Words that Work in Selling Technology – How to Talk So Customers Will “Get it” and Buy it


One of the biggest challenges in turning a new innovation into a revenue-generating product is getting customers to understand what it is and why they should buy. Customers have to “get it” before they will buy it. This is an extremely difficult task, especially for firms that have conquered huge technical challenges. When it comes time to introduce a new product, tech firms often baffle their customers with a deep dive into technical details. Their messages clash with the way the mind works. But it doesn’t have to be this way. By replacing unfathomable tech talk with brain-friendly messages your presentations will become approachable and appealing. You’ll cut through the noise and command attention. You’ll become far more effective in getting your point across. You’ll deliver the clarity that minds crave. In this fun, insightful presentation, a B2B branding expert will introduce you to the words that work in selling technology. You’ll learn how to craft messages that fit the way the mind works. You’ll learn: -What kind of words are the fastest to enter the mind -How to create phrases that make even complex ideas immediately understandable -How to take advantage of the brain’s engrained thinking and memory patterns You’ll be able to start using the ideas of this session right away. This presentation could well change the way you talk, write, tweet and think.

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