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The Community Mapping Project

This Spring, AGRG initiated two different approaches to community mapping:

  1. working with government and non-government agencies on training communities to use web-GIS tools;
  2. working with communities on the creation of maps which can be served and updated via the Internet.
The Rural Secretariat

In 2007, Jeff Wentzell developed training materials for the new Community Information Database (CID) web-GIS tool. This tool uses Statistical Canada census data to allow community groups to produce their own socio-economic profiles. In 2009, Rob MacQuarrie updated the training materials to reflect the new CID functionality, the new census (2006) and to provide French translation of the training materials (from NBCC).

Coalition for the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (CSGSL)

In Spring 2009, AGRG was approached by the Coalition to provide GIS technical support for CSGSL web training. The NGO offered training across Atlantic Canada with funding from the GeoConnections program.

Fundy Communities Development Association (FCDA)

This Spring (2009) AGRG initiated a community engagement program with the sixteen communities in FCDA. Individual communities or community members have amassed significant historical and genealogical information. AGRG’s role was to provide geographic and cartographic assistance. Doug Shaw was hired as the primary facilitator. The work included sharing of aerial photographs, imagery and scanned historic maps with the community groups. In late May, Doug accepted a permanent position with Kentville regional hospital. AGRG is now in the transition process for continuing community support.

Town of Annapolis Royal

Bob Maher hosted a one day workshop on building the creative rural economy inlate March. One of the objectives was to produce a prototype map of ‘creative annapolis’. While we have a first approximation, there is significant work required on the cartographics. . The geographic footprint has been extended beyond the boundaries of the town to the county (and beyond).

Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI)

MTRI has a backlog of loon watch, ice watch, water quality records for the lakes of Southwest Nova Scotia. AGRG hired LGS to develop a prototype web GIS. At this stage, we have linked ArcGIS server with Excel spreadsheets.. Next steps include the design and loading of a true geodatabase and also improving the cartography.

Next Steps

AGRG faces significant challenges with technical support for community mapping. This includes application development skills, geoprocessing and web/cartographic design expertise. To obtain this combination, AGRG will be seeking additional  funding to engage permanent staff on the Community Mapping agenda. The difficulty is the unique combination of skills needed to support this technology within a community setting.

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