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Bob’s Blog – the Story of COGS – February 7/13 update

 1)   Why Lawrencetown ? Why the Survey school ?

Downtown Lawrencetown, Nova ScotiaHeather and I have been inspired by the hard work of JB Hall and Major Church. Together, these visionaries over a hundred years developed and implemented the concept of a technical training institution in Annapolis County.

Lawrencetown was selected because it was the birthplace of JB Hall. Hall recognized the need for this type of education in rural Canada based on his experience of technical education in Germany. He set aside funds for the establishment and operation of this type of facility.

Major Church, who retired to Lawrencetown as a gentleman farmer, after a career in the military and as a civil engineer, recognized the need to train surveyors after the Second World War.

He leveraged the JB Hall funds to set up the ‘Survey School’. These actions led to the Nova Scotia Land Survey Institute in its present location in 1975.

Subsequently renamed the College of Geographic Sciences in 1986.

2)   Article submitted to GoGeomatics

logo GoGeomaticsJon Murphy of GoGeomatics was seeking an opinion piece on Geomatics leadership in Canada for his online publication. So I contributed an article that I wrote in January titled ‘Thinking about GIS or whatever happened to the Geography teacher’.

The title of the article leans on the book of the same title written by Roger Tomlinson, as well as the forthcoming book by Donald Savoie ‘ Whatever happened to the Music teacher’.

The article received several comments and feedback and I recommend you read the comments from The Hill Times, if you want to fully appreciate the Savoie reference in the article.

3)   Scrapbooks and photographs in the Library

As a result of a conversation with Trish Leblanc, COGS Librarian, we have discovered scrapbooks and photographs compiled by Donna Eisner (previous Librarian before Terri Milton). Theses include many newspaper clippings from  1979  to 1999.  We are in the process of determining the best mechanism to use for sharing this rich resource with everybody.

GIS Summer Institute 1987 lobster boil4)   Slides of GIS Summer Institute 1987

Simeon Roberts provided me with slides from the 1987 GIS Summer Institute, that I have included on the web site. The photos depict a canoe trip down the Annapolis River, as well as the traditional lobster boil on the Bay of Fundy.

In the photos I can identify Roger Tomlinson, Michael Goodchild, Peter Keller, Tat Ma. If we compare the photos to the GIS87 class list, there will be more. I also have photographs contributed by David Woolnough that I must revisit. They include the visit by Paul Martin to COGS.

5)   Georgetown Letters

The Annapolis Valley Spectator is seeking letters from the public leading to the Georgetown conference, ‘Rural redefined’. (www.georgetownconference.ca). If you want to submit a letter, contact editor@annapolisspectator.ca. Bob is formulating his thoughts on the role that COGS can play in the creative rural economy.

6)   Kings County Cultural map

Genevieve Allen and Ed Symonds (COGS) unveiled an online cultural map for Kings County last night (Feb 6) (www.kingsculturalmap.ca). It is based on open source GIS software. The strength of the web –based product is its ability to tell stories about the people in the county. Each story is geo-referenced.  The methodology follows the work of Greg Baeker, cultural consultant with MBD. (www.millierblaisdickinson.com)

Well until next month,

Bob

 

 

 

Simeon Roberts provided us with slides from the 1987 GIS Summer Institute, that we have scanned and included on the web site. The photos depict a canoe trip down the Annapolis River, as well as the traditional lobster boil on the Bay of Fundy.

In the photos I can identify Roger Tomlinson, Michael Goodchild, Peter Keller, Tat Ma. If we compare the photos to the GIS87 class list, there should be more.

If you can identify anybody in the photos then please us know.

1)     In 1982, Bill Matteson arrived from ESRI to teach all students and instructors in the SCP program the basics of PIOS and GRID in two weeks. Today, this is known as ‘block learning’.

2)     In 1983, Scott Morehouse and Dave Bishop returned to install the new GIS software, Arc/Info on the Prime minicomputers.

3)     In 1984, Alex Miller, ESRI Canada visited Lawrencetown and hired John Houweling, Eric Melanson and Dave Roscoe from the graduating SCP class.

4)     In 1986, Mark Harris was hired by ESRI, Redlands. According to Cathy Mueller, ESRI has hired xx COGS graduates since Mark. Mark is still with ESRI.

5)     In 1986, the Nova Scotia Land Survey Institute (NSLSI) was renamed the College of Geographic Sciences (COGS).

6)     In 1988 the graduating GIS class hosted a one week Summer Institute. Additional instructors were Michael Goodchild (University of Western Ontario) and Roger Tomlinson. Many Canadian Geographers attended – Peter Keller, Brian Klinkenburg, Brent Hall, Stephen Reader, Norman Drummond.

7)     In 1999, Bob Maher and David Colville developed a new Masters in Information Technology program at BIOTROP, IPB Bogor, Indonesia modeled after the COGS curriculum. Stephen Rawlinson and Valerie Thomas, COGS graduates, were hired as instructors.

8)     In 2000, Bob Maher returned to Nova Scotia and with David Colville, Tim Webster established the Applied Geomatics Research Group (AGRG). This led to joint the M.Sc in Applied Geomatics between Acadia University and NSCC in 2005. Koreen Millard was the first graduate. Roger Tomlinson was awarded an honorary doctorate at the same graduation ceremony in Wolfville.