Learn What I Learned

9:00 am - Wednesday November 08, 2017 

Mississauga Grand Convention Centre

GIS has evolved over the years and keeps changing.  As professionals, we are constantly adapting to those changes and redefining how we work, collaborate, share, analyze, and integrate data.  This year we would like to focus on projects and geospatial initiatives that applied new trends in GIS.

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Morning Session:

9:00 – 9:45          Registration and breakfast
9:45 – 10:00        URISA Ontario opening remarks 
10:00 – 10:30      Toronto Police – Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal
10:30 -10:45        short break
10:45- 11:15        City of Hamilton – Moving an enterprise project to an enterprise program
      – Implementing an AVL (Automated Vehicle Location) program
11:15-11:30         short break
11:30-12:00         City of Kitchener and the City of Toronto - Municipal Leaders in 3D Visualization User Group
12:00 -13:15        LUNCH

 Afternoon Session

13:15 – 13:45      Halton Region  - Halton Region UAV (Drone) Program
13:45 – 14:00      short break (1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
14:00 – 14:30      City of Toronto – LiDAR, a technology to assist with SmartCities and climate change resilience: 
      A case study in an urban metropolis
14:30 – 14:45      closing remarks (2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.)  


10:00 - 10:30 AM

Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal

The Toronto Police Service understands the strategic value of information and the benefits of public access to open data. As the Service implements a modernization strategy, the Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal will help improve the understanding of policing, improve transparency, encourage the use and application of open data and promote the cooperative development of innovative solutions related to public safety in Toronto. The Toronto Police Service will release datasets of high value and demand including reported crime, calls for service, traffic collisions and budget information. The Toronto Police Service Open Data Portal aims to not only provide datasets for download, but strive to add value to the data through visualization, analytical tools and mapping applications.


Debbie Verduga, Crime Analyst, Toronto Police Services

Debbie Verduga is a GIS analyst with over 8 years of experience in different sectors of the public service. After completing the GIS and Digital Geography program at Ryerson University, she worked as a Geographic Consultant for Statistics Canada. After further studies including Demographic Analysis, she worked at the LCBO as a Location Analyst. Her role at the LCBO expanded her GIS experience in business and market analysis through the development of market strategies for the agency’s store network. Debbie Verduga is currently working as a Crime Analyst in the Business Intelligence and Analytics Unit at the Toronto Police Service

10:45 - 11:15 AM

Moving an enterprise project to an enterprise program - Implementing an AVL (Automated Vehicle Location) program

The learnings from the past year involve the migration of an initiative from a project phase to an operational phase. The migration became a challenge because it is an enterprise project with many primary stakeholders from many functional departments. The main challenge was establishing a governing structure for an operational program in order to maintain the benefits realized from the project output.

The sample project was the City of Hamilton’s implementation of AVL throughout many departments of the City. A background of the project and its technological environment along with these challenges (and evolving solutions) will be presented. The main focus will be on how a governing structure was put in to deal with conflicting or competing priorities; a history of departmental only focus and no single department wanting to take on ultimate ownership of the AVL program.


John Bacon, Project Manager, IT Business Applications, City of Hamilton

John Bacon has over 25 years’ experience in the Geographic Information Systems program management field. John has worked in both the public and private sector ranging from municipal to federal governments, from forestry companies to mining companies in North America, Africa and New Zealand.

John currently works for the City of Hamilton’s Corporate IT as a project manager and has managed a number of enterprise information management projects.

10:30 - Noon

Municipal Leaders in 3D Visualization User Group

Emerging advancements in 3D technology have challenged professionals to constantly evolve in understanding, analyzing, and visualizing 3D data in many different ways. The Municipal Leaders in 3D Visualization User Group is comprised of 3D CAD, 3D GIS, and GeoDesign specialists across the Southern Ontario region. The user group plays an integral role in collaborating together to share information in a municipal context, use-cases of 3D applications, and latest projects. This presentation focuses on the purpose of the Municipal Leaders in 3D Visualization User Group as well as recent 3D development projects from the City of Kitchener and City of Toronto.


Mike Elliott, Mapping Technologist, City of Kitchener

Mike Elliott works as a Mapping Technologist with the Geospatial Data and Analytics section of the City of Kitchener’s Technology Innovation and Services division. During his 12 years with the City of Kitchener, Elliott has worked to provide mapping and analytic services to many internal clients, including the Planning Division. This work included support for the Planning around Rapid Transit Project which saw the development of an extensive 3D contextual model. Working closely with the 3D Visualization Analyst, Elliott assisted in the production 3D mapping materials and 3D spatial Analysis.

Valen Lau, Senior Design Technologist, City of Toronto

Valen Lau is a Senior Design Technologist with the Graphics and Visualization unit for the City of Toronto's City Planning division. As a firm believer in the power of open data he has taken the lead for the division's 3D Massing open data work program and is focusing on creating opportunities for citizen engagement that enhances transparency and accountability to the public. Prior to joining the City of Toronto, Valen was working in Alberta, with the Applanix Corporation, working closely with Pictometry and the Municipality of Wood Buffalo to capture indoor public facility spatial data.

1:15 - 1:45 PM

Halton Region UAV (Drone) Program

In 2016 Halton Region acquired its first UAV (drone) for use in Planning, Asset Management and Economic Development. Through a rigorous process we had numerous pilots trained and were able to acquire Transport Canada licensing to fly in Halton.

This presentation will walk you through the process we took to acquire, train and license ourselves to fly. What our Drone is and what we use it for (with real world examples of how we have used it so far); including integration into GIS.


Chris Eden, GIS Specialist, Halton Region

Chris Eden is a GIS Specialist in Planning Services at Halton Region. He is responsible for maintaining planning data, managing the Official Plan mapping and developing web mapping Geocortex viewers. As well as flying and managing the drone program for Halton. Chris has been working in the public sector for 13 years. He is a Graduate of Ryerson University’s Geographic Analysis Program.

Anthony Campese, Data Management Specialist, Halton Region

Anthony Campese is a Data Management Specialist in Planning Services at Halton Region. He is responsible for maintaining the GIS functions in planning and developing web mapping Geocortex viewers. Anthony has been working in the public sector for 17 years. He is a Graduate of Fleming College’s GIS Application Specialist program and holds a degree in Urban Geography from Brock University.

2:00 - 2:30 PM

LiDAR, a technology to assist with SmartCities and climate change resilience: A case study in an urban metropolis

Globally, our society continues to become urbanized. Currently, more than 54% of the world’s population lives in urban environments and forecasts predict 66% by 2050. As the world prepares for increased urban development and climate change, cities face difficult challenges, especially on aging infrastructure and services. SmartCities are a potential solution to modernize service offerings, improve efficiencies and help with climate change resilience. As urban environments densify and transition into vertical growth, the requirement for 3D information becomes more important. Traditionally 3D urban analysis has utilized geospatial vectors to perform modelling and simulations, an expensive and timely venture that produces generalized features. LiDAR technology has experienced significant improvements, resulting in improved spatial accuracy and a reduction in acquisition costs. This presentation will illustrate how LiDAR technology is an effective 3D tool for urban metropolis preparing for climate change, while planning the transition to becoming a SmartCity; with specific examples related to flood modelling, solar energy mapping, emergency response planning and accessibility assessment.


Ryan Garnett, Manager of Geospatial Data & Integration, City of Toronto

Working for the City of Toronto's Information & Technology Division, Ryan Garnett leads a team responsible for the creation and maintenance of the City's foundation mapping information, while leading the transition from a maintenance focused, to focusing on data analytics and data driven decision making. Additionally Ryan leads the City's Open Data program, which makes municipal information available to private citizens, start-ups, corporations, other levels of government, educational institutions, and researchers. Prior to working with the City of Toronto, Ryan worked nationally and internationally in the public and private sector in urban data and information projects, in Canada, USA, Qatar, China and India.

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