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Welcome to NACIS 2014 in Pittsburgh! This is the annual meeting of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). The theme for this year’s meeting is Cartography and Time. See the schedule below and go to the NACIS website for more details.

[If you are a presenter and want to provide a link to your slides in your presentation description below, send an email to veep@nacis.org.]

The North American Cartographic Information Society, founded in 1980, is an organization comprised of specialists from private, academic, and government organizations whose common interest lies in facilitating communication in the map information community.

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Friday, October 10 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Mapping Landscape

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The importance of context: Using a participatory mapping approach to document indigenous landscapes in western Panama
Derek Smith, Carleton University
Indigenous communities have been using geospatial technologies to map their territories and manage their resources for many years.  However, while tremendous advances have been achieved in some regions, what about indigenous communities in developing countries where there are no computers, or even electricity?  This paper presents the case of a team of university researchers, indigenous university students, and local investigators who have been mapping community lands in western Panama. We used a combination of sketch mapping, GPS mapping, satellite imagery, and interviews to document local knowledge of the cultural landscape and map forest cover. Our experiences demonstrate that training in the use of mapping tools aimed at empowering indigenous communities must take into account broader social contexts.  Participatory mapping projects must at times adapt to the challenges imposed by the digital divide even when they are attempting to combat them.

Foodshed mapping for Calgary
Jeff Wielki, Mount Pleasant Maps
Calgary is surrounded by agriculture land and is in the heart of Alberta's cattle country in Canada. In reality, much of the food produced there is exported, but if that food production is assumed to flow into Calgary, how far out does a food boundary need to exist to meet consumption? Is that distance still considered local? Will that be true in the future? Dasymetric cartographic modelling techniques were used to disaggregate Statistics Canada's food production data for Alberta and BC. This, in combination with road network and land cover data, modelled the distribution of production of various food groups. The resulting foodshed was determined and mapped given a variety of scenarios and definitions of local food. Depending on the definition of local and what the food production goal is, the results show that it is possible for food production in Alberta to meet the food demand in Calgary.

Mapping the urban and agricultural changes in Al Ain City 1990-2013
Laila Alkhater, United Arab Emirates University
Tahani Almujurfi, United Arab Emirates University
Aisha Alhammadi, United Arab Emirates University
Moza Alqaydi, United Arab Emirates University
Abdelgadir Abuelgasim, United Arab Emirates University
Naeema Alhosani, United Arab Emirates University
The city of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the fourth largest city in terms of population and economic growth. Al Ain has experienced a large scale urban growth in the period 1990-2013 and has changed from a small desert oasis to a thriving modern city. In this study we use archival and recent Landsat image data to identify and map the urban and agricultural growth in the city. A series of multitemporal Landsat data from 1990, 2003, and 2013 were used in a supervised classification approach to map the changes within the city. Land cover classes identified in the images were desert, urban areas, agricultural areas, and mountain ranges.  The results indicate about 40% increase in the urban areas due to population expansion and further 30% expansion in the agricultural areas, particularly palm farms, due to Al Ain fertile soil and large reserves of groundwater.


Trudy Suchan

US Census Bureau


Laila Alkhater

United Arab Emirates University
avatar for Derek Smith

Derek Smith

Carleton University
avatar for Jeff Wielki

Jeff Wielki

Cartographer, Mount Pleasant Maps

Friday October 10, 2014 4:00pm - 5:30pm
City Center A Pittsburgh Marriott City Center

Attendees (9)