Fleming College celebrates GIS Day in Peterborough

Fleming College celebrates GIS Day at Sutherland Campus with the GIS Day in Peterborough event. Fleming’s GIS programs are hosting the event, which highlights how the community uses geographic information systems (GIS) to make a difference.

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Kendra Chalmers, event organizer and Fleming GIS faculty

GIS Day in Peterborough features classroom seminars, presentations, and booths in the main foyer with representatives from the City of Peterborough, Peterborough County, Esri Canada, City of Kawartha Lakes, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and more. Students from Fleming’s GIS – Applications Specialist and GIS – Cartographic Specialist programs, which are part of the School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, took the Frost Campus Shuttle to Sutherland Campus to participate.

“Typically, you don’t get to meet the people who do the software you’ve been using for months in school, like Esri Canada, PCI Geomatics, Avenza Systems. There are potential employers here, as well as people who use GIS, like the City of Peterborough,” said Kendra Chalmers, event organizer and Fleming GIS faculty. “It’s a great way to think ahead and see how others use GIS.”

Kendra hopes the event inspires GIS students to think about their future after graduation, and that the public discovers how their community is using GIS to make a difference across many fields.

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Nicole Schleifer (left), GIS Coordinator for City of Peterborough, at GIS Day

Nicole Schleifer, GIS Coordinator for City of Peterborough, is one of the representatives at the GIS Day in Peterborough event. “We’ve been able to improve day-to-day functions,” said Nicole on GIS technology being used by the City. “Public Works can now take information with them, which has improved their ability to see data in the field,” she said.

In particular, winter catch basin clearing has improved greatly for Public Works. “Because of GIS, they can see on a map where the catch basins are. They used to use a pole through the snow to find them, but now they can just follow the map! It takes half the time,” said Nicole. She added that it also helps the office interact with the community; if someone calls asking when their catch basin will be cleared, the office can look on the map and see where the crew is located (the map turns from red to green once a catch basin is cleared).

The City of Peterborough hosted the GIS Day event last year, and this year they gave Fleming College the honour of organizing it. Fleming was the first college in Ontario to offer GIS training more than 20 years ago. Fleming’s leadership in the field has been recognized by industry, government and business through their support in establishing the Geomatics Institute at Fleming. These partnerships provide students access to the latest computer hardware, software, data resources and field technology used in the industry, as well as unprecedented learning and employment opportunities.