Mapping Edmonton Lecture to University of Alberta Human Geography and Planning Class (HGP240)
From Air Quality to
Matthew Dance M.A.
– My background and how I came to mapping as
part of my career.
• Mapping Cities
– Key concepts
– Maps: Volunteered Geographic Information.
– Maps: Open Data & Power.
• What roles do maps play?
• BA Physical Geography (Queen’s ‘95)
• 7 years field experience - periglacial
geomorphology, hydrology, pedology
• 7 years in environmental policy (various
roles – 1° facilitation / mediation)
• 3 years to complete an MA in Human
Geography (UofA ’12)
• 12 years consulting on policy
Undergrad Research Map
Asthma and Air Quality
Social science – case study research.
1. How do you understand place?
2. How do you communicate that
understanding using emerging ‘novel’
4. What’s the gap between 1 & 2?
• Place based thinking - people are experts
of their geography.
• How do people understand place?
• How does place impact citizens (& vice
versa) - happiness, health, community,
• What is the power dynamic between
citizens and local government around
There was a path in the woods there, and we call that
Moonies run because our teacher, Mr. Moonie, lived right
there. My friend played guitar and I played guitar, and we
used to take our amps, carry our amps across back and
forth across the river. At this point here right in the middle of
the bridge was we deemed that as perfectly half way, so we
would say, ‘Okay, I’ll meet you on the bridge’. But yeah, I
spent a lot of time down there, in Gold Bar.
• Provide insight into what is important
• Demonstrate a range of perception.
– Why more detail in some areas, by some
– Order of drawing - i.e. route first vs. river first?
– What is mapping and what is not mapped?
– What is said in relation to what is drawn?
• Crowdsourcing & Volunteered Geographic
• Open Data (and FOIP as a tool!)
• Data visualization
.... the process of obtaining needed
services, ideas, or content by soliciting
contributions from a large group of
people, and especially from an online
community, rather than from traditional
employees or suppliers.
VGI refers to a range of activities where volunteers provide
some geographically referenced object to the Internet, such
• Observational data (a Tweet that a tree is down in the
• A geotagging photograph (on Flickr or Instagram for
• GPS trace (a running route mapped with Strava)
....can be freely used, re-used and
redistributed by anyone - subject only, at
most, to the requirement to attribute and
Government held data such as the City of
Edmonton, Provence of Alberta and
Government of Canada.
Open Edmonton, Open Art
Context: Where are the public art
installations in Edmonton?
How can we gather and map these art
Would crowdsourcing work?
By David Rauch (@davidwrauch) 21
1. Bike Land Discussion
2. Open City / Open Data / Public
Q: Where are people were getting hit by cars?
Official A: We don’t know & we can’t tell you.
Calculated Land Use
• Surface Parking ~ 15%
• Roadways ~ 12%
• Total ~ 27%
• Buildings ~ 25%
• Parks ~ 6%
• Trees ~ 2800 individual trees and over 25
Daylight Mill Creek
Context: Asked by Dr. Andrew Leach to build
a map within on-line discussions around
With the construction of the adjacent LRT
there is the potential to reroute the Mill Creek
channel into its original channel.
The Unmade Map
• Context: TRC, statements of reconciliation
made by Mayor Iveson.
– How many of Edmonton’s named places have
– Are those names geographically and culturally
– What is the process of naming Edmonton, and
are FNM involved?
– Who cares?
Names in Edmonton
• Edmonton has been occupied for the past
• Currently over 10 000 named places in
• 128 are related to First Nations or Metis
• Much fewer are culturally relevant.
• Is this appropriate?