Workshop to Teach First Nations How to Map Territories on Google Earth
Google Earth may soon widen its scope by extending its gaze to some of the most remote First Nations territories in Canada.
Google employees will be teaching members from about 70 First Nations across Canada how to chart their land on the application during a four-day Indigenous Mapping Workshop at the University of Victoria beginning on Monday.
Two days of lectures will be followed by two days of hands-on training with the goal of getting attendees to map out their territories.
The Firelight Group, who hosted the event, expects that the maps created during the project will be kept private. Members of First Nations can upload the data online if they choose to make it public.
Steven DeRoy, a director with the association, said that the course would allow aboriginal groups to chart multiple items on their land and compare their relationships.
Deroy noted that interactions between wildlife, community and water are just a few examples that numerous things can be represented on an electronic map, which he finds to be easier to use than traditional maps.
“Historically, people would have had to look at paper maps and pull out another map if they wanted to see another layer and then pull out another map if they wanted to see another theme,” DeRoy said. But electronic mapping technology allows people to look at several maps or other items at once.
Some First Nations are already familiar with e-mapping, but DeRoy said that many others are not, due to a lack of resources and training.
Electronic mapping applications can cost thousands of dollars, which makes them unaffordable to many. The workshop hopes to make the technology more accessible by teaching people how to use Google Earth, which is a free resource.
DeRoy said that First Nations already using the application still have things to learn from the conference, as people will also be discussing best practices.
“I think the dialogue is important,” he said. "The software changes so fast that to be able to stay on top of these changing technologies can be a challenge for many nations.”
The event is supported by the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union, is expected to address the attendees.
"I think this conference has a lot to do with the evolution of technology," Phillip said.
The uses of e-mapping extend beyond simply drawing borders around territories.
Phillip said the technology could be used to document potential environmental damage occurring on First Nations lands, and to examine the consequences of accidents such as the recent Mount Polley tailings pond spill.
“If you could develop a map showing all of the waterways that would be impacted by that spill, that would be a very graphic representation of the harm that has been inflicted on the environment,” said Phillip. “I think issues like that will be discussed.”
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.