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Faculty of Science School Of Geography & Earth Sciences
Faculty of Science

School Of Geography & Earth Sciences

Geographic Information Science (GIS) Day

The School of Geography & Earth Sciences invite you to this annual celebration. GISDay is held worldwide during Geography Awareness Week each year in mid-November. Come and discover the world of Geographic Information Science (GIS), and the impact that geospatial thinking has in our daily lives.

The first GIS Day was held in 1999, with Ralph Nader being the inspiration for the event. He considered GIS Day a good initiative for people to learn about geography and the uses of GIS. He wanted GIS Day to be a grassroots effort and open to everyone to participate.

GIS DAY - TBA - For University Students

McMaster's GIS Day consists of lightning talks focusing on themes of health, transportation, ecology, environment, student experiences with GIS and self-paced tutorials, both basic and advanced, that you can work through. Staff will be on hand to assist with the tutorials should you require any help. Some advanced exercises require your own laptop for completion.

There will be door prizes, and coffee and cookies will be served in the hall just outside the GIS labs.

  • Date: TBA
  • Time: 10:00AM – 3:00PM
  • Location: BSB 331 and BSB 332

Lightning Talks, BSB 331

Time Presenter Title
10:00 AM Patrick DeLuca, GIS Specialist GIS at McMaster University
10:20 AM Anastassios Dardas, Ph.D Candidate Application Development in Geography: Experiences of a GIS Center of Excellence Student Associate
10:40 AM Geoff Rose, M.A. Candidate Why You Should Learn GIS – a Social Science Perspective
11:00 AM Ron Dalumpines, Ph.D GIS Rising: A personal perspective on the increasing popularity of GIS-based solutions in banking industry and academe.
11:20 AM Denis Corr, Rotek Environmental Making your air quality better and helping kids breathe easier through GIS
11:40 AM Caitlin McEwan, M.Sc. Candidate Spatial Variability in Groundwater Chemistry on the Niagara Peninsula
12:00 PM Antonio Paez, Professor Spatial Analysis for Accessibility Measurements
12:20 PM Michael Waddington, Professor Using GIS to Predict Wildfire Smouldering Risk
12:40 PM Chris Higgins, Post-Doctoral Fellow Benchmarking, Planning, and Promoting Transit-Oriented Intensification in Rapid Transit Station Areas
1:00 PM Dan Weller, Ph.D Candidate, Biology Landscape modeling of coastal habitats and application to fisheries management
1:20 PM Chantal Markle, Ph.D Candidate, Biology An integrative approach to regional mapping of suitable habitat for the Blanding's turtle.
1:40 PM James Marcaccio, Ph.D Candidate, Biology Remote sensing methods to track invasive Phragmites australis in the Great Lakes basin
2:00 PM Neil Johnston, Assistant Professor, Epidemiologist GIS in healthcare planning and understanding unmet needs
2:20 PM Steve Buist, Journalist, Hamilton Spectator Code Red: GIS Applications in the Real World

Open House, BSB 332

Work on self-paced exercises at either a basic or advanced level. Students will be there to assist you if you have difficulty.

Basic Exercises: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Introduction to ArcGIS Online: Learn how to create a web map and share it with the world
  • ArcGIS Online, 6 by 6: 6 activities you can do in 6 minutes each
Advanced Exercises: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Demand Allocation using ArcGIS Online: Work with network analysis tools to review coverage of fire stations in Moncton, NB and explore the impact of adding and removing stations.
  • Performing Analysis with ArcGIS Online: Explore crime hot spots in Halifax.
  • Data Enrichment and Site Analysis for Starbucks using ArcGIS Maps for Office and ArcGIS Online (your own laptop is required): Explore expansion potential for Starbucks.
Workshop: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Create your own map overlays with MapWarper: A quick(ish) and easy(ish) online tool for georeferencing images.

Led by: Jason Brodeur, Manager of Maps, Data, GIS at Mills Library

Intended audience: Beginners, who are new to the process of image georeferencing, as well as anyone interested in exploring MapWarper.

Overview: This workshop will provide attendees with a hands-on introduction to Mapwarper (, which is free and open-source, web-based georeferencing software. During the workshop, participants will learn the basics of georeferencing and apply their knowledge to create a georeferenced map layer that can be viewed in GIS software, a custom web map, or Google Earth. Participants are encouraged to create a free MapWarper account ( prior to the workshop, though this is not required.

GIS DAY - Thursday, December 7th, 2017 - For High School Students

Hosted by the School of Geography & Earth Sciences; GIS Laboratory, this event fulfills part of the Ontario geography curriculum for grade 9, 11, and 12 students. The annual GIS Day assists in raising the visibility of the field of geomatics among high school students and their teachers. High school students participate in various hands-on computer activities with ArcGIS, GPS, Map Skills and 3-D Lab demos.

Four hands-on workshops will be offered throughout the day. Registration is free and works on a first come, first served basis - please email to register.

The sessions will run concurrently at:

  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am
  • 11:15 am - 12:15 pm
  • 12:45 pm - 1:45 pm

Please provide the following information when registering:

  • Workshops you would like to attend
  • Number of Students Attending
  • Students' Grade Level

A customized agenda will be sent to you once you have indicated the workshops you would like to attend.

Workshop A: Introduction to ArcGIS Online with Hands-Creating Map Features

One-hour Session

This workshop is for students who do not have GIS knowledge. Following a short Introduction to ArcGIS Online, students will use the ArcGIS Online Map Viewer to create and symbolize point, line and polygon features for a map in an area of their choice. They will also learn how to add a title, description, image and a URL to a map. After completing this workshop, students will be able to:

  1. Create new map features in ArcGIS Online
  2. Add data to map features in ArcGIS Online
  3. Symbolize map features in ArcGIS Online
Workshop B: Intermediate to Advanced ArcGIC Online With Hands-on Exercises

One-hour Session

This workshop is for students who have intermediate to advanced GIS knowledge. Following a short demonstration on some of the analytical capabilities available in ArcGIS Online, students will work on an exercise using Canadian Climate, Major Canadian cities and Natural Events data. After completing this workshop, students will be able to:

  1. Search and add data
  2. Filter and query tables
  3. Create buffers

Students who have taken Workshop A can also take Workshop B.

Workshop C: In the Field with GIS - Collector for ArcGIS Workshop

One-hour Session

This workshop is for advanced users of ArcGIS.

ArcGIS for Collector will provide important spatial inquiry for your students and get them starting to think about data collection, data management and new technologies in a fun and interesting way! Bring your own iPhone or Android smartphone to this hands-on workshop and use the Collector App to create a collaborative map with other participants.

Prerequisites for this session are that you know how to create, save and share a Web Map in ArcGIS Online, and have used this technology before in your classroom. All teachers who wish to participate in this workshop must go to: and fill out the form requesting access to our K-12 ArcGIS Online subscription prior to the session commencement.

Workshop D: GPS Field Workshop

One-hour Session

This workshop is geared towards the grade 11 curriculum in Geotechnologies with a focus on operating a GPS unit. A maximum of 30 students for each session is recommended.

There will be a short presentation on GPS and Remote Sensing, and then students will walk around McMaster University to various points. Each student using a GPS unit must leave a piece of identification which they will have returned to them once the GPS has been returned. Since this is an outdoor activity, students in this workshop are advised to dress weather appropriate.

Workshop E: 3D Remote Sensing Lab Demonstration

One-hour Session

A demonstration of the 3D visualization facility will include an introduction to 3D stereo imaging with Google Earth 3D, and then an integration of multiple satellite remote sensing, geophysical and geological data on Encom Profile Analyst, a more advanced package used for 3D geological modelling and visualization.

For more information please contact Deane Maynard,

Story Map Activity - What is GIS?

Story Map Presentation - Canadian Careers in GIS

McMaster University - Faculty of Science

Mailing Address

School of Geography and Earth Sciences
McMaster University

General Sciences Building, Room 206
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
L8S 4K1

Contact Information

Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Telephone Inquiries:
+1 (905) 525-9140 ext.24535
Email Inquiries:

McMaster University - Faculty of Science

Mailing Address

School of Geography and Earth Sciences
McMaster University

General Sciences Building, Room 206
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
L8S 4K1

Contact Information

Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Telephone Inquiries:
(905) 525-9140 ext. 24535
Email Inquiries: