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Geomatics - Owen Sound Field Study

On May 27th, 2015, the Geomatics headed to Owen Sound to learn about the uses of GIS at the city and county levels.  The class had the opportunity to speak with the GIS coordinator of Grey County as well as the GIS Supervisor for the City of Owen Sound. We also learned about tourism within the City of Owen Sound. Thanks to our presenters for accommodating us and delivering some well prepared information. As well, students spent a few hours mapping various features in Harrison Park. We also made a brief visit to Inglis Falls. See pictures, maps, and notes below from our day in Owen Sound.

Grey County Headquarters/
City of Owen Sound
Geomatics CGO4M Visit
Mr. Munro’s Notes from Presentations
Grey County Headquarters – May 27, 2015

Jody MacEachern – GIS Coordinator, Grey County

  • GIS managed at the IT level

  • Goal is to get data in front of people

  • Of 9 municipalities in Grey County, 3 have GIS departments

  • 2 GIS staff at the county level

  • Planners and Transportation departments also have staff familiar with technologies


Uses of GIS

  • Maintain civic addresses – Emergency Dispatch

  • Official Plan – what land use is in place?

  • Natural Resource Information Study

  • Interior Woodlands

  • Affordable Housing

  • Capture most recent sales data

  • Transportation – Road surveys, road data (cars, trucks, semis)

  • Director of roads – forecasts when roads need to be resurfaced

  • Patrol & Compliance Maps – trucks on the road collect data about temperatures, potholes, stamps areas with GPS.

  • Trucks also monitor the retro-reflectivity of road signs – manage which signs need replaced now, in the near future, etc.

  • Snow removal – patrolling roads for potholes, damage (liability)

  • Managing road closures – coordinate with OPP – county disseminates the information

  • Tourism – Mapping (has been a challenge to get data)

  • Cycling Maps – where are paved shoulders?

  • Signage – tourism (best places)

  • Users of website – real estate information

  • Changes to official plan – mailing label tool -> buffers all addresses within distance and makes labels

  • Some collaboration with other city and regional services (eg. Police, Bruce County)

  • Meaford Fire Department – analysis based on drive times

    • More information = better information (e.g. Speed limit, 5-30 minute buffers)

  • Demographic Data – use the census to map various statistics

  • Economic Development using census data


Benefits of technology:

  • Instant data is available – can make charts, track work completed, etc.


Owen Sound City Hall – May 27, 2015

Sandra MacDonald – GIS Supervisor, Information Technology, City of Owen Sound
Paula Peirol – Tourism Marketing Coordinator, City of Owen Sound

  • GIS came to the city of Owen Sound in 2012

  • At the time, there was a lack of data, knowledge, and a resistance to change

  • C.O.S.M.O.S was launched in May, 2013 – hoping to update site this year.

  • Goal to increase productivity and to give staff ways of communicating

Uses of GIS at the city level (public):

  • Asset management – buildings, public facilities, etc.

  • Uses Geocortex

  • Bus Routes

  • Frozen water pipes this winter – how many houses affected? Analysis to see if water plant to could sustain having houses leaving water running

  • Trail maps

  • Waste management

  • City of OS boundaries

  • Zoning

  • Fire hydrants – hope to put on dispatch maps

  • Salmon Tour – plaques in various locations throughout city

  • Aerial Photos – 2010

  • GIS has been a priority with city manager

Internal Uses of GIS:

  • Tree inventory – IT works with Parks and Rec, Internship GPS/API being built

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