All Systems Go: Exploring the Wonders of GIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS), an influential tool when it comes to spatial storytelling and data analysis – the potential that lies within its unique capabilities is almost limitless. GIS is a framework for gathering, managing, analyzing, and integrating various types of data to help develop a better understanding about project needs and solving engineering problems.

McIntosh Perry’s GIS team has advanced technical expertise in a range of different mapping software, application development and database knowledge as well as experience in data conversions, GPS solutions, cartography, and spatial analysis. Our GIS team has customized solutions for each sector and clients project needs, having worked on areas spanning environmental, transportation, natural science, municipal, provincial, and federal governments and more.

Our Services Include:

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Our GIS team works directly with other McIntosh Perry teams and external sectors in creating a successful product. The quality and integrity of a project is our teams’ main concern.  With the combination of our GIS’s team’s knowledge and software’s expertise with other McIntosh Perry subject matter experts we can create and execute successful project deliverables.

Map Creation

The GIS team creates maps to visually investigate data and effectively communicate and share complex analysis results. GIS’ mapping software (ArcGIS) is one of the most powerful mapping and spatial data analytic technologies available. Our GIS team use the ESRI ArcGIS platform for better decision making about locations and projects. It is a powerful tool to be able to show our clients project information and trends on a map.  Its extremely beneficial to take an Excel spreadsheet with site information and data and import this into our GIS platform.  The maps become real-time visualizations of specific site conditions, clusters, gaps, and potential opportunities which our clients are using to make faster, more accurate decisions. Once the maps are created, they then can be used to help spot patterns, abnormalities, site specific issues, and give an overall picture of the data to help you make better decisions and see where to act.

GIS Data

Visual_Representation_of_Data_Themes_in_a_Geographic_Information_SystemCAD, Excel, databases, shapefiles and kmz’s are just some of the types of data the team works with. The GIS team can take different types of data formats and apply various transformations, so that it suits your project needs. This can be anywhere from a file type change, reducing the size of a lidar file, changing the coordinate system, or even digitizing a historic figure. The team has been building a large in-house database over the last eight years that combines industry standard GIS data as well as Canada wide location information. Our GIS team has gained a reputation for there ability to efficiently produce sizable, complex, and accurate GIS deliverables that help our clients achieve their project milestones.  We use spatial information to empower understanding, influence the decision-making process, offer new insights, reveal new data relationships, predict, and solve problems.

Spatial Analysis

In GIS, the team uses spatial analysis to answer site specific questions with the use of patterns and predictive modeling.

Spatial analysis is something we all do, whether we are aware of it or not. It is how we understand our projects – knowing where things are, learning how places relate and interact, figuring out what it all means, and what decisions to make or actions to take.  The GIS team can help you answer questions such as:

  • Where is my site? What are the surroundings?
  • Who and what does your site/data impact (neighbouring factors)?
  • Where are my company assets?
  • How large is my site and what are the different land uses within the site boundaries?
  • What has changed in land use over the past 5 years surrounding my site?
  • Where is the best location to build a new facility?
  • What species at risk and potential habitats are near my site?

These are just a small amount of the questions the team can help you answer about your project.

Web Applications

In the last few years, the GIS industry has seen the shift to cloud computing, applications, automatized processes, modeling, and scripting. With new technology developing, the GIS team now have the software to build web maps, job specific applications and story maps. GIS digital maps and application can be built specific to any projects needs and require no technical GIS knowledge to use and operate once built. All the applications can be run on any standard browser interface and integrated into websites. The applications hold endless possibilities for displaying data, knowledge and supporting faster, and more accurate decision making.

Webmap Example

Below is an example digital webmap created by our McIntosh Perry GIS team, it demonstrates how data can be shared and displayed on a digital front. These types of applications can be formatted and designed specifically to show your project data, site data or a means of comparing multiple data sets. On the example webmap there are three types of layers shown (McIntosh Perry Office locations, Canadian Provinces and Territories and Canadian Ecozones), the layers can be turned on and off by the layers tab in the top left or shown in detail in the legend tab. The benefit to a webmap over a PDF map is that you can zoom in and out on a desired and area and click on the layers for more up-to-date information. For example if you click on one of the McIntosh Perry office location it will display the address, phone number and more information about that Office. This technique can be used on any type of data to showcase information pertaining to your study area.

Let McIntosh Perrys’ GIS team design a new and unique way to show your data off!

A Map Is Worth A Thousand Words

In GIS, a map is worth a thousand words and has the power to elevate a document and to help highlight the overall intent of the story behind the work.  Whether it is preparing a map, integrating data, conducting spatial analysis or a creating a web application our GIS team has the knowledge, tools and team to deliver them to you. Find out how GIS can help improve decision making, communication, reduce costs and drive efficiencies on your project.

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