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GGE News - 2008

GGE-Sponsored Course on Geospatial Names Held in Rio

The GGE-administered National Geospatial Framework Project (abbreviated PIGN in Portuguese) sponsored the "Introductory Course on the Standardization of Geographical Names" in Rio de Janeiro, in December 2008. The course was delivered by Helen Kerfoot, President of the UN Group of Experts on Geographical Names, and organized by Dave Carney (WaterMark), Anna Bustamante and Vania Nagem, Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

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Yun Zhang and His Team Featured on Rogers Television

Yun Zhang and other members of the remote sensing and digital mapping team were featured on the Rogers Television news program "First Local" on December 5th. Prof. Zhang explained his satellite image sharpening technique - an image enhancement process being used by Google Earth and other organizations around the globe.

Graduate students Tristan Goulden and Bahram Salehi talked about the excellent job opportunities for GGE graduates both home and abroad. And mapping technologist David Fraser showed how the game of geocaching is used to introduce positioning and mapping concepts to high school students.

Click on the thumbnail image to view a short clip of the segment, 2 MB. (You'll need an MPEG-4 viewer, such as QuickTime)

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GGE Launches New Web Site

Answer: GGE (of course). Question? Which academic department had the very first web site at UNB? Yes, GGE launched its web site way back in 1995, although we had a presence on the Internet well before establishing our web site.

For example, we established the Canadian Space Geodesy Forum, commonly known as CANSPACE, in 1989. CANSPACE is an e-mail-based information dissemination and discussion group for scientists and engineers working with the techniques of space geodesy such as GPS. Although initially intended to link Canadian geodesists and geophysicists together, CANSPACE now has a wide international subscriber list with more than 1,000 members and is open to all.

We had stuck with the same design for our web site for the past 14 years, although we updated its content weekly. Now that we are starting our 15th year on the web, we thought it high time to update our image. Thanks to the efforts of Terry Arsenault, GGE's computer tech, and UNB's IT folks, we not only have a new home page, but the whole web site has a new look, with an easy-to-use interface. Thousands of web pages were converted and updated for the new site, which went live on December 15th.

Check us out at and tell us what you think. GGE – still number 1!

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Students Attend CIG Conference in Saint John with Industry Support

22 GGE students attended the Geomatics Atlantic Conference in Saint John on November 19 and 20. The CIG New Brunswick Branch hosted the conference. In keeping with their tradition of supporting geomatics students, they waived their registration fees. The students also received support from Hawco King Renouf Ltd., St. John's, Newfoundland; Provincial Hearing Aid, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia; Construction Kiewit Cie, Boisbriand, Quebec; and McElhanney Geomatics Ltd., Calgary, Alberta.

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GGE Undergraduates Make the Dean's List

Ten students from Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering have made the Dean's List for 2007-2008. The students who qualified for the list attained a sessional grade-point average of at least 3.7 or A- for the academic year. Congratulations go out to the following students:

Nick Bardsley - Saint John, NB

Trisha Chapin – Fredericton, NB

Joseph Chessie - Harvey Station, NB

Ian Clelend - Deep River, ON

Jody Isenor – Halifax, NS

Clark Langridge - Vulcan, AB

Sarah Moore – Charlottetown, PEI

Rory O'Connell - Toronto, ON

Justin Theriault – Hanwell, NB

Landon Urquhart - West Bay, NS
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UNB Researchers Receive $1 Million to Study Effects of Space Weather

Researchers at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton have received more than $1 million from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for their research, which will provide information on space weather and improve the accuracy of navigation devices based on the Global Positioning System (GPS).

P. T. Jayachandran is the principal investigator and Richard Langley and A. M.Hamza are co-investigators on the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network (CHAIN) project.

CHAIN is a network of continuously operating radars and GPS receivers, which will pick up radio signals from the constellation of navigation satellites. The data collected from this network will supplement the information now available from existing systems, used to study the upper atmosphere.

See the UNB press release for the rest of the story.

Canadian Space Agency press release.

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look at the CHAIN network, 59 KB.

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Ocean Mapping Group Receives Award for Hydrographic Training

The Australasian Hydrographic Society has conferred the Ocean Mapping Group with the Society's award for Corporate Achievement in Hydrographic Training. The award is for work in providing more than 40 multibeam courses over the past decade to the worldwide hydrographic community.

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look at the certificate, 35 KB.

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Dr. Yun Zhang Awarded Canada Research Chair in Advanced Geomatics Image Processing

Dr. Yun Zhang has been selected as one of the new Canada Research Chairs. The significant financial award will enable Dr. Zhang to build on his strengths in remote sensing and focus on advanced geomatics image processing research. Chairs are awarded to exceptional researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field.

Dr. Zhang's award was highlighted in the Canada Research Chairs news release:

"Yun Zhang, Canada Research Chair in Advanced Geomatics Image Processing, University of New Brunswick. What do NASA, Google Earth and Canada's department of National Defence have in common? They are all making use of Zhang's licensed software and automated image-fusion technique. As an expert geomatician, in an industry that creates tools for land surveying, global positioning and earth mapping, Zhang is developing revolutionary ways to build on geospatial information."

Congratulations Dr. Zhang on this richly deserved award.

Read the associated Canada Research Chairs news release.

Read the associated UNB news release.

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Best Student Paper for Robert Kingdon

Congratulations to Robert Kingdon who was awarded the Best Student Paper in Geodesy during the 34th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Geophysical Union, held in Banff, Alberta, during the week of May 11th. The paper, which was co-authored with Petr Vaníček and Marcelo Santos, was titled "A Forward Modelling Approach for Estimation of 3D Density Effects on Geoidal Heights." Congratulations Robbie.

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GGE Student Wins Best Paper Award at International Conference

A UNB Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering Ph.D. student has won a best paper award at the Position Location and Navigation Symposium held in Monterey, California, this past week. Luis Serrano, mentored by GGE's Prof. Richard Langley and Dr. Don Kim, received the honour for his paper entitled "Carrier-Phase Multipath Calibration in GPS-RTK Machine-Guidance Applications."

Multipath is an interference effect which often limits the accuracy achievable in high-precision GPS applications such as machine control and research into ways to reduce its effect is critical for ensuring the reliability of GPS control in different environments.

The PLANS symposium, which is held every two years, was jointly sponsored by The Institute of Navigation and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. More than 150 papers, in four parallel tracks, were presented over three days to the almost 500 GPS engineers and scientists from industry, academia, and government agencies in attendance. Mr. Serrano's paper was considered by the organizers of the symposium to be the best in his track.

Mr. Serrano is completing his Ph.D. degree while working full time as a GPS research engineer for Hexagon Group in Heerbrugg, Switzerland.

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WaterMark Industries Donates Receivers to Communities in Brazil

GGE alumnus, Mark Doucette of Fredericton's WaterMark Industries, has donated eight GPS receivers to be used by groups who will benefit from land reforms being initiated under the CIDA-funded National Geospatial Framework Project in Brazil. The receivers will be used by the Guarani Nation bands of Sapucai, Parati Mirim and Araponga, located in the municipality of Paraty in the southern part of the State of Rio de Janeiro and by the Quilombola communitiy of Castainho, located in the municipality of Garanhuns, which lies 300 km west of Recife, capital of the State of Pernambuco. After the training, the GPS units will be left with these communities. The CIDA project is being administered by UNB with the assistance of WaterMark Industries.

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look, 21 KB. (Photo: Terry Arsenault, 2008-April-14)

See also "2nd Annual Quilobola Workshop in Brazil"

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2nd Annual Quilombola Workshop in Brazil

Members of the UNB Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering will be traveling to Brazil this April to participate in the second annual Quilombola workshop as part of the National Geospatial Framework Project. UNB is managing the project and GGE's own Dr. Marcelo Santos is the project head. The workshop will be used to further inform members of the Quilombola communities, which are ex-slave communities, on the potential impacts that the new Brazilian national datum will have on them and their communities.

Some of the focus will be on access to land title, benefits of title, social impacts and technical impacts. The workshop will be held April 17 and 18 2008 in Recife, Brazil. For more information on the project you can visit the project website at as well as some of our previous news stories, including "GGE Students Make a Difference in Brazil."

Members of the department attending the workshop include: Dr. Sue Nichols; Dr. Marcelo Santos; Silvane Paixao, Ph.D. candidate; and Chris Fox, undergraduate student.

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Graduate Banquet 2008

On April 4, the Survey Society hosted the 2008 Graduate Banquet at the Crowne Plaza. Before the meal was served, Chris Fox said a little "prayer".

Click on the thumbnail image to read the prayer and look at photos taken during the banquet, 64 KB.

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Geocaching in the Snow at Odell Park

The GGE Survey Society arranged a geocache event on March 29 at Odell Park. The weather was beautiful although there was still about 3 feet of snow in the woods. Special thanks go to Brandon Crouse who organized the event and set the coordinates and Roberta Holtner who raised most of the money for the prizes and organized a BBQ with the money raised going to Malawi. The prizes awarded included a hand-held GPS receiver, iPod Nano, gift certificates and several pocket tools. Teams were made up of GGE students with one exception. There was a team participating from the Fred FM radio station: Jody Peterson, Sales; Gavin Hughes, Production; and Farley, On Air Cast Member. They had a little help from undergraduate student Chris Fox but not even Chris could drag Farley across the finish line any better than last place!

Click on the thumbnail image to look at photos taken during the event, 247 KB.

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2008 Student Technical Conference

The 2008 Student Technical Conference took place on March 10 and 11. There were 5 graduate and 18 undergraduate presentations. Thanks again to Focus Corporation and CIG New Brunswick Branch for their continuing support of the paper competitions.

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GGE Participating in Building of Space Satellite

Dr. Richard Langley is one of 25 researchers from across Canada participating in the Canadian Space Agency's e-POP Satellite Science Team. The e-POP, or Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe, is a component of the CASSIOPE satellite that will be launched next year to study the ionosphere. A meeting of the team was held February 19-20 at UNB.

More information about e-POP from the Canadian Space Agency.

Read the associated UNB news release.

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