Among today’s roles of the GNBC as a national coordinating body are the development of standard policies for the treatment of names and terminology, the promotion of the use of official names, and the encouragement of the development of international standards in cooperation with the United Nations and other national authorities responsible for naming policies and practices.
Coordinating, development, promotion, encouragement: as a former government employee, I’m familiar with those, erm, terms of art. But in a country with literally two major rivers named Churchill, a little coordination is not necessarily just an Important Canadian Government Initiative, if you follow me.
Apple Maps’s detailed three-dimensional city maps, which launched in a limited number of cities with the release of iOS 15, have now come to three Canadian cities: Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Among other things, the maps add enhanced navigation and transit directions; Montreal also gets cycling directions. [The Verge]
Until now, the interactive atlas did not show climate change projections for Indigenous communities. Only Canadian urban centres were included.
The newly-launched feature provides information about the impacts of climate change on 634 First Nations communities and 53 Inuit communities, while also profiling projects surrounding climate change adaptation and mitigation across the Métis homeland.
The Climate Atlas has a video demo of its Indigenous content. The Atlas’s online map, with Indigenous layers, is here.
The World is a general reference political map focused on the names and international boundaries of sovereign and non-sovereign countries. The information is portrayed using the Winkel II projection at a scale of 1:29 000 000. The dataset includes international boundaries, populated places, and labelled major hydrographic and physical features.
Because it’s produced by a federal department, the map and the download page are at pains to emphasize that the boundaries, labels and other information is not necessarily representative of the Government of Canada’s position (viz., Persian Gulf and Sea of Japan; disputed boundaries are included, frozen conflicts not so much).
These data are useful in terms of where to target mobile clinics and other vaccination outreach programs. I’d love to see this for other cities in Quebec, especially the one nearest to me: Gatineau’s current rate is relatively low (66.4 percent first dose, 51.2 second dose as of this week) and it’d be revealing to see where the uptake is stronger or weaker.
The Diefenbunker is a Cold War-era fallout shelter on the outskirts of Ottawa that has since been converted into a museum. Its large floor maps, never used or displayed, are serving as grist for an Indigenous artist in residence, CBC Ottawa reports:
As the new artist in residence at Ottawa’s Diefenbunker Museum, Mairi Brascoupé is blending Cold War-era maps and beadwork to explore the idea of “place” during times of change.
Brascoupé, a member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, wants to weave her own story by exploring the differences between cultures of Indigenous people and settlers.
She plans to use waterways and traplines in contrast with fallout zones, evacuation plans, and other details of the museum’s maps.
This interactive map, created by Sean Marshall, compares the extent of Canada’s passenger rail network in 1955 with what was left of it in 1980 after decades of service cancellations and line abandonments. By 1980 the various railways’ services had been taken over by VIA Rail; VIA’s network would face the first of a series of cutbacks the following year (there’s a lot less of it extant today), so this map represents the public rail network at its maximum. More about the map from Sean here.
Canadian Geographic on a project to map Nitassinan, the ancestral homeland of the Innu in Labrador and eastern Quebec. “It started with a few illustrated maps for two small schools. Two printed editions, one giant floor map in-the-making, and layers upon layers of watercolour later, the Nitassinan map project is grabbing attention across Canada.”
Nothing wrong with it as a fun exercise, but can it actually be used? As someone who back in the day biked quite a lot of the Ottawa and Gatineau bike trail network, I can’t use this map. I don’t recognize the path network. Part of it is because many of those paths have names that he doesn’t use; part of it is the conceit of creating “stations”; part of it is that a surface path network that can be entered or exited at any point is not well served by a network diagram. It makes sense to abstract a subway network from the street level, because you’re basically travelling from station to station. You’re not doing that on a bike; you’re in the neighbourhood.
The update also includes Look Around, and not just in a few locations. Elsewhere in the world, Look Around is being rolled out on a city-by-city basis; in Canada it’s far more comprehensive. How comprehensive? I live in a village of 1,600 people not far from Ottawa, and my house is on it. (Based on the state of our gardening, the imagery was taken sometime in 2019, either in late summer or early fall.) Major highways are also included, not just cities. Justin O’Beirne looks at the coverage areas.
CBC News explores how places in Ontario receive new names. There are hundreds of thousands of unnamed places in the province, and at the rate new names are being approved by the Ontario Geographic Names Board, it’s likely to stay that way: 85 new names have been approved in the past five years. On the other hand, 54 proposed names were rejected for not failing to meet the rules, which the article digs into:
The Ontario Geographic Names Board is guided by a strict list of naming rules. Submissions can’t have the same name as another nearby feature. Bad words are not allowed, nor are names that could seem like advertisements.
When it comes to people, a name won’t be considered unless that person has been dead for at least five years. Even then, there’s niche criteria. The person needs to have left a legacy either locally, provincially or nationally.
There’s even a rule about not naming something to commemorate a victim of an accident or a tragedy if they didn’t leave some sort of other legacy.
CBC News reports on a collaborative project to create province-by-province and state-by-state beaded maps of Canada and the United States. “Since March, dozens of Indigenous artists had been taking up a challenge to bead their states and provinces. Their hard work, diversity in beading styles, techniques, and cultural influences can be seen in a final map that was recently unveiled of both countries.” The project was coordinated by CeeJay Johnson of Kooteen Creations.