Remote Sensing,
Surveying and

GIS / Cartography

Cartography is the practice of creating maps or visual representations of geographic areas. Traditionally maps have always been created on paper, but since the wide spread use of GIS, has evolved more into digital formats. GIS, an essential tool for urban and resource planning, allows people to solve and model real world situations by incorporating spatial and tabular data.

LiDAR & Remote Sensing

LiDAR, a specialized remote sensing technique uses high precision GPS with an Inertial Measurement Unit to determine accurate surface locations. The resultant measurements consist of geographic locations that can be further processed to produce different spatial data products.


Surveying is the technique, profession, and science of determining terrestrial positions of points and the distances and angles between them, these points are usually on the Earth’s surface, and most often used to establish maps and boundaries for property ownership.


:a geospatial term that originated in Canada due to the similarity in origin with both official languages (English and French). It encompasses various tools and techniques from a multitude of geographic disciplines (geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, cartography, global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), photogrammetry, geography, surveying, and other related forms of spatial mapping).

Originally, I created as an online portfolio to help my career while studying Applied Geomatics Research at COGS but since then it has become a place on the web where I share information about geospatial resources using maps, literature, examples, photos and other interesting information that I have learned from my work experience or during some of my travels.

I have been fortunate enough over the past 20 years to work in almost all geomatics related disciplines that included a unique opportunity to travel all across North and Central America, allowing me to better appreciate geography.

Ted MacKinnon - Geomatics Specialist

Some of the Geospatial Content Provided Includes…

GPS & Surveying

Resources & Other Content

Simply browse the various links above or below (in random order)

Viva TS15 - Leica Total Stations

Manuals for Leica Total Stations

Various user manuals that I refer to when working with Leica total stations (Some I created and others from Leica ... ).
February 1, 2015/by T MacKinnon
Color Shaded Relief Model of Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Color Shaded Relief Model of Vancouver Island

Color shaded relief (CSR) model created using a DEM of Vancouver Island, British Columbia using PCI Geomatica software. The ...
June 24, 2007/by T MacKinnon

Converting Decimal Degrees to Degrees Minutes Seconds

Often we are supplied with coordinates in decimal degrees but need to use Degrees, Minutes, and Seconds instead. Luckily, there are several solutions that you can use, here is a simple coordinate converter tool that I use.
December 29, 2017/by T MacKinnon
Surveying with the Leica Total Station - equipment

Surveying with the Leica Total Station (TCR1105)

Total stations combine a number of technologies to achieve remarkable accuracy and reliability. The first, an extension of traditional transits and theodolites, is the ability to ...
July 20, 2005/by T MacKinnon
NGS CORS sites in Google Earth

Using Google Earth to obtain NGS CORS site information

Every now and then I come across some little utilities that help to make things easier while working in the field and these pages are mainly my way of sharing them with others while creating a go-to place where I can easily find them when I need them.

Here is a Google Earth file that that contains locations and basic information about all of the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) Continuously Operating Reference Stations CORS. Saving you time from searching for CORS stations in your area and finding out what sampling rate they record GPS data at.
November 17, 2013/by T MacKinnon
Parque Nacional Volcan Masaya

Parque Nacional Volcan Masaya (May 2009)

After checking out the sites in and around Managua, we ventured off to some of the recommended areas outside of the city since we still had amble time left before our equipment would be released.

South of the City of Managua is the Parque Nacional Volcan Masaya, the countries largest Masaya sulfur dioxide gasNational Park and one of several protected areas of Nicaragua.

May 24, 2009/by T MacKinnon
Parc de la Gatineau - Pansharp Image

Custom Pansharp Fused Image

Above is a custom poster I created of Parc de la Gatineau…
April 25, 2005/by T MacKinnon
GIS Model of Average Annual Precipitation of the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

Geomatics – GIS Spatial Modeling

GIS Spatial Modeling is the process of modeling, examining, and interpreting geographic data.It uses a set of defined methodology and analytical procedures to derive information with spatial relationships between geographic phenomena. It can be useful for evaluating suitability and capability, for estimating and predicting, and for interpreting and understanding real world situations. There are four traditional types: spatial overlay surface analysis, linear analysis, and raster analysis.

Here, ESRI Geostatistical Analyst was used to create a model that can be easily used to depict the amount of precipitation that a community in the region would experience based on the data from the databases.
October 30, 2013/by T MacKinnon
Three dimensional color shaded relief (CSR) perspective view of high resolution LIDAR

Digital Terrain Modeling – Color Shaded Relief Models

A color shaded relief (CSR) model utilizes chromo stereoscopic techniques to help emphasize the depth of the Z dimension from traditional shaded relief models that already portray the presence of an elevation difference.
March 23, 2012/by T MacKinnon

Aerial Photograph

Aerial photography is the method of taking of photographs of the ground from an elevated position. The term usually refers to images in which the camera is not supported by a ground-based structure. Cameras may be hand held or mounted, and photographs may be taken ...
February 1, 2008/by T MacKinnon
La Concha Acustica found close to Lake Managua

More site seeing in Managua, Nicaragua (May 2009)

So our tour continued around the city of Managua stopping at various historic and modern sites including places like the water front, the Dennis Martínez National Stadium, El Huembes Market and local restaurants. And like always a few laughs ...

May 22, 2009/by T MacKinnon
image of a cliff demonstrating Slope calculations


The slope or the gradient of a straight line within a Cartesian coordinate system is known as the measure of how steep a line is relative to the horizontal axis. In terrain modeling we generally model an entire surface and not just one line so we need to calculate the slope of a best fit surface plane (which is made of lines). Together the slope combined with the aspect of the surface can virtually define the surface plane completely.
February 27, 2006/by T MacKinnon
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