You Should Probably Start Biking to Campus

Thursday, June 30, 2011

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That’s right, I am talking to you anonymous blog viewer. I am assuming that you go to the University of Ottawa because it makes what I am about to write more relevant.
Fortunately for Jon (my boss, Sustainability Manager for the campus), I am a Geography/ Environmental Studies student. This means I was forced to take a Geographic Information Systems course which basically involved digitally mapping lots of geospatial data in a program that caused me much frustration and sleepless nights.

Cut to Jon asking as he walked by my desk, “Hey, you worked with GIS, right?” I absentmindedly answered “yes” and the next week I went on holidays. I returned to a good twenty emails were sitting patiently in my inbox that basically involved Jon lending me out to do various mapping projects, including some on campus.

We have decided to do a Sustainable Transportation map of campus. In the past, we have done green maps on a google-like application. But now, we are getting legit. I am working on creating a map in my beloved ESRI mapping program (by beloved, I mean the type of love/hate relationship lactose-intolerant children hold with ice cream) which will include incredibly useful information such as bike racks, bus stops and routes, 1 hour parking, bike and car share stations. After I make this map, I get to go see Nancy Lemay at the GSG library and learn how to use “Mapetizer” which will make these maps interactive, online and legit.

Conclusion: we have many awesome facilities on campus that make biking easy and safe such as the secure bike enclosure and counter-flow bike lanes. Also, as exciting as it is to apply knowledge from previous courses to my place of work… I can’t help feeling like I have completely lost my “mapetite”.


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