Hello everyone,

Western University recently was added as an ESRI Canada Centre of Excellence. We are very excited to be a part of this elite group of GIS schools in Canada. As a new associate, I thought I would share one of my projects that I completed with Western’s other new associate, Peter Coxford.

As you move through the years in your undergrad degree at Western you get to narrow your focus. As this is my third year, the GIS course that I took really opened up. For the final cumulative project, we were allowed to perform any GIS project that we would like, as long as it used the tools and techniques used in the class. This allowed Peter and I to be very creative in our project, and really create a real-life solution to what we see as a potential problem in the City of St. Catharines Ontario.

We chose St. Catharines for two reasons. The first being that it historically has one of the highest obesity rates in Canada, and the second being that the Niagara Region has an excellent open data website with numerous resources that we could use in our analysis. Due to the historically high obesity rate, we thought we would complete a MCDA project on finding the best location for a mixed-use athletic facility using our own criteria. To find these criteria we used the recommendations from the St. Catharines master plans, as well as information from the open data site such as other current athletic facilities.

After running our analysis we were able to come up with what we thought would be the most effective location for a new mixed-use athletic facility. You can view the full analysis in our final report.

Map of overview candidate locations included in the MCDA analysis, with the final selected site highlighted.

I think it is fantastic that the GIS program at Western University allows us students to be creative in our projects. These projects are extremely valuable when applying for jobs.