About six years ago I attended workshop at Selkirk on using Google Earth, using a GPS and getting mapping data off of the internet. During that CBWN sponsored workshop we had a presentation be Friends of the Lardeau of some maps that had been produced under the CBWN-Selkirk mapping program. I was blown away by the maps and the fact that it was free to CBWN members.
The next year I applied, on behalf of the Slocan Lake Stewardship Society for 10 maps. They were delivered and are in use today both internally and at public functions. They are big (1 by 1.2 metres), colourful and pull in people to the kiosk at community gatherings such as Garlic Fest.
Since then I have been working as a member of the Mapping Committee of CBWN to help other members to participate in the program. A couple of years ago I suggested to Friends of Kootenay Lake get some maps that they could use at public events. This year I helped the Arrow Lakes Environment Stewardship Society who are re-grouping after the loss of their president. They received three simple maps in the large format, just in time to display them at Toad Fest at Summit Lake at the end of August. They were estatic and will be using them at three public community engagement presentations this fall.
The value of maps to network members is multifold. They use them to orient and educate their own, members. They use them at public functions to point out to the community where they are working. And they include the digital versions in reports and Power Point talks at these public events.
The main challenge to societies, once they learn of the existance of the program, is to envision what they want mapped. What kind of maps do we want? What size should we ask for? How are these maps useful to us? The CBWN Mapping Committee is preparing a group of thumbnails of maps that have been prepared for prevoius clients to orient members as to what is available. But new ideas arise every year. This year I suggested to the Glade Watershed Protection Society that a satellite image map with data overlays might be useful. Satellite Images are great crowd pleasers and are now freely available with great definition of detail. The Wasa Lake Land Improvement District requested and received a map showing what areas would flood with lake level rise. Great planning tools.
We have to continue letting people know about the program, what is available and be alert for new developments in mapping data availability to better serve our members.
— Richard Johnson, CBWN Board of Directors, ALESS and many more.