Social Tours

Proposed day trips/tours

The Local Organizing Committee for Digital Earth 2015, has designed a number of uniquely Atlantic Canadian experiences that we think provide a very special glimpse of what this destination has to offer. These programs will be offered on a user pay basis, over and above the conference fees. A set minimum attendance will be required for us to go ahead with these tours, so we encourage you to register early for these programs, so as not be disappointed.

These tours are being offered on Sunday, October 4 and Saturday, October 10, 2015, assuming we achieve required minimum attendance.

Sunday, October 4


Evangeline Trail, Wine Tasting and visit to the Centre of Geographic Sciences

8:30 am – 5:00 pm – Sunday, October 4
Cost: $150/per person, minimum 24 people required.

Travel through the heart of the farm land of Nova Scotia, past rolling hills and pleasant pastoral settings of the Annapolis Valley to the land of the Acadians. Your first stop will be the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS), located in the village of Lawrencetown, in the beautiful Annapolis Valley. COGS is Canada’s largest geomatics-focused learning environment. The Center offers very intensive and hands-on one-year post-university advanced diploma programs in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), GIS for business, remote sensing, and marine geomatics. In addition, high-quality two-year programs are offered in the fields of surveying (geomatics engineering technology), cartography, community and environmental planning, earning COGS its reputation as a world leader.

Our program at COGS will include:

  • Welcome by our Academic Chair
  • Overview of some COGS programs, including presentation of student works:
    • Advanced Diploma in Geographic Sciences Program (GIS concentration, GIS for Business concentration)
    • Advanced Diploma in Marine Geomatics
    • Diploma in Geographic Sciences (Cartography concentration, Community and Environmental Planning concentration)
  • Applied Geomatics Research Group
  • Visit to the W.K. Morrison Special Collection of maps at COGS library

The W. K. Morrison Special Collection is one of the greatest old maps collections in Nova Scotia, with the oldest one dated 1454. The collection covers the advances in geographical knowledge over five centuries and includes unique historical maps, atlases (18th and 19th centuries), periodicals and books representing early mapping of Nova Scotia, specifically 18th Century nautical charts. The collection also contains a unique complete run of the Gentleman’s Magazine from the 18th century and other early European periodicals containing maps.

After a morning and lunch at COGS, your route back to the City will include stops at two of Nova Scotia’s award winning wineries where we will enjoy a sampling of wine and cheeses from the Valley. Local artists will be at the wineries to showcase their works. This tour presents an opportunity to purchase wine and artworks.

Attire: We recommend comfortable shoes and casual dress with warm layers, as we explore COGS and other highlights of the Annapolis Valley.

More information on the Gasperaeu Valley.
More information on Gaspereau vineyards.


Tides of Change: Changing Ecosystems, Geomorphology and Landscapes of the Minas Basin, Bay of Fundy

9:00 am – 5:00 pm – Sunday, October 4
Cost: $75/per person, Minimum 24 people required.

Dr. Danika van Proosdij, Dept. of Geography & Environmental Studies, Saint Mary’s University, will lead this full day excursion.

This field trip will explore the changing ecosystems, coastal geomorphology and landscapes of the Southern Bight of the Minas Basin in the Bay of Fundy. The Bay of Fundy is known as having the one of the highest tides in the world. The trip will revolve around the hypertidal conditions (> 16 m) experienced in this region and participants will have the opportunity to ‘walk on the floor of the Ocean’ and return to select sites at high tide to visualize the transformation. Examples of dynamic change in the Bay will include stops at the Windsor Causeway and saltmarsh (evolution, controversies & opportunities), Hantsport Wharf (shipping & changing economic times), the Landscape of Grand Pré (new UNESCO world heritage site – Acadian dykelands and contemporary use), the Lookoff, a local winery and Evangeline beach (Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve) among others. The adaptive capacity of these environments to the effects of climate change will also be addressed.

Attire: For those that wish to walk in the marsh, we highly recommended that you have boots and rain pants (to keep the mud off). A change of pants, socks and shoes (when boots are off) are recommended in the event of wet feet! The trip will run rain or shine so please be prepared for the elements. Water, light snacks and a bag lunch will be provided however participants are encouraged to bring their own water bottles.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Coastal Barrens Ecological Tour & Hike

10:00 am – 4:30 pm – Saturday, October 10
Cost: $75/per person, minimum 24 people required.

Travel to Peggy’s Cove where you will join a trained wilderness guide for a two hour hike of the Devonian granite formations in the area. These 350 to 415 million-year-old boulders were scattered by retreating glaciers about 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. Porcupine, mink, deer and eagles have been sighted on this trail. This is an easy hike – no previous hiking experience is necessary. The trail is fairly level with a few short steep slopes and it can be wet in spots. After your hike enjoy a delicious two course lunch overlooking one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world before returning to Halifax for an overview of the city.

Attire: We recommended that you have boots and warm rain/weather gear for this activity. A change of socks and shoes (when boots are off) are recommended in the event of wet feet! The trip will run rain or shine so please be prepared for the elements. Water, light snacks and a bag lunch will be provided however participants are encouraged to bring their own water bottles.