The Integration of Remote Sensing, GIS and GPS to Produce Maps of Kakwa Provincial Park in the Canadian Rockies

Roger Wheate
Geography / GIS co-ordinator, UNBC,
3333 University Way
Prince George, BC, V2N 4Z9, CANADA

Nancy Alexander
Olds College, Alberta.


Many Canadian topographic map sheets are badly outdated, although some popular tourist areas have been mapped more recently. Northwest along the Rocky Mountains beyond Jasper and Mount Robson, is situated the new provincial park of Kakwa, established in 1999. 1:50,000 sheets of the area range from 1970-1980 with standard contours and forest cover.

Higher resolution 1:20,000 provincial digital data were assembled in a GIS, hill-shading was generated and merged with forest cover, updated by digital image processing of Landsat data, also used to extract avalanche slopes and current glacier extents, which are retreating up to 15 metres annually in some cases. Digital data at this scale are available for the whole province of British Columbia, but data limitations will also be identified in the line attributes and lettering. Proposed trails and routes were added by GPS for this area whose tourist potential has so far been restricted by minimal access.