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Why build the Sandbox?

The company owner, Johanna Plaz has a passion for both geography and open-source tools, and was intrigued by the idea of building an Augmented Reality Sandbox in Smithers as a way to provide children and youth in the more remote and rural areas of northwestern BC with a tool to pique their interest in geography and science. The Sandbox originally began as a side project in 2015, and grew into an educational program through a partnership with the Bulkley Valley Research Centre in 2017.

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Where is Smithers?

Smithers is located in the Bulkley Valley in northwest British Columbia, Canada, approximately halfway between Prince George and Prince Rupert.

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Why work at Eclipse Geomatics?

Eclipse fosters a great working environment, with our staff regularly participating in team projects and activities. Being based in Smithers, BC, also makes it a prime location for skiing, hiking, paddling, fishing, swimming, or taking in some of the local culture.

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What is the Skeena Knowledge Trust (SKT)?

The Skeena Knowledge Trust is a charitable organization formed in September 2017 to address the need for improved knowledge management and more informed decision-making pertaining to salmon and salmon habitat within the Skeena River watershed and estuary. Eclipse provides administrative and technical services to the Skeena Knowledge Trust.

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What sort of educational services does Eclipse provide?

Eclipse offers training and workshops on data governance, information management, QGIS (in collaboration with the Columbia Mountain Institute), watershed education featuring the AR Sandbox exhibit, and more!

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What is GIS?

GIS is an acronym for Geographic Information System, which is a system (usually computer software) used to organize, shape and provide analysis of spatial data (i.e. information that has a spatial component or is place-dependent). Here are a few cool examples of GIS in action:

Active BC Wildfire Locations

Crow Tracking in Southern BC

NASA’s Asteroid Tracking

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What is augmented reality (AR)?

Most people have heard of the sibling of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR). While VR is an artificial simulation for greater immersion, AR is a graphical layering enhancement to the environment. One distinguishable difference is if the setting has any physical objects you interact with. In this case, the Sandbox is the physical representation in which you interact with the sand.

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How do I rent the sandbox?

We provide nearby services of moving the sandbox to your venue! For general and business inquiries, contact us at (250)847-5665.

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Is Eclipse hiring?

Refer to the News section of the website for current employment opportunities at Eclipse Geomatics.

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What GIS software does Eclipse use?

Eclipse primarily uses QGIS, a free and open source Geographic Information System. Eclipse staff also have experience with ArcGIS applications.

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