Manitoba From the Air: A Geographical Interpretation

Over a period of 40 years, the late Dr. John Welsted (Department of Geography, Brandon University) assembled a collection of images (aerial and remote sensed) that depict the geography of Manitoba. About 550 of these images were selected for presentation in an electronic book (e-book) titled Manitoba from the Air: A Geographical Interpretation. The “remoteness” of the sensing varies from a few tens of metres (from building tops) to hundreds of kilometres (from satellites) with multiple image types.

The collection is intended as a companion to the book The Geography of Manitoba: Its Land and Its People (Edited by John Welsted, John Everitt, & Christoph Stadel, 1997) and the topics are presented in the same order as in that book. Welsted’s collection is the basis of the e-book, however, it was supplemented by other images obtained specifically for the purpose. Whereas some aspects of the province’s geography such as landforms, settlement patterns, and transport routes (past and present), are well displayed on remotely sensed images, others, such as climate and prehistoric settlements, are not. The e-book includes two chapters that were not in the original book: transport is given separate treatment whereas it was subsumed under other headings in the book and there is a short section about legal issues.

A major advantage of an e-book is that it can be continually edited and updated and is freely available to all. The aim was to use remotely sensed images to display and describe the geography of Manitoba: this would be made readily and freely available to all interested people. The electronic format of the e-book also provides a dynamic and interactive environment for the reader.

The Rural Development Institute is a centre for excellence in rural development helping strengthen rural and northern communities through research and information on issues unique to these areas. The Institute serves as the publisher for Dr. Welsted’s e-book. The e-book continues RDI’s role in publishing topics in the fields of rural and community development.

Check the e-book out at

Publication financially supported by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.