Making Their Mark Museum Exhibit

Making Their Mark Museum Exhibit

If you are interested in booking the exhibit, please contact Kerry Barrett.

This exhibit is related to several Alberta Education programs of study including Aboriginal Studies, Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences and Social Studies. The relationship to the Social Studies program, from Kindergarten to Grade 12, is particularly strong.

The exhibit consists of:
1. Fifteen panels describing how surveys were done and the role of surveyors in the development of Alberta.
2. Four display cases showing different types of equipment used by land surveyors in the past.
3. A tent showing how land surveyors lived and worked many years ago.
4. An audio-visual presentation showing the work of land surveyors from 100 years ago to today.
5. Seven hands-on activities for kids -particularly aimed at the Grade 8 level.

1. Panels

Panel 1: Making Their Mark
Surveyors were among those who initially saw western Canada as it had been for years. They were the forerunners of change,development and prosperity.

Panel 2: Western Canada - A Vast Territory to be Surveyed and Settled
The Dominion Lands Survey provided the structure and information needed for the rapid and orderly development of the West.

Panel 3: An Indelible Imprint on the Prairie Landscape
Surveyors establish a framework of meridians and baselines requiring careful measurement and accurate observations.

Panel 4: Survey Words in Everyday Life
What is a range road? Baseline road? Why is it called a correction line?

Panel 5: Placing Monuments - You Better Not Move Them
Surveyors mark boundaries with monuments. What do they look like? What is the penalty for removing them?

Panel 6: Peoples Facing Change - First Nations
The land surveyors had the task of balancing the policies of the government with the interests and demands of First Nations and Metis peoples.

Panel 7: "It Would Ruin The Whole Settlement" -The River Lot System
Louis Riel steps on the surveyor's chain. St. Albert residents threaten force.

Panel 8: Getting There - Trains and Boats and Dog Teams
At the beginning of the Dominion Land Survey, travelling to Winnipeg from Eastern Canada took several days, usually by US railways.

Panel 9: Life in the Field was Great Except...
Summer heat, winter cold, prairie fires, rivers, grasshoppers, mosquitoes, black flies...

Panel 10: 1883 - A Banner Year - Land Surveyors Set World Record
Land surveyors subdivide 27 million acres as the railway prepares to move west.

Panel 11: Opening the West for Settlement
Parliament acts to open up the west for settlement by establishing the township system of survey and guaranteed title to the land.

Panel 12: Land Surveying in Alberta after 1905 -Boom to Bust
The big years of township surveys were ending and Canada entered a recession in 1913. There was little work for land surveyors.

Panel 13: Land Surveying in Alberta after 1947 -Bust to Boom
The discovery of oil was the single most important factor in the evolution of land surveying in Alberta. Land surveys were required for wellsites, pipelines and other facilities.

Panel 14: Day to Day Life in the Field in the1950s
Three stories of life as a land surveyor was really like in the 1950s.

Panel 15: Land Surveying Today
Land surveyors still play an important role in the development of Alberta today.


2. Display Cases

Four display cases show different types of equipment used by land surveyors in the past. In one case, see how land surveyors calculated distances with several old calculators, while in another display, see the types of equipment  they used. The third display shows how surveyors took observations and measured angles. The different types of monuments that surveyors used to mark property lines can also be seen.


3. The Tent

A typical field party in the early 1900s consisted of twelve or more men.  The chief had overall responsibility for the survey. Making Their Mark recreates what a typical surveyor's tent would look like.


4. Surveyors and Surveying in Alberta Audio-Visual Presentation

Surveyors and Surveying in Alberta is a 124-picture, 10:30 minute presentation showing pictures of transportation, camp life and technology from the early 1900s to today.


5. Hands-On Activities

Making Their Mark  includes the “Made to Measure” crate (crate 9 of 10) from the Science Alberta Foundation.

What do adventure, history, the outdoors and your own backyard all have in common? Math! Use problem-solving skills and other math concepts to explore Alberta’s past and present through the eyes of a land surveyor.

Intended Audience: Grade 8

Curricula: Mathematics - Shape and Space

Activity 1: Digital Connections
Creation and analysis of a digital network using land surveyor descriptions of vertex locations.

Activity 2: Looking for Black Gold
3-D modeling of a potential well site by mapping data collected by land surveyors.

Activity 3: “Orange” You Glad You’re a Surveyor?
Data collection and pythagorean application in a land survey crew fieldwork experience.

Activity 4: That was Then, This is Now
Composite area estimation using photos and maps of property boundaries.

Activity 5: The Big Leak
Volume relationship of oil tank to surrounding ditch.

Activity 6: The Lost Lemon
Quadrilateral classifications as clues to create a treasure map to a lost mine in Alberta.

Activity 7: World Survey
Application of map scale to visit some international work locales of land surveyors.

10020 - 101A Avenue
Suite 1000
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3G2
1-800-665-2572 (Toll Free)

The Alberta Land Surveyors' Association (ALSA) is a self-regulating professional association legislated under the Land Surveyors Act. The Association regulates the practice of land surveying for the protection of the public.