Manitoba’s location in Canada is best shown on high level satellite images with some cartographic enhancement to show the position of its borders (Figure 2.1). In the case of Figure 2.1, a satellite 900 km above the earth’s surface obtained the individual images used in its construction. Manitoba has borders with the United States to the south; Saskatchewan to the west; Ontario to the east; and Nunavut to the north. These have been added to the image and are not, of course, represented by any physical barrier on the ground. Differences of land use on either side of the international border may make it recognizable even on small-scale satellite images (Figure2.5) as well as on larger scale air photographs (Figures 2.6 and 2.7). However, the border is not always marked by land use differences (Figure 2.8), and in some cases, although there is a clear tonal difference from one side to the other, it is not obvious what this represents on the ground (Figure 2.9).
The inter-provincial borders and the border with Nunavut cannot be distinguished on the basis of land use differences because none exist. In wooded areas (Figure 2.10) the border is often represented by a cut line, but in agricultural areas (Figure 2.11) the border is merely an abstract line symbolically represented on maps.
A high proportion of Manitoba’s total area (15.6 percent) is water including some very large lakes, for example, Lake Winnipeg, Lake Winnipegosis, Lake Manitoba, and Cedar Lake These and many smaller lakes can be identified on satellite images (Figure 2.2, and 2.3). Not only their location can be seen but also information can be obtained about their depth and sediment content (Figure 2.3).
In the 1783 Treaty of Paris the United States and Great Britain agreed that the U.S. border in this area would extend from the northwestern corner of Lake of the Woods due west to the Mississippi River. But the source of the Mississippi River, Lake Hasca, at Latitude 47º 12' N and Longitude 95º 10' W is south of Lake of the Woods. The Anglo-American Convention of 1818 solved the issue by redrawing the border to run south from the northwest corner of Lake of the Woods to the 49th parallel and from there along the 49th parallel to the Pacific. One result is that the Northwest Angle is cut off from the rest of the contiguous U.S.A.; it can only be reached by land by passing through Canada.
The borders have been superimposed on the image obtained from NASA’s Terra Satellite on May 19, 2002. The Manitoba/Minnesota border 1 runs south from the northwest corner 2 of Lake of the Woods 3. It extends into the lake until it reaches 49º N 4 and then turns west 5. The Ontario/Minnesota border 6 runs south-southeast through Lake of the Woods.
On this false colour image the healthy vegetation appears red. Both the Northwest Angle and that part of Manitoba shown here, except for the area occupied by Buffalo Point First Nation 7 and a grey marshy area 8 north of Buffalo Bay 9, are heavily wooded. In contrast much of the area of Minnesota south of Lake of the Woods 10 has been cleared for agriculture. In Manitoba the route followed by PR 308 11 leading into Minnesota 12 is clearly seen.
Figure 2.4: The International Border at the Northwest Angle
Terra Satellite Image
Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER)
May 19, 2002
Scale: 1:320,000 (approximately)
Location (in Manitoba): Townships 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5; Range 17E
Map sheets: 1:250,000 52E Kenora
1:50,000 52E/2 Big Island