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).
The two most obvious features on the Landsat image are Turtle Mountain 1 in blue just off the centre of the image and the great southern loop of the Souris River 2, starting at the western edge, extending almost to the southern edge, and then bending to flow north into Manitoba. A straight line 3 separates the northern part of Turtle Mountain (dark blue) in Canada from the southern part (lighter blue) in the U.S.A. where more clearing of woodland has taken place. East and west of Turtle Mountain, land use on both sides of the border is similar; consequently, the border cannot be easily distinguished, except by extension of the line that runs through Turtle Mountain 4. At the northern edge of Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, woodland clearing to the north results in a line 5 similar to that along the border.
Landsat 1 image, September 19, 1973
This is a colour composite of bands 5 – wavelength 0.6-0.7 micrometre (red), 6-wavelength 0.7-0.8 micrometre (infrared) and 7 wavelength 0.8-1.1 micrometre (infrared).
Scale: 1:1,000,000 (approx.)