The Black Arcs' mission is to foster a deep understanding of the impacts of our decisions through widespread access to meaningful predictive models. We create interactive analytics software to support professionals, corporations, governments, and the general public. Our products illustrate the likely impacts of changes to our environments, allowing users to prototype new ideas.
Citisketch, our first product, is a community-scale simulator. Users explore civic issues by constructing their specific land-use scenarios in a digital twin of their community, which can be used to compare potential plans and engage stakeholders. We facilitate collaborative planning, helping users to punch through silos with a broad suite of features that make discussing complex issues simple and fun. Citisketch employs agent-based artificial intelligence to model mobility behaviour.
The Government of New Brunswick supported the first deployment of Citisketch in 2017. The Town of Sackville was in debate about the future of its three schools, which were approaching end-of-life. Black Arcs collaborated with the Regional Service Commission and Town of Sackville to create a digital twin in which residents could move schools to where they thought new schools should go, and spark discussion about how they wanted their town to evolve. Black Arcs brought a large touch screen to the Sackville Farmer's Market, and were delighted to have residents and visitors line up all day to play Sackville: The Game and talk about what local schools meant to them. This project demonstrated Citisketch’s ability to facilitate land-use conversations, and highlighted a community need for new schools that considered transportation-related environmental impacts.
The places we live are incredibly complex ecosystems, and creating software models that reflect enough of reality to inform decision making requires considering the different types of activities that occur in our communities.
In 2021, Black Arcs Inc. worked with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on a project to empower communities in New Brunswick with new tools to explore how economic activity in their communities was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Arcs built new tools to better consider active transportation in Citisketch, and also demonstrated how trail connections improve access to local businesses, and consumer spending at them.
Black Arcs Inc. regularly collaborates with university-based researchers and other professionals on projects related to computer science, mathematics and statistics, public health, design, and more. Work with the Department of National Defense in 2021 provided the opportunity to explore modelling how an illness spreads through a community. Our agent-based analysis of disease models in communities broke new ground, and collaborators at the University of New Brunswick presented the concept to the pan-Canadian Mathematics for Public Health Group and Public Health Agency of Canada. These capabilities will have applications beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, as our model can be tweaked to account for new diseases or variants.
Are you interested in learning more about our work? Would you like to see a demo or discuss potential research collaboration? Please feel free to get in touch with us using this contact us form.
From the 1400s through the Victorian era the art of typesetting was termed the black art in reference to the ink-covered printers. The printing press advanced art, culture, and science by providing widespread access to the written word. The Black Arcs’ mission is to foster a deep understanding of the impacts of our decisions through the widespread access to meaningful predictive models.
Jake Arsenault is a serial high-tech entrepreneur. He has a PhD in engineering from the University of New Brunswick (UNB). Before starting The Black Arcs, he founded Inversa Systems, a pioneer of gamma-ray imaging for infrastructure based on his PhD research. He supports start-ups by mentoring early stage ventures, and is Entrepreneur-in-Residence at both the University of New Brunswick and the Atlantic Ballet. He is also on the board of Springboard, Atlantic Canada’s commercialization and industry liaison network.
Jake brings a strong aptitude in both new technology creation and customer-centric design. Jake is focussed on customer engagement, product management, and branding.
Luke Robertson likes passionate people. He helped grow dozens of startups as Operations Coordinator for two accelerator programs housed at the University of New Brunswick, and has been involved with municipal and provincial electoral campaigns across New Brunswick. He has worked with not-for-profits to advance tourism and sport, and lobbied for improvements to the post-secondary education system in New Brunswick and on Parliament Hill.
Luke enjoys the challenge of a complex problem, especially when working with limited resources. He works in a straightforward, organized process. At the Black Arcs, Luke oversees operations.
Dane Sheppard is a meticulous, technically-minded, results-oriented individual with a passion for science, problem solving, and the pursuit of knowledge. As a strong believer in the value of persistence and tenacity in the pursuit of any goal, Dane approaches problems with the mindset that nearly everything is solvable with the right perspective.
Prior to joining The Black Arcs, Dane served as the technical lead at the Applied Nanolab plasma reactor project at the University of New Brunswick. Dane has a Bachelor’s of Science from Memorial University and a Master’s of Science in Engineering from the University of New Brunswick. He is responsible for product development and long-term technology strategy.
Dr. David Coleman has served as Geodesy & Geomatics Engineering Department Chair, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Senate representative and Board of Governors representative at the University of New Brunswick. Outside of the University he served as President of both the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association and the Canadian Institute of Geomatics, and on other globally recognized committees.
Lizzy Gresh is a project management consultant who previously served as Executive Director of the Gaia Project, a non-profit with the mission to empower youth to take action on climate change. Lizzy has a master’s degree in Environmental Studies and a Business and Environment certificate from York University. She has worked with a number of national non-profits including Learning for a Sustainable Future, Evergreen Canada, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
Kay Nichols has led big data, digital, and mobile banking initiatives for IBM and FIS. Kay is an active member of the National Association for Corporate Directors (NACD), Women on Boards UK, and a cohort of the 2018 Harvard Business School Women on Boards program. Kay had led the creation and growth of multiple new products past $100M in revenue.
The Black Arcs are always looking to meet talented potential hires. Our company employs a variety of positions, with a majority of staff involved in software development. Open positions currently being advertised will be listed below, but we would be happy to speak with you about your interest in working with us if you get in touch.
We are not currently advertising any open positions.