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Essential Tips for Starting a Canadian Business

Essential Tips for Starting a Canadian Business

There are many of us out there that often say we would love to work for our selves and probably many more of us that actually think that. Thanks to many advancements in software, computers and technology as well as the way that we do Geomatics these days we are seeing more individuals starting to work for themselves. The excitement of starting a  business in Canada can often leads to many questions.

Where do you begin?Essential Tips for Starting a Canadian Business

What steps are essential?

Are there any hidden tips to be aware of?

How much will it cost me and how much can I make?

Today we were submitted some helpful helpful tips about starting a business, some of witch may surprise you as most people never think of everything when they come up with an idea of starting their own business.

Know What Your Good At & Do What You Love

Choose a business where you can use your best skills or interests; if your not very good at programming then you obviously do not want to start an applications business (although there is always out sourcing and other methods that you could consider). It is important to not just look at the amount of money people that you could make. Know what you love to do and go for something you’re good at, then allow your expertise draw in your customers.

You do not want to spend all your time doing something you find boring or outright distasteful no matter how much financial potential that it has (actually this is often what drives most people to quit their regular jobs and start working on their own). The point of being in business for yourself is to be able to wake up eager to get to work. If you only care about the money, then just get yourself a new job some where else.

Have a Business Plan and Stick to the Plan

Have an Overall Plan. Decide in advance what, where, and how long you intend to do the business. Will it be an ongoing venture, an online business or just a summer project? With an overall plan, you can make the rest of your decisions accordingly.

Probably the most popular tip and most important is the Business Plan, everyone who starts working for themselves should have one. Unlike the general overall plan, this one covers the specifics of the business. Do market testing to figure out the prices you can charge, who is most likely to buy your product or service, and most importantly, whether you can make a profit. If the answer to the last one is no, then you need to change your plan – a viable business must be able to turn a profit!

Time Management

It’s easy for a business to eat up all of your time. Conversely, some people find it hard to dedicate enough time to the business. Set a schedule that dedicates plenty of time for your business, but not so much that your entire life is consumed. Do expect to put a lot of your life into your business during the first couple of years.

Keep It Under Control

Take control of your brand right from the start. The fact that no one knows your brand when you first open your doors doesn’t mean that you don’t have a brand. You do – right from the start. Engage your target market on Twitter, Facebook and other areas to nurture that brand and ensure that people think positively of your product, service and company.

Have a Backup Plan

Consider an exit strategy. Selling your business may or may not be your initial end goal, but if you’re successful, you’ll eventually get an offer. Think wisely about each offer rather than either accepting or denying it in a knee-jerk fashion.


Amy Coleman – Amy has carried a briefcase to school since first grade because she wanted to be the boss. She holds an MBA from Wharton and works for a Fortune 500 company where she has her eye on the corner office.

[Originally Published Aug. 2008]

Ontario Trail Maps

 

Ontario Trail Maps

Ontario Trail Maps

Ontario Trail Maps: The Ontario Trails Council is a charity that was created to promote the development, preservation and management recreational related trails in Ontario. Several Ontario trail maps have been created to help people find cycling routes and loops with descriptions, hiking and walking trails, and other recreation related trails such as ATV, snowmobiling, canoeing and many more.

Ontario Trail MapsOntarioTrailsMap.com is an Ontario Trails Council online mapping application that has a quick selection menu with search functionality that allows users to quickly narrow down their search to any region in Ontario and desired trail type. Details about the various trails provided include trail type, trail lengths, difficulty rating and other details such as photos and descriptions.

OntarioTrailMaps.ca provides users with a series of of easy-to-read full color regional maps featuring recreational related trails in Ontario. Their maps are published by AdverMap and available in paper hard copy or scanned digital versions. AdverMap has distributed more then 100,000 trail maps throughout Ontario

Start exploring trails in your area, or venture out and explore some of Ontario that you have never been to before …

 

Trans Canada Trail – interactive web map

Trans Canada Trail Map

The Trans Canada Trail is the worlds longest networked multi-use recreational trail system that consists of more than 16500 kilometers of the fully operational trails across Canada. It is currently about seventy three percent of the overall proposed routes and when fully completed should span over 22500 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic Ocean, across every province and territory, connecting thousands of communities and all Canadians. “The Trans Canada Trail inspires Canadians of all ages to get active and keep fit and helps educate individuals of all ages about Canada’s history and cultural and natural heritage”.

 

Every day Canadians and international visitors use these trails to walk, bike, ski, canoe and snowmobile along. Several information Pavilions have been established across the system to provide information about sections of the trail helping people to experience Canada’s unique landscapes. The Trans Canada Trail Organization does not actually own or operate any of the trails but provides a non profit organization to helps run and manage the community based project with the different sections owned and maintained by various local organizations, provincial and national agencies and a multitude of municipalities.

The Trans Canada Trail Map web site offers an interactive Trans Canada Trail map based on ESRI technology that provides users with a new way to explore and learn more about the Trans Canada Trail System. The interactive site encourages public input providing functionality allowing Canadians to place points or lines on the map marking different parts of the trail that they may have explored or places that they wish to explore as well as opportunities to upload photos and stories to help share their experiences with other Canadians. The online web map offers users the ability to explore the trail system for areas that may be more suitable for different activities such as biking, canoeing and cross-country skiing as well as search tools to help find parts of the trail network near you.

There is a disclaimer on the site recommending that the map works best in Fire fox, Safari or Google Chrome, but I did notice that the map browser can sometimes still be some what problematic in these browsers. Either way I am sure you will quickly notice that this online web map is a great little way to way to explore and learn more about the Trans Canada Trail System. – Trans Canada Trail map


[Article originally published on June 23, 2013]

Professional Geomatics Associations & Groups in Canada

Professional organizations are great ways to network and discuss GIS topics with others in the same industry. Here are the professional geomatics related associations, groups and organizations in Canada …

Canadian Geospatial Directory

The Canadian Geospatial Directory contains basic information about the various Geomatics related companies found in and around Canada (with some from abroad) including many key aspects such as the companies basic info, contact info, web site info and geographic location.

We started adding content to the directory using our own database of 1000+ Canadian companies and organizations from coast to coast that work in the geomatics field. However, it is time for the Canadian Geomatics community to help us further fill out the directory by contributing more information to existing listings and adding new listings for companies and services that have yet to be included.

All this is free, so find out how you can help add information about your Canadian company or organization …

Submit your Geomatics Conference or Event

Canadian Geomatics Conference and Events

The Canadian Geomatics Conference and Events section was designed to help provide people with a central place to obtain information about the various GIS & Geomatics related conferences, events, workshops, training and webinars that are held in Canada.

Canadian GIS & Geomatics related ConferenceAs you browse through the conference and events section you will find that are a wide array of geomatics related conferences, events, workshops, training and webinars available to Canadians. Many of these are conferences that we have attended regularly, events that we have attended before or events that we know about but have yet to attend.

However, often there are events that we are not always aware of yet, so we have added the ability for people to post info about any Canadian geomatics events that they are hosting or ones that they know of but that we missed.

All of our conference and event listing are also promoted through all our social network channels and social media sites like LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter, providing you more exposure to your event.

Submit GIS Conference and Events Information

Use this form to submit basic information about a Canadian GIS Conference and Events Information, if you have photos, videos or other material then let us know and we will reply with instructions on how to submit that info to us.

Giant Canadian Floor Map Series

Giant Canadian Floor Map - CGCRT June 2014 - Giant Floor Map 2Giant Canadian Floor Map Series

Canadian Geographic is providing Canadian educators (K to 12) with a new innovative hands-on creative way to teach Canada’s rich geographic history to younger generations.

Their “Giant Floor Map Program” is a free resource that teachers can borrow to help enhance students’ geography experiences through a hands-on, fun creative way to learn. The large giant floor maps of Canada, are created from a heavy-stock vinyl material and cover an area of just over 84 square meters (roughly half the size of an elementary school gymnasium). Each map series also comes with an activity trunk that includes a Teacher’s guide, media kit and pre-planned activities with all required materials.

It is really hard to appreciate the true size, resolution and quality of these maps through photos on the web, however one of the maps were displayed at the June CGCRT national workshop that I attended and I must say, these giant floor maps are just as impressive as they sound and certainly will provide many young people with a new perspective for mapping and the spatial extent of Canada.

 

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The Giant Floor maps are available on loan for 3-week periods throughout the school year and by special request during the summer.

The following Giant Floor Maps are available:

  • The War of 1812 – a historical map depicting the main theaters of war set on a backdrop stretching from Fort Detroit to the western tip of Newfoundland and as far south as Baltimore.”
  • Parks Canada: Places and Spaces for Everyone – a topographic map of Canada, highlighting Canada’s national parks, marine conservation areas and historic sites.”
  • Canadian Boreal Forest – a topographic map depicting the vast and valuable boreal forest within Canada’s borders. This map shows all of the aspects related to the groundbreaking Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, including woodland caribou range, aboriginal treaties and protected areas, as well as forest-product company tenures.”
  • Canada’s Energy: Production and Transmission – a topographic map that shows Canada’s main energy transmission lines, areas of production and energy infrastructure. Students have the opportunity to investigate the critical role that energy plays in Canadians’ lives and how the energy landscape will change in coming years.”
  • Canada from Space – comprised of images taken by Canada’s RADARSAT-2 and is the first of its kind. Explore how Earth observation satellites monitor Canada and can be used to protect and prepare Canadians. Through ten curriculum-linked activities, students will learn first-hand how pollution and natural disasters impact our country, the importance of Canada’s arctic ice, and the scientific phenomenon of the northern lights. They also get a chance to see Canada from the International Space Station, through the eyes of the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.”

For more information on the Canadian Geographic Education’s giant floor map program or to book one of these amazing maps, go to Canadian Geographic

[Image sources: canadiangeographic.ca & tmackinnon.com]

 

Tips for Federal Government Job Interviews

So you have a job interview coming up? Well congratulations! We too have been in those shoes before and here are some good tips about Federal Government job interviews that we have learned that has proven helpful …

Esri Canada Celebrates 30 Years of Geographic Innovation

Esri Canada marks 30 years of operations this year with a continued commitment to provide innovative enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions based on Esri’s ArcGIS platform. ArcGIS has evolved from a niche technology for mapping professionals into an open, pervasive Web GIS platform that everyone can use. It runs in the cloud, on enterprise servers or both computing environments, enabling users to easily mash up basemaps and data into intelligent Web maps that can be shared within and outside their organization.arcinfo

“Over the past 30 years, GIS has become far easier to use and can now be deployed in the cloud and accessed on mobile devices,” notes Alex Miller, president and founder, Esri Canada. “The technology has also advanced to incorporate real-time data collection and analysis, providing a common operational picture to entire organizations. These developments make it easier for people to use and share maps, data and analytical tools to make informed, collaborative decisions. While access to the technology has changed, one thing remains the same: GIS continues to enable users to solve problems in new ways.”

Esri Canada Celebrates 30 Years of Geographic Innovation

Alex Miller founded Esri Canada in 1984. From a small office in Toronto with six employees, the company has grown into a multi-million dollar business that employs more than 330 staff in 16 locations across Canada. Its customer base of more than 10,000 organizations has expanded from its initial wins in the forestry and agriculture sectors to all industries including government, business and education.  This significant growth is testament to the company’s unique ability in applying mapping and analysis to nearly every concern. In 2010, for advancing the use of GIS technology in numerous industries across Canada, the company received the Ontario Business Achievement Award for Innovation in 2010.

Increasing government efficiency and transparency Alex Miller - Esri CanadaEsri Canada began its foray into the municipal sector in 1985, when it developed the County of Oxford’s Land Related Information System to support land-use planning. The system integrates and provides access to information such as property and infrastructure data from various government systems. It received the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Exemplary Systems in Government Award in 1988 and became a model for Canadian municipalities. Today, Esri’s ArcGIS platform is the GIS standard in all levels of government.

To help local governments deploy GIS quickly, Esri Canada provides ArcGIS for Canadian Municipalities. This series of free app templates helps improve transparency, increase citizen engagement and reduce the costs of disseminating information such as election results and government services. In 2010, the company launched the Esri Canada Community Maps Program, which is succeeding in building a detailed, national Web basemap for Canada using authoritative data contributed by government organizations across the country. The basemap is free for governments and the public to use, and speeds up the creation of mapping apps.

The company also developed the Esri Canada Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) solution that enables real-time tracking of fleet vehicles. The hosted solution improves the safety and productivity of municipal field operations including snow removal, tree pruning, roadside mowing and road repairs. As well, Esri Canada recently introduced Assessment Analyst, which allows assessors to incorporate various data and 3D modeling into their analysis to increase the accuracy of property valuations. These pioneering solutions are helping to revolutionize government processes and create new opportunities for increasing efficiencies and revenues for customers.

Improving business productivity ESRI ArcGIS 10
J.D. Irving in New Brunswick was the first forestry company in North America to use Esri technology for the sustainable management of forests back in 1983. They consolidated numerous GIS apps and datasets across 10 regional offices into a single enterprise GIS in 2010. In addition to centrally managing their forestry operations for watercourse buffers, habitat and growing forests, the system now supports their other business areas including transportation, shipbuilding, retail and agriculture.

Today, Esri technology is used by banks, insurers, real estate developers, manufacturers, airports and hospitals to improve productivity, manage risk and effectively deliver products and services. Esri Canada offers the Esri Business Analyst (Canadian Edition), which enables organizations to use location analytics with demographic and business data to gain a deeper understanding of their customers, competition, market and trends. To make it even easier for business users to incorporate GIS into their daily workflows, the company also provides Esri Maps for Location Analytics. These solutions integrate mapping and analytical tools directly into popular systems for business intelligence (IBM Cognos, SAP BusinessObjects and MicroStrategy), customer relationship management (Dynamics CRM and Salesforce), and productivity and collaboration (Microsoft Office and SharePoint).

Advancing geographic education
Esri CanadaSince 1997, Esri Canada has offered education programs that provide affordable access to GIS technology to publicly-funded Canadian schools from kindergarten to grade 12, as well as universities and colleges. It recently introduced a GIS in Education Grant Program, which awards software and training grants to five K-12 schools every year to expand the use of GIS in the classroom. The company also develops free teaching resources that help educators incorporate GIS courses into their curriculum and enhance students’ critical thinking skills.

To promote the pursuit of GIS careers, Esri Canada awards more than $2 million in cash, software and training grants annually to students in more than 50 Canadian universities and colleges through its GIS Scholarships Program. The company also provides outstanding undergraduate and graduate GIS students with an opportunity to jumpstart their career through the Associate GIS Professional Program. Students are given a 12-month, full-time paid position at Esri Canada where they gain cross-functional experience in areas including professional services, training and technical support.

Building up the community and the environment

“The innovative culture and entrepreneurial spirit we’ve fostered among our staff, as well as the partnerships we’ve built, have allowed us to grow our company and industry over the past 30 years,” continues Mr. Miller. “Whether it’s enabling open government, identifying the best site for a new facility or improving education through interactive learning, our goal is to continue providing solutions that make a positive impact on society.”

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the spring issue of ArcNorth News, Esri Canada’s customer magazine, will focus on the company’s three decades of success. Customers and partners are also invited to celebrate with the company at the 2014 Esri Canada User Conferences, which will be held in 16 Canadian cities throughout the year.

Esri Canada logo

About Esri Canada

Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.  The company distributes the world’s leading GIS software from Esri, Schneider Electric, Cityworks – Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners.  Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada.  Esri Canada has joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed companies and has been named to the Branham300.  Information about the company can be found at esri.ca.

 

St. John’s Declaration (Help Improve Geographic Literacy in Canada)

Last month at the Canadian Association of Geographers conference in St.John’s, Newfoundland, a group of concerned geography educators came together to discuss deficiencies in geographic knowledge, work on a strategy and create an action plan to help geographic education in Canada. St. John’s Declaration is a document that resulted from the meeting that will be sent out to all the major educational institutes and professional organizations to seek their endorsements for the cause.

“The Canadian GIS & Geomatics website has been a long standing supporter of Geography & GIS Awareness in Canada, and in support geographic learning, teaching and research that is the foundation of the Canadian geomatics sector, supports the St. John’s Declaration for Advancing Geographic Education.”