[This article was originally written in March 2013, so may look familiar to many, however it has been updated with new information and links, such as details about the upcoming Ottawa workshop in June]
CGCRT and the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy
The phrase Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table (CGCRT) has been spreading throughout the Canadian geomatics community lately and appearing more and more in social media, yet I often get the feeling that not everyone really knows what the CGCRT is, or what they are about. Therefore I prepared this sort introduction with some key links and information in the hopes of helping more people learn more about the CGCRT and hopefully get involved in their initiatives.
It began as an informal gathering of various stakeholders in the Canadian geomatics that came together to discuss changes in the industry due to improved technological, various social and market conditions and the trend of geographic information appearing more and more in everyday lives.
The collaborative group of professionals from all fields of the geomatics sector (geospatial, geographic, location information etc.) representing private industry, academia, professional bodies, nonprofit groups and all levels of government consider the challenges that the geomatics industry may be facing in the upcoming years, propose solutions and strategies that could help guide the direction of the sector and strengthen it for the years to come.
As a support group, it is open to all geomatics professionals who are interested in furthering the future of the field for the betterment of all. A Steering Committee of volunteers from coast to coast was created in 2013 to help guide the Round Table’s initiatives and activities, and to ensure that it stays on track to reach the many goals that the group set.
One of the key concerns highlighted in 2012 was that the rapid development of online mapping applications and location based services was causing an increase in public expectations with regards to the accuracy of geospatial data and therefore a need to strengthen the essentials of the geomatics sector. It was from this that the phrase Canadian Geomatics Round Table (CGCRT) that we all have been hearing and seeing all over the web was created.
The decision to develop a strategy that reflected the general consensus on the part of participants at the 2012 meeting that the geomatics community as a whole would be well-served by a more systematic effort to articulate and promote its shared interests. This Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy is an open and collaborative effort started by the CGCRT to create a future ideal with common goals and objectives for everyone working with Canadian geographic information.
The idea is to seek, identify and include an ever-widening range of stakeholders in Canada, including industry, academia, governments, non-governmental organizations, geospatial data and service companies, professional associations, individual Canadian citizens, as well as new and emerging players in the sector. Its key objectives include fostering the understanding of the use and value of geographic information to all Canadians, and to ensure that Canada has a healthy geomatics sector that is also productive, competitive and sustainable that will serve Canada well into the future.
While the Pan-Canadian Action Plan provides tactical measures to respond to issues identified by the Round Table, it has also been recognized that there was a need for a broad community strategy to overlay and bind together the tactics of the Action Plan – and to identify other priority areas for action. This will ensure the continued growth of the industry. In fact, it is hoped that it will serve as a buffer for industry professionals today as well as a guide for the practice of geomatics in the future.
The CGCRT has been working on studying the “seven strategy dimensions” used to create the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy and drafting documents to help spur discussion with input to help the strategy development process. The group is also trying to expand and strengthen the geomatics community therefore are seeking the input of everyone involved in the geospatial sector.
The steering committee is now working on organizing the next upcoming national meeting “the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy, Action and Implementation Planning workshop” taking place in Ottawa on June 8th and 9th. If you wish to get involved then contact the CGCRT via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and follow some of the links below for more CGCRT information.
More Canadian Geomatics Round Table (CGCRT) Information
The CGCRT website is http://cgcrt.ca
Join the CGCRT on LinkedIn (it is a closed group but requests to join are welcomed so just click the join button above if you are not already a member)
Follow the CGCRT on Twitter
The CGCRT blog contains articles submitted from people coast to coast representing all aspects of the industry and a great place to leave your comments and feedback
Various CGCRT documents can be found here: http://cgcrt.ca/about-us/background-documents/
For more information on the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy see http://cgcrt.ca/draft-strategy-3/
[Image sources: cgcrt.ca & twitter.com/CanGeoRT/