Nature and Networking In Niagara: Niagara GoGeomatics Group Leader Profile
GoGeomatics free group networking events are open to everyone from all areas of geomatics, including business owners, professionals, students, and others. The purpose of the Socials is to build a thriving geospatial community through networking opportunities. Socials are held in pubs across Canada and are led by volunteer group leaders who share their time and knowledge. Please feel free to join our Niagara Meetup Group here.
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This series is to introduce the community to those GoGeomatics Group Leaders.
Welcome to the GoGeomatics Niagara Meetup Group
Darren Platakis, Founder/Executive Director at Geospatial Niagara, Niagara Region Long Range Community Planning
Darren Platakis was born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario.
He says, “Niagara is home.”
Darren was interested in geomatics since he was in kindergarten, and he’s always been intrigued with anything geo-related.
Darren has been a part of GoGeomatics since 2011 where he started as a contributor, then became a group leader for Niagara. Darren says if he recalls correctly, the Niagara group was the first one formed outside Ottawa.
Darren’s work has been noticed and appreciated for several years. In 2018 he received the Sector Leadership Award from GoGeomatics. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (2013), was nominated for a Canadian Open Data Award (2015), and nominated twice (2016/2017) for the RCGS Geographic Literacy Award.
He attended Brock University in St. Catharines and achieved his BSc. Geography. He then took a post-graduate certificate in GIS-Geospatial Management from Niagara College in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Darren discovered GoGeomatics while going to Niagara College.
He says, “Circumstances dictated I have a job the moment I finished the program. I looked at the GoGeomatics job board every single day while I was in the program.”
Darren currently works for the Regional Municipality of Niagara in the Long Range Community Planning department. In 2013, he founded the educational non-profit Geospatial Niagara, which led to Niagara Peninsula Geopark (where he serves as secretary and engages the education community about Geopark. He also coordinates research.) Darren has also founded treeOcode Niagara and is an advisor to OpenTree Maps’ new owners as they improve and expand the program.
Darren wants to pay forward the excitement his high school Geography teachers made him feel about the topic.
As for favourtite quotes, Darren says, “‘Take what you can get until you can get what you want.’ This is from a former professor of mine. He told me, if you wait to get the job you want, you could be waiting a very long time. So take what you can get, but always work toward the one you want.”
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