Alberta Geomatics Group – Update on “What is Geomatics?”
Over the past year, the Alberta Geomatics Group (AGG) has embarked on a journey to promote the use of the word Geomatics to encompass all things spatial, GIS, geospatial, location-based, and the like. For many years, our community has stressed the importance of a campaign to give Geomatics a meaning which resonates with the public at large. This need has been echoed on many online forums and was heavily discussed at the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table discussions.
Starting in October of 2013 with the “What is Geomatics?” Gallery created in a high-end shoe store in one of Calgary’s busiest business districts, the group demonstrated our commitment to our objective. That gallery and event also highlighted the effort being undertaken to introduce events with greater variety in focus and venues, all with a heightened level of professionalism. These efforts continued with the Geomatics Education Symposium in May 2014, which garnered representation from Government, Private Sector, and Education (K – Post-Secondary), along with not for profit groups to come together and share perspectives and outlooks on the issues, strengths and future needs of the industry. The outcomes of these conversations will be released in the coming months.
Have these efforts worked? It’s hard to say this early in the game; however, we have seen increased interest from educators working in kindergarten through high school, requesting that representatives visit their students and introduce this “new” word. As well, several of the post-secondary schools in the province have seen a growth in numbers, with some offering second intakes to deal with the increased demand. This may not be related directly to the work done by the AGG and its stakeholders, but it speaks to the health of our community, which remains our focus.
So now that we have a new audience in School Districts and Government, should we just go back to our old ways? No way.
This GIS Day, November 19th, the AGG , the Southern Alberta’s Institute of Technology (SAIT), and the Calgary Regional Partnership Associations (CRP) will host a first of its kind, family friendly event designed to appeal to a broad range of attendees. The event will be held in the new TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary, which is a draw for children and adults alike. The event has been entitled “Life is an Adventure, know where you’re going,” in hopes of sparking an interest in Geomatics and the vast possibilities associated.
In addition to the exhibits present at the centre, an Innovation and Careers Expo will take place in the entrance and atrium areas of the building, allowing attendees to visit with Geomatics representatives to learn about some of the opportunities and technological advancements in the field. The event has already seen success with sponsorship from MMM Group, ESRI Canada, TECTERRA and Spatial Technologies.
This event won’t be our last of this nature, rest assured. No matter what the future brings for our industry, the AGG will continue to invest in students, community events and opportunities to promote Geomatics.