About Dr. Bob Ryerson

Dr. Bob Ryerson has served in a variety of senior positions in industry and government, including Director General of the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing. He is a Certified Mapping Scientist (Remote Sensing), a Fellow of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), has served on the Board of the ASPRS, and is a Past-Chairman of the Canadian Remote Sensing Society. He has published or presented more than 170 papers and books world-wide, including “Why ‘Where’ Matters.” He has won a number of awards, including the Gold Medal of the Canadian Remote Sensing Society and the Alan Gordon Memorial Award for “Outstanding Service over his career to Remote Sensing.” Several examples of his work in remote sensing have been featured in Canada’s National Museum of Science and Technology. He likes to attend the GoGeomatics Socials in Ottawa.

Posts by Dr. Bob Ryerson

It is hard to believe that six years has gone by and over 1000 articles have been provided by GoGeomatics, but that is the case. I am honoured to have been one of the first to write for GoGeomatics.  And am even more honoured to be asked to write at its rebirth! (Editors note - Bob's first GG article can be found here) The “re-birth” (if I can call it that) of GoGeomatics embodies one of the truisms of our time and our field – one must continually evolve and re-think what the past has taught us if we are to be successful in the future. In geomatics much has changed – and more will change in the future. It has been said that...
Posted on September 7, 2016
This piece started as a note on some of my experience as an international consultant in remote sensing specifically and geomatics more generally. But as I looked more and more at the role of consulting, it has morphed into what I hope will be a more interesting note on how Canada made remote sensing technology and services commercially successful and exportable. Profiling these activities may serve as a model for how government science can work with industry and our international trade activities to build new successes. And consulting, often done in the early years by government employees on loan to companies and international...
Posted on July 7, 2015
June 23rd marked a special day in the history of aviation and space in Canada. A very special aircraft, a Convair-580, with its advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors, made its final flight after setting records and breaking down barriers both political and scientific for several decades. The former Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) CV-580 completed its last flight on Tuesday June 23, 2015, and will be part of the collection at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum (CASM) at the Rockcliffe Airport in Ottawa. This aircraft served the radar remote sensing research community since 1974 when it was purchased by CCRS. It was...
Posted on April 8, 2015
This editorial is in response to and in support of a recent article written by Kirsti Oja on the GoGeomatics Magazine, called Are You an Unemployed Geospatial Graduate in Canada? You’re Not Alone. While there is some truth to the difficulty of young people finding employment, there are a few other issues to get off the table first. Kirsti does say that the “socials,” by their nature, do attract people looking for work. They do not represent a full cross-section. How many of the hundreds of people employed in the geospatial sector in Ottawa come to the get-togethers? Not many, which is a pity – as one of the “old ones,” I find...
Posted on November 28, 2014
So, You Want to Be Employed? Some Advice for Graduate Students in Remote Sensing Robert A. Ryerson, Ph.D., CMS, FASPRS, President, Kim Geomatics Corporation ABSTRACT A number of things appear to be changing in the job market for graduate students with an interest in remote sensing. First, there are fewer academic or government research positions. Second, increasingly the new positions in the field tend to be in industry and NGOs, including organizations that do not consider remote sensing to be their primary focus. Third, there are increased expectations (hope?) that new graduates will have a basic skill set that will allow them to...
Posted on August 6, 2013
In order to determine whether geomatics is the most appropriate term for this field it may be useful to review some history. In the mid-1980s the various sub-disciplines of what is now called geomatics, consisting of mapping, surveying, remote sensing and GIS, were isolated and often competing for resources rather than cooperating to solve the important questions of the day. Some of the leaders at that time (notably Hugh O’Donnell and a few of his provincial colleagues) saw the synergies that could develop from seeing all of those working on geospatial information’s creation and use as part of the same discipline, which of course came...
Posted on March 19, 2013
Jon Murphy knows how to ask some interesting questions – which is perhaps why I like reading what comes out from GoGeomatics. He asked me to write about missed opportunities in Canada that I have seen in my career in geomatics. The interesting part of the assessment of missed opportunities is the discussion of “why.” Why were opportunities missed? Are there lessons to be learned? As my good friend Dr. Bob O’Neil commented to me as we discussed this column (and he also suggested the Sixth Missed Opportunity) “Some things are correctly classed as missed opportunities but that should not imply, necessarily, that something went wrong,...
For the first editorial for the new Canadian web magazine for geomatics I have been asked to comment on where we have been in the past, where we are today, and what the future may hold for our industry and our community. What a challenge! There have been a number of books written on the subject – including “Men and Meridians” and the more recent update (and more politically correct) “Mapping a Northern Land,” and our own book “Why ‘Where’ Matters.” This will be the short version. First off, some history. “Geomatics” came into common use in Canada in the 1980s as a term amenable to use in both English and French to...