• Posted on: November 10, 2015
  • Category: Community
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    Jon Murphy

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John Potter Recognized with Esri Canada’s Roger F. Tomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award

REGINA, Esri Canada User Conference – November 3, 2015 Esri Canada today presented John Potter, a professional engineer who has retired from the government of Saskatchewan, with the Roger F. Tomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions in advancing the use of geographic information system (GIS) technology in the province. The award was created as a tribute to Dr. Roger F. Tomlinson O.C., a visionary geographer who conceived and developed the first GIS and became known as the ‘father of GIS’.  The recognition is given to individuals for their outstanding achievement and contribution to the GIS community during their career.

“John’s work, which spans nearly 40 years, has helped shape the geomatics landscape in Saskatchewan,” said Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “From creating one of the province’s first GIS databases in the ‘80s to developing effective data-sharing partnerships, he has helped build a solid foundation for a provincial GIS infrastructure that will serve Saskatchewan well into the future.”

In 1989, as the production manager for geospatial data at the Saskatchewan Property Management Corporation, Mr. Potter led the conversion of Saskatchewan’s rural cadastre paper plans to a digital GIS database. This brought about significant efficiencies in the dissemination and use of cadastral data to enhance numerous government operations. The system paved the way for the creation of GeoSask, an online portal that allows the public to access various types of authoritative maps and land information for the entire province, and SaskInteractive, an online site that provides free Web mapping tools.

During his recent nine-year tenure at the Information Technology Office of Saskatchewan, Mr. Potter led the development of the 2011-2016 Geomatics Strategic Plan. The Geomatics Plan focuses on taking an enterprise approach to leveraging GIS technology to simplify processes, deliver better services and support economic growth in the province. The Geomatics Plan enabled the creation of the Saskatchewan Geospatial Imagery Collaborative (SGIC), a multi-sector partnership of 30 organizations that share knowledge and financial resources to acquire and maintain up-to-date imagery of the province, on which many organizations depend for daily decision-making. SGIC administers FlySask, an online site that provides public access to Saskatchewan’s aerial photos and satellite imagery.

An engaging leader, Mr. Potter was instrumental in the formation of the Saskatchewan Executive Geomatics Council that has enabled ministries and agencies to work together on achieving the Geomatics Plan. He has also provided leadership to numerous GIS boards and councils across Canada. He has served as chairman of Saskatchewan’s Geomatics Business Advisory Board and Geospatial Imagery Collaborative, and was the province’s representative to the Canadian Council on Geomatics and the Canadian Geospatial Reference System Committee. Since retiring from government in 2014, Mr. Potter remains active in the GIS community and does project-based consulting work.

About the Roger F. Tomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award
The Roger F. Tomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award was instituted in 2014 and is awarded periodically by Esri Canada to an individual for outstanding contributions to the GIS community over the course of their career.  The award is named after GIS pioneer Dr. Roger F. Tomlinson O.C. (1939 – 2014), who conceived and developed the first geographic information system (GIS) for the Canadian federal government in the 1960s. He initiated, planned and directed the development of the Canada Geographic Information System to create the Canada Land Inventory, a geographic database still used today by municipalities for land planning. His innovation has enabled the development of modern mapping technology and techniques, and established a multibillion-dollar industry employing thousands of people worldwide.

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. Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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