Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Posted on: March 24, 2017
  • Category: Community
  • Written by:
    Jon Murphy

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New GoGeomatics Group in Thunder Bay, Ontario

GoGeomatics is excited to introduce the Thunder Bay GoGeomatics group as the newest grass roots effort by local geospatial professionals, students, and organizations to get together and network in Canada.

Over the last 7 years the GoGeomatics community has evolved from a website, along with a nucleus of groups, to a network of professionals across the country. We are lucky to have two excellent new group leaders in Thunder Bay.  Below, Krista Bullock and Jason Freeburn, describe the geomatics community in Thunder Bay and why they wanted to start a GoGeomatics group.  Thunder Bay, Ontario

Thunder Bay Geospatial Community by Krista Bullock & Jason Freeburn

Thunder Bay has a vibrant, diverse Geomatics community.  As the only large city in Northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay is the service centre to many smaller communities and the surrounds.  Professionals engaged in geomatics work come from all three levels of government, natural resource management including forestry and mining, professional consulting services, health care, and many more.  Thunder Bay is also home to Lakehead University and Confederation College, both offering multiple programs that develop student expertise in geomatics. Yet there exists no venue and limited opportunity for these folk to engage and network as a geomatics community, outside the biannual Esri User Conference, which often has several hundred attendees.  lakehead

The idea to start a GoGeomatics group in Thunder Bay was raised during a meeting amongst a few GIS professionals engaged in education outreach. The concept of bringing geomatics professionals and students together using the GoGeomatics platform was intriguing.  Two individuals, Krista Bullock and Jason Freeburn, agreed to lead the initial effort at forming a GoGeomatics Thunder Bay group.

Krista Bullock

Krista currently works for KBM Resources Group as a GIS Analyst / QC Manager. Prior to moving back home to Northwestern Ontario, she worked for nearly 10 years in GIS out west, in BC. Being relatively new to the city in this capacity, she finds it challenging to build a professional network. She jumped at the opportunity to form a geomatics group and bring like-minded individuals together.

Jason Freeburn

After several years as a Geography and Forestry student at Lakehead University, and a brief, 3-year period employed as a Remote Sensing Research Analyst with the Canadian Forest Service in Edmonton, Jason Freeburn returned to Lakehead to assume his current role as a Geomatics Technologist in the Department of Geography and the Environment at Lakehead. Jason instructs students in GIS, photogrammetry, and introductory remote sensing, and is often engaged or supporting research involving geomatics in the local Thunder Bay region. He too has a keen appreciation for the benefits and potential synergies of bringing the geomatics community together regularly at monthly socials.

Getting Started

In conjunction with the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre, a social night was held in early-2017 at a local pub to gauge interest at pursuing a regular meetup group. The event was a wonderful success, bringing out both students and professionals. The hope now is to build on that night by officially forming the Thunder Bay GoGeomatics group!

The First GoGeomatics Social with Esri Canada at Thunder Bay Esri User Conference
Esri Canada

When: April 12th 5:30 PM
Where: The Lounge at the Valhalla Inn
1 Valhalla Inn Road, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Esri Canada is hosting a user conference in Thunder Bay on April 12th and after that event is sponsoring the first official GoGeomatics social.  Esri Canada and GoGeomatics Thunder Bay invite participants to the conference, and those who can attend after work, to join us for drinks and networking at 5:30 – 7:30 pm, in the Lounge at the Valhalla Inn, the site of the confference.  Everyone is welcome at GoGeomatics networking events and they are always fun and free.

The Thunder Bay GoGeomatics group hopes to see you there. GoGeomatics Thunder Bay thanks Esri Canada for their support.

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