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Our Industries Challenges

It’s no secret that our industry is facing challenges, just check out the stories on the various Geomatics groups on social media sites such as LinkedIn.  From attracting students, to hiring talented professionals, to the quick advancements of technology – our industry’s challenges are starting to take their toll and what have we, members of the community, done to help?

In the fall of 2013, the Board of Directors of the Alberta Geomatics Group acknowledged that our members were experiencing a variety of these challenges and that as an association, we wanted to help. After all, our survival is directly connected to a healthy and engaged Geomatics Community.

Some of the challenges that we indicated were marketing, public awareness, availability of staff and support for students entering the industry after postsecondary. To this end, we hosted a two- month public art gallery entitled “What is Geomatics?” in downtown Calgary and received only positive feedback. We also began conversations with both the public and separate Boards of Education in Calgary, and have been presented at several career events throughout the city. What next?

We determined that to solve any issue, dialogue between the involved parties was required.

To assist with this commencement of dialogue, we began the organization of a Geomatics Education Symposium in Calgary, which is to be held in May.  Invitations have been sent out to members, industry partners and education experts, in hopes of bringing together a group of people passionately interested in these topics. The intention of the event is to discuss work being done nationally by the CGCRT, better define both the challenges and successes of our educational establishments and the role industry can play in the future.

This dialogue will of course only be the start.  We have no intention of solving all of the challenges in one meeting, but hope that there will be adequate interest from attendees to participate in future meetings. These challenges may face each person differently, but at a high level, our industry will only be stronger through discussion.

Note: The Geomatics Education Symposium has been sponsored by TECTERRA.  A white paper on the discussion will be written and presented in the fall of 2014 for those unable to attend.

Brad Ashley
President – Alberta Geomatics Group
Technical Coordinator – MMM Group Limited

Who is the AGG?
The main purpose of the AGG is to promote the Geomatics industry by facilitating and fostering opportunities for information-sharing and networking among the members of its community through its website and newsletter and through hosting educational and social events.

One comment on "Our Industries Challenges"

  1. Avatar James Boxall says:

    Brad, and all Alberta Geomatics community members,

    This is an excellent initiative you have all taken. I think it is an example of what we have been doing or suggesting via other efforts linked to the Declaration on Geographic Education and the Round Table on Geomatics. The national message or vision is all about what can be done at the local level.

    My hope – and i speak personally here – is that the sector be viewed broadly and develop much stronger linkages between the parts that are related across geomatics and geography. The truth is, when one looks around the world, those places that are doing the most across all levels of education in advancing geomatics have done so with close partnerships in geography and geographic education.They are not the exact same fields, but they thrive with each other.

    As you and I have spoken, I am still extremely disappointed I cannot attend this very important session. I still hope to be able to “Skype in”. The week after the Alberta event, a large group will be at the CAG meetings in St. Catherine’s (Brock U.) to discuss education and geomatics related efforts, and then after that is the Round Table meeting in Ottawa. I think your event will set the tone for the work and discussions on action items to come!

    Bravo!

    James Boxall

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