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Taking It Up a Notch: Toronto GoGeomatics Group Leader Profiles

GoGeomatics free group networking events are open to everyone from all areas of geomatics, including business owners, professionals, students, and others. The purpose of the Socials is to build a thriving geospatial community through networking opportunities. Socials are held in pubs across Canada and are led by volunteer group leaders who share their time and knowledge. Please feel free to join our Toronto Meetup Group here.

The Next Toronto Meetup (depending on when you read this) is:

MON, MAR 20 · 7:00 PM EDT
@ the Prenup Pub
191 College St · Toronto, ON

You may also subscribe to our weekly newsletter for the latest geospatial jobs, events, and news!

This series is to introduce the community to those GoGeomatics Group Leaders.

Welcome to the GoGeomatics Toronto Meetup Group

Hilary Barr, Data Analyst for York Region

Hilary Barr was born and raised in Toronto, where she still lives today. 

Hilary has been a part of the GoGeomatics community for about eight years. It was at Fleming College where Hilary first learned about GoGeomatics. She began attending the Toronto meetup after she graduated from college. Hilary remembers being nervous at first, but she found everyone to be very welcoming.

Hilary studied Environment and Geography at Wilfrid Laurier University. She says she always gravitated toward GIS and Cartography courses while she was at Laurier, so Hilary then attended Fleming College for GIS. She discovered the “web” side of GIS and never looked back. She remembers it was a specific professor who taught several geomatics-related courses that got her hooked. 

Hilary says, “The more I took, the more I couldn’t stop!”

Hilary has been working with the York Region as a Data Analyst for over eight years now and loving it. Her focus right now is on leading the web mapping program and designing digital solutions for both staff and the public. She loves to be a “translator” between clients and technical teams (she says it’s business analysis).

“It’s the best of both worlds!” Hilary said.

Her favourite quote is by Kurt Vonnegut, in A Man Without a Country.

“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’”

Bob Parry, Data Access and Quality Specialist at York Region

Bob Parry is originally from Ipswich in the UK but now lives in Toronto’s Queen West. 

He has been attending GoGeomatics Toronto since 2018 when he worked for a company that sponsored the Meetup. Bob volunteered to give a presentation to the group on behalf of the company. He has been coming back ever since.

How did Bob get interested in geomatics? 

He says, “Classic GIS story of loving maps ever since I was little, and being blown away that I could make those maps as a job and get paid for it.”

He discovered GIS at university and never looked back. Bob attended the University of Toronto for Environmental Geography and Political Science before going to Fleming College for his postgraduate in the GIS Program.

He is currently working as a Data Access and Quality Specialist with York Region.

Bob’s favourite quote is by dril, “Every generation deserves at least 5 movies named ‘Spider Man 2.’”

Janet Akparr, Principle Consultant, Janet Global Consultancy

Janet Akpan has been in the field of Geomatics since 2003. Originally born in Nigeria, Janet is permanently settled and established in Canada. She says you can call her by her name, Janet, or her nickname, Jane-luv.

Janet says, “I became interested in Geomatics when I discovered the limitless opportunities available for Geomatics professionals. I was seeking admission into the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and looking for the right program to enroll in for my Bachelor’s Degree. Then I had a friend share the Geomatics curriculum with me where I discovered I have a bright future becoming a Geomatics Professional.”

She obtained a Master of Engineering in Geomatics Engineering from the University of New Brunswick (UNB), and a Bachelor of Science in Surveying and Geo-Informatics Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Janet is always ready to explore more geospatial technology.

Janet discovered GoGeomatics at York University when she attended an event in 2016. She had completed her Master’s program at UNB and had relocated to Toronto. Immediately, Janet joined the group and proceeded to connect with friends.

Currently, Janet has a private consulting firm, Janet Global Consultancy, where she is the Principal Consultant. She stays up-to-date on market trends and networking for opportunities while waiting for a placement.

Her favourite quote is, “Do more of what makes you awesome and make people around you smile.”


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