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The Geospatial Community is Thriving in Victoria BC: Our 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 Victoria Meetup Group here.

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

This series is to introduce the community to our amazing GoGeomatics Group Leaders.

Welcome to the GoGeomatics Victoria Meetup Group

Ken Ang, Project Manager/Geomatics Lead at Terra Remote Sensing Inc

Earlier this year, Ken Ang volunteered for a writers and editor’s group. This introduced him to GoGeomatics and he hasn’t looked back. 

Originally from Singapore, Ken moved to Vancouver where he lived for nine years. For the past five years, he has called Victoria home. 

Ken said, “Growing up, I read a lot of National Geographic and I remembered getting excited about the fold-out maps where you could spread across the floor and thought to myself it’ll be cool to be able to make these! So when I was graduating high school, I looked for a career that made maps.”

Ken went to BICT where he achieved a Bachelors degree in Geomatics Engineering. Subjects such as GNSS applications and liberal arts became his favourites. Now, Ken is a Project Manager/Geomatics Lead at Terra Remote Sensing Inc, where he establishes UAV operations and oversees ground validation activities.  

A few years ago, Ken was looking for geospatial news and came across the Canadian Spatial Times. Eventually, becoming a group leader became a reality. Noticing Victoria’s “colourful geospatial scene,” as Ken describes the combination of provincial governments, local governments, students, first nations groups, private companies, freelancers, and also representation from surveyors, remote sensing, and GIS, he believes it is a good idea to bring all these groups together.

When it comes to being a group leader, Ken hopes to share his experience with geomatics, and how it has evolved with the introduction of new technologies over the years. 

Ken has a favourite anonymous quote, “A Surveyor is never lost.”

Brittney Bourdages, GIS Analyst for Urban Systems

Brittney Bourdages grew up in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, but now calls Victoria her home.

She became interested in geomatics while researching additional certifications to complement her undergraduate degree. Brittney, although working full-time, was taking some programming classes on the side. The applications specialist program at Fleming College seemed like a great fit.

Brittney did her undergraduate degree in Ecology at the University of Guelph. She then went to Fleming College for her GIS (applications specialist) graduate certificate. Brittney’s favourite courses were soil sciences, insect diversity, biology, and plant ecology. She was introduced to GoGeomatics by her GIS program professors.

During her graduate year in 2017, Brittney attended GoGeomatics meetings. She enjoyed attending the Ottawa GoGeomatics meetings where she met and learned from professionals in her field. Brittney co-led Kelowna’s meetup group for a while until COVID shut everything down. When she moved to Victoria, she noticed there was no such group. She jumped at the opportunity to create a group so professionals could connect.

Currently, Brittney is a GIS Analyst for Urban Systems and handles stormwater planning, asset management, and First Nations practices among others. She wanted to share her knowledge and experience with other GIS students and professionals, especially women. She said it is extremely important to have female representation in the STEM fields.

Brittney said, “Some of my favourite words have been written or spoken by the late ecologist Stephen J Gould. I will leave you with this from Stephen J Gould’s first book of
collected essays:

‘In a famous epigram, Darwin reminded himself never to say higher or lower; in describing
the structure of organisms – for if an amoeba is as well adapted to its environment as we are to
ours, who is to say that we are higher creatures? …
Yet most laymen still equate evolution with progress and define human evolution not simply as
change, but as increasing intelligence, increasing height, or some other measure of assumed
improvement. …
This fallacious equation of organic evolution with progress continues to have unfortunate
consequences. …
Today, it remains a primary component of our global arrogance, our belief in dominion over,
rather than fellowship with, more than a million other species that inhabit our planet.’
– Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History, Stephen Jay Gould, 1979

Steve Guiry, Geographic Information Systems Technician at the Town of View Royal

Originally from the Greater Toronto area, Steve Guiry has called Victoria home since 2020. He’s an avid hiker, hobby drone pilot, and photographer. 

Although new to GoGeomatics as a Group Leader, Steve used GoGeomatics’ resume writing services and job opportunities website. He took Physical Geography at Brock University, then went to Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Niagara College campus for the Geospatial Management Program. His favourite courses were Earth Sciences and remote sensing.

Steve was introduced to GoGeomatics when he was in college and there were Back to School Socials with GoGeomatics Niagara. He became aware of the networking capabilities. He became interested in the organization when he moved to Victoria and wanted to find a professional network in the area. He wanted to talk about work, and not work. 

He says, “I was unsuccessful in finding one that already existed. I knew about GoGeomatics but noticed there was not a chapter on Vancouver Island. I messaged GoGeomatics inquiring about the possibility of starting one, and here we are now!

Currently, Steve is a GIS technologist at a municipality in the Capital Regional District (CRD) of British Columbia. Although no longer a student, Steve believes continuing education never ends.

Steve has a favourite quote, ” I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant; it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.” – Mewtwo

Do you live in Victoria? Want to join our networking socials? Be a part of our community here.

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