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Unveiling the GeoMagic: Why I am Excited About GeoIgnite 2024!

Hey there, fellow geospatial enthusiasts! After what feels like an eternity of virtual meetings and webinars, since the onset of the global pandemic, GeoIgnite 2024 prepares for its long-awaited return to Ottawa. It’s been a long journey, but the premier event in the geospatial community is back with a bang, promising a blend of insightful discussions, cutting-edge technologies, and invaluable networking opportunities.

As a member of the conference advisory committee, I couldn’t be more excited to share some of the highlights of this year’s event and share my personal favorite themes.

From bustling cities to vast wilderness, Canadians have long relied on cutting-edge mapping technology to navigate their way through the Great White North. But here’s the kicker: it’s not just about getting from point A to point B anymore. In today’s world, geospatial tech is everywhere, from monitoring crop yields on the prairies to tracking wildlife in the Rockies.

Now, let’s talk innovation. From urban centers grappling with complex infrastructure needs to rural communities facing the harsh realities of climate change, the demand for advanced geospatial solutions has never been more pressing. With a thriving ecosystem of startups, research institutions, and government agencies, Canada is a hotbed of geospatial innovation. From groundbreaking AI algorithms to next-gen satellite technology, Canadian companies are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of maps and data.

One of the marquee attractions of GeoIgnite 2024 is the Canada’s Geospatial Leadership Panel, featuring some of the country’s foremost experts in geospatial technology, all in one room (or maybe on one stage, depending on how big the room is!). From governance and policy to climate change mitigation, this panel promises diverse insights into leveraging geospatial data for societal benefit.

This is a very special panel for another reason. A look at the image below will tell you why – an all-woman leadership panel!

“I’m very proud of Canada’s National geospatial Leadership panel. We did not set out to make it an all-women panel. It just so happens that they are the leaders now which is awesome and says a lot about the maturity of the Canadian geospatial sector,” Jonathan told me in one of our initial chats while inviting me onto the advisory committee.

Personally, I am particularly drawn to the theme of Geomatics for Climate Resiliency. Given the urgency of addressing climate change, the innovative solutions and insights offered in this track are invaluable for building a more sustainable future. As our planet faces the growing threat of climate change, the need for geospatial solutions has never been more urgent. Geomatics isn’t just about creating pretty maps; it’s about harnessing the power of data and technology to understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change. With Canada warming thrice as fast as the rest of the world, the time for real action is now more than ever.

Kicking off the conference is keynote speaker Steven Ramage, CEO of Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, who will delve into the concept of Human Interoperability: Enhancing Geospatial Effectiveness in the Relationship Economy. Ramage’s address promises to touch upon the significance of collaboration and data utilization in maximizing the potential of geospatial technologies. I find this intriguing since by advocating for a holistic approach that values both technological advancements and human-centric principles, Ramage seeks to offer actionable insights that can drive positive change in the geospatial community.


The BIM/GIS/Digital Twin track at GeoIgnite 2024 again promises a rich program focused on interoperability, thanks to the collaboration between GoGeomatics and Gold Sponsors buildingSMART Canada. The integration of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has traditionally been viewed as merging separate domains. However, as urban development accelerates, the convergence of BIM and GIS emerges as a critical force shaping the future of planning, construction, and operations in our built environment. Together, the synergies between BIM and GIS paves the way for transformative advancements in urban development and infrastructure management. On that note, the keynote from Claudia Cozzitorto, President, buildingSMART Canada, also promises to be interesting.

AI is everywhere now, transforming every facet of modern life. And the geospatial sector is not an exception. GeoIgnite 2024 delves right into the profound impact of AI on geospatial technology with the panel Navigating New Frontiers: The Role of Geospatial AI in Shaping Our World. AI algorithms are revolutionizing geospatial data analysis, from identifying patterns in satellite imagery to enhancing GIS accuracy. Digital twins, powered by AI, simulate real-world scenarios, aiding urban planning and disaster response. Moreover, AI streamlines geospatial analysis by automating tasks and extracting insights from vast datasets, empowering professionals to tackle complex challenges efficiently.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering about the workshops. Well, fear not, my friends! There’s a whole smorgasbord of workshops waiting for us, covering everything from beginner basics to cutting-edge tech. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to the scene, there’s something for everyone.

So, as we gather for GeoIgnite 2024, let us not forget the responsibility that comes with our collective expertise. We are not just mapmakers; we are stewards of our planet, entrusted with the task of shaping a more sustainable and resilient future for generations to come.

So let us embrace this opportunity to learn, to collaborate, and to innovate. Together, we can chart a course towards a brighter, more resilient future—one map at a time.