What is Geomatics? A Gallery by the Alberta Geomatics Group
Geomatics… What is it? Who uses it? How does it relate to the public?
These are questions that the Alberta Geomatics Group (AGG) is often asked when we talk about our work, our association and more importantly, our industry. Even as part of this community, it is often hard for us to articulate the definition of Geomatics. “Have you used Google Earth?” “Have you had a survey of your property?” Does your vehicle have a GPS?”
Geomatics has been noted as a fast growing industry, and one to watch in the coming years by various levels of Government, but how can we grow without public understanding? The term infrequently shows up in public spaces or articles, making education nearly impossible. Students are still taught geography throughout their educational careers, but the connection to Geomatics is rarely realized. What can our groups do to gain interest in our community?
Earlier this year, I happened to visit Fluevog Shoes in downtown Calgary. The sales associate informed me that there was a museum upstairs and a gallery space in the basement, however the gallery was empty at the moment. It was also noted that the space was primarily open to not-for-profit organizations. I wondered; would a Geomatics Gallery work?
Starting on October 7th, the ‘What is Geomatics?’ gallery opened to the public at Fluevog Shoes Calgary. Works by various companies, educational institutions and students grace the walls of the space, and a guest book allows tracking of those interested in signing. The store manager and staff have had nothing but positive feedback regarding the traffic, interest and overall look of the gallery, which makes the effort from our team all the more worth it. If you are in Calgary we recommend you visit the store and see the gallery for yourself.
Sometimes you wonder why our volunteer groups do what they do. Was that event worth the time and effort? Was this of value to our membership? With this Gallery, the answer is always yes. Whether 10 or 10000 people visit the gallery; we have succeeded in the mandate of our organization, the promotion of the term Geomatics.
Sometimes we find the strangest things when we look outside the “shoe” box.
Alberta Geomatics Group