Geospatial Communities and the Canadian GeoSecretariat

The Canadian GeoSecretariat, within the GeoConnections Division of NRCan, brings together producers and users of geospatial information from across Canada's geomatics and Earth observation sector, including governments, industry, academia, professional associations and non-government organizations. The role of the GeoSecretariat is to foster cooperation between these groups to collaboratively build the standards, data layers, systems and technologies that comprise the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI), Canada's geographic foundation.

The GeoSecretariat also promotes linkages to broader geomatics community objectives and Government of Canada priorities, and undertakes outreach and education activities that promote and support the integration and use of the CGDI.

The Canadian GeoSecretariat actively provides coordination and support to the following committees:

Federal Committee on Geomatics and Earth Observations

The Federal Committee on Geomatics and Earth Observations (FCGEO) is a committee focussed on:

  • providing proactive, whole-of-government leadership in establishing priorities for geomatics and Earth observation and their application in support of government priorities, decision-making, and Canada’s competitive advantage, and,
  • collectively enhancing the responsiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the federal geomatics and Earth observation infrastructure.

The FCGEO membership is drawn from 20 federal departments and agencies that are producers and/or consumers of geospatial data, or have an interest in geomatics-related activities, requirements and infrastructure.

The FCGEO is supporting the Federal Geospatial Platform (FGP) initiative, a collaborative Internet-based environment consisting of authoritative geospatial data, services, and applications that will enable the government’s most relevant information to be managed spatially, analyzed, and displayed to enhance decision-making on government priorities. The FGP will also provide accessible and reusable geospatial information and visualization services to foster innovation and ensure better service for Canadians

Geographical Names Board of Canada

The Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC) is a national coordinating body that keeps official records and provides expert advice pertaining to decisions, standards, principles, procedures, and changes through time to Canada's place names. The GNBC is comprised of 32 members. Each of the provinces and territories are represented, as well as various federal departments concerned with mapping, archiving, defence, translation, Indian reserves, national parks and statistics. The Chair of the GNBC is appointed by the Minister of Natural Resources.

The GNBC maintains the Canadian Geographical Names Data Base, Canada’s official place names database built upon standard policies for the treatment of names and terminology shared by federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Canadian Council on Geomatics

The Canadian Council on Geomatics (CCOG) is a federal-provincial-territorial government cooperative body that advances geomatics activities of common interest, and facilitates data collection, interoperability and integration between jurisdictions.

The CCOG develops and endorses national data and data exchange standards that enable sharing of information and technical expertise between governments, and advocates for the use of geospatial data and information in enhancing policy and decision making. Key successful initiatives are the creation of the CGDI and the GeoBase collection of products that have made Canada a world leader in the geomatics sector.

Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table

The Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table is a multi-stakeholder forum for open dialogue on issues and concerns that affect professional practice and activities in the geomatics sector. It is representative of organizations spanning the geomatics sector, including: federal and provincial/territorial levels of government; private sector companies; academic, non-governmental, and professional organizations and associations, and; geospatial data and service consumers.

In undertaking collaborative development of a Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy - with shared accountability for implementation - the Round Table seeks to enhance productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of the sector, and increase understanding of the use and value of geomatics to socially, economically and environmentally benefit Canadians.

International Activities

The Canadian GeoSecretariat also coordinates development of Canada's official positions on geographical names and geospatial information management in support of Canadian delegations to: