The Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy is a collaborative, open effort by the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table to develop a future vision, common goals and objectives for the Canadian geographic information sector. This initiative seeks to identify and include an ever-widening range of stakeholders in Canada, including industry, academia, governments, non-governmental organizations, geospatial data and service companies, professional associations, individual Canadian citizens, as well as new and emerging players in the geomatics and Earth observations sector.
The scope of the Geomatics Strategy is broad. Ultimately, the key objectives of the Strategy are to increase the understanding of the use and value of geographic information to Canadians, and to ensure Canada has a healthy geomatics sector that is productive, competitive and sustainable well into the future.
Origins of a pan-Canadian geomatics strategy
Since 2010, a group of leaders and experts spanning the Canadian geomatics community have participated in “round table” meetings coordinated by the GeoConnections Program of Natural Resources Canada. These meetings provided a forum for discussion of issues and concerns that affect activities in the Canadian geomatics sector, and an opportunity for collaboration in resolving some of those issues.
In 2012, steps were taken to formalize the group as the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table, and to develop a forward-looking strategy encompassing the Canadian geomatics community. To begin the development of a pan-Canadian strategy, a comprehensive study (PDF) was carried out that outlined several high-level themes, including identity of the geomatics sector, governance and leadership, data sources, business model, markets, human resource capacity, and legal and policy framework.
In January 2013, the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table agreed to take a collaborative approach to re-position the geomatics sector for future success. A Steering Committee was elected with a mandate to draft the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy, based on the themes outlined in the 2012 study. As the Strategy is developed, the larger Round Table and interested Canadian geomatics stakeholders will be welcome to participate in refining the future vision, to define actions and implementation measures, and to contribute to building a stronger geomatics community. The result will be a non-binding, voluntary strategy that can be achieved by the Canadian geomatics community collaboratively and within the sphere of influence of each community member.