We asked leaders in the Canadian geospatial community what GeoAlliance Canada membership would mean to them. Representatives from education, non-profit associations and the private sector gave their thoughts on how a national umbrella organization might help them thrive, what projects they’d like it to take on, and who else they think should become a member.

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Gordon Plunkett, Esri Canada

Apr 17, 2015



What are some of the issues you currently face that you believe a national umbrella organization would help address? Can you identify your top priority?

A Steering Committee for the Community Map of Canada has been providing direction and guidance for the Community Map and has developed 5 issue areas requiring special attention. These areas are: 1) Products, 2) Content, 3) Workflow, 4) Governance, and 5) Communications. Five Working Groups have been spun off to work on these issues. While all of these areas are important, governance and communications are areas where a national organization should be able to help for the benefit of the community.


How would you rate your current success in collaborating with like-minded organizations across the country? Do you think GeoAlliance membership would help facilitate better communication and collaboration?

While Esri Canada has had relatively good success in getting Canadian data and coverage, there is always room for improvement. At the moment the Community Map of Canada contains detailed information for more than 60% of the Canadian population. The Community Map of Canada has no official links to any other data creation or sharing organizations. That being said, there is no doubt that GeoAlliance Canada could help facilitate better communications and collaboration, particularly with government groups such as CCOG and GeoBase.


What is one project you'd like to see undertaken in GeoAlliance Canada’s first year?

The United States recently completed a report card assessment of the US National Spatial Data Infrastructure. The result of this NSDI analysis provides not only an overview of the NSDI, but it highlights specific areas where improvement is necessary. These problem areas can be assessed and improvements made on an issue by issue basis.

It would be good to see GeoAlliance take on a similar assessment of the CGDI. This would give Canadians an assessment of their overall progress on the development of the GGDI, but would provide specific areas of concern, which would allow prioritization and further work to improve specific elements.


Name one group (apart from your own) that you'd like to see become a GeoAlliance Canada member. Why them?

Esri Canada would like to see the CCOG become a member of the GeoAlliance so that the flow of information from CCOG meetings to the Canadian Geomatics Community would be improved. At the moment the community is unaware of what the CCOG is dealing with and of the resolutions decided upon by CCOG.


Would your organization be willing to partner with GeoAlliance Canada and/or other organizations to achieve specific goals requiring additional resources/funding?

Like any initiative, Esri Canada is interested in following up on any partnership or proposal that make business sense. These decisions are generally made on a project by project basis so of course Esri Canada would take a serious look at any potential partnership with GeoAlliance Canada or others that would make business sense.


Esri Canada is a privately held, Canadian-owned company that provides world-class enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions.  Our solutions help businesses, governments and educational institutions make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.

For several years, Esri Canada has been active in the development of the Community Map of Canada, which is a cost-effective and efficient framework for organizations to share their geographic information with the online public. The framework enables organizations across Canada to contribute their geographic information to be published as community maps on ArcGIS Online, a Web site for finding and sharing GIS content and building communities. The available maps are rendered with uniform cartography, cached and seamlessly integrated into a World Topographic Map on ArcGIS Online. This global map is compiled using best available authoritative data from numerous sources worldwide.


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