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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Hugh MacKay, Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia

Aug 04, 2015

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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?

The Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia, GANS, promotes the development of the geomatics industry in Nova Scotia, while making it competitive both domestically and internationally, and increasing its material contribution to the province's economy.  GANS challenges include:

  • We are a dedicated, but small, core group of professionals in a small province. Creating awareness of the past, present and future contributions of geomatics to the provincial economy is a significant issue.  
  • Teaching of geography, and related geo-sectors, has been drastically reduced in the Nova Scotia education system. Students are not aware of the opportunities available in our professions and are not entering the industry in sufficient numbers, contributing to an aging population of geo-practitioners.
  • Many, in fact most, of the recent geo-graduates from our universities and colleges have been attracted to higher paying jobs in central and western Canada, rather than remaining in Atlantic Canada and contributing to the knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship required to grow our local industry.

GANS believes that participation in GeoAlliance Canada will help us address each of these challenges. In particular, through shared knowledge, experiences and expertise, gained through working with the national geo-community, we will be able to raise awareness here in our home province, enabling us to educate and retain a skilled geo-practitioner workforce.  


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? 

We have had little-to-no formalized success in working with other organizations across the country. The only success to-date has been through ad hoc personal relationships. Membership in GeoAllinace will provide a forum for superior communication and collaboration that anything we have experienced to date.


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

GANS would like to see GeoAlliance collaborate with one of more high-visibility, non-geo organizations on a project that has significant national prominence over-and-above the geo-community. We would like to see this collaborative initiative undertaken as its gets attention outside our own sandbox where we are preaching to the choir. For example, on a local stage, GANS is collaborating with the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia on an initiative that supports the organizational goals of both entities and reaches new audiences.


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

The Canadian Hydrographic Association.  The CHA has as an objective the advancement of the development of activities, including hydrographic surveying, marine cartography, and marine geodesy. As Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world, over 200,000 km, CHA should be a leading participant in GeoAlliance Canada..

Note that the CHA is formally associated with the Canadian Institute for Geomatics.


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



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