Why does Canada need a GeoAlliance?

Canada is a large country with a small population. In the past, this has fueled major advances in the geomatics and geospatial sector. However, the prominent position of our sector on the world stage and in the national discourse has faltered over the past several decades. Other countries have invested heavily in innovative geospatial technologies and put policies in place to nurture the growth and advancement of the sector. Here, where our contributions account for 1% of the national GDP, our work is undervalued and often unacknowledged.

GeoAlliance Canada was created at the close of the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table with a mandate to raise the profile of the geo sector in Canada and recover Canada’s prominent position on the world stage. We believe the way to do this is through collaboration between organizations and across sectors. We are, quite simply, stronger when we work together. GeoAlliance Canada provides a framework for initiating, managing, and marketing collaborative, community-led projects.


Who is involved in GeoAlliance Canada?

See the Interim Board of Directors.

See our Member Directory


What specific deliverables can we expect to see?

At the 2016 ‘Map to the Future’ event, over 70 community leaders gathered to validate GeoAlliance Canada’s vision and mandate, and put forward ideas for projects that would benefit the community. You can read a full summary and recap of this event, or download the full report.

We will be working with our members to advance specific projects in three categories: Sector Identity, Education, and Data Access. Across all three categories, one thing we heard loud and clear at ‘Map to the Future’ was the importance of developing an online portal where the community can find resources and information. We are currently assessing the best way to create a sustainable portal for use by our community. 


How will this impact the association I belong to now?

We hope to have a positive impact on associations across the country by making the sector stronger and increasing the total investment in projects that benefit the sector. We expressly do not have an option for individual membership so as not to compete with existing associations for membership dollars. GeoAlliance Canada is not taking over – it is a way for us to communicate better and scale the impacts of our volunteer efforts.

We believe that there are great opportunities for groups to find ways to work together on projects that are of common interest, increasing the impact of their contributions for everyone’s benefit. We also see a duplication of efforts from organization to organization, and would like to facilitate the sharing of existing resources across associations when it is appropriate to do so. 


How is GeoAlliance Canada funded?

GeoAlliance relies on membership dues to operate. Businesses, organizations and associations can become members for $1000 per year. This money goes directly towards supporting the work that benefits the entire geo community.

In addition, GeoAlliance Canada received seed funding through Natural Resource Canada’s GeoConnections program in December 2015 to cover some operational expenditures through to March 31, 2017.

Finally, events such as ‘Map to the Future’ are generously supported by sponsors. This sponsorship pays for expenditures not eligible for funding through GeoConnections.


How will GeoAlliance Canada make a difference?

Prior to the formation of GeoAlliance Canada, there was a recognized lack of national coordination, leadership and oversight in the geomatics and geospatial sector. The value of our contribution to the economy, society, and the environment is not widely recognized, celebrated or acknowledged outside the sector. We need to get the message out across the country that what we do matters – to governments, businesses, communities, and schools.

Many organizations are already doing great work spreading this message. However, they are facing barriers when it comes to resources (money, volunteers, time) and reach (there are several regional organizations work locally, leaving gaps in coverage across the country).

GeoAlliance Canada can provide national coordination and oversight to foster successful collaborations between organizations and even across sectors by including groups representing education, non-profits, industry and government.

GeoAlliance Canada can help support good ideas to scale them up and increase their impact and their reach. Where a catalyst for action is needed, GeoAlliance can help get an idea off the ground – find funding, build partnerships, and provide project management, marketing and communication resources.


How can I get involved?

If you represent a group, business, organization or association, we encourage you to become a member. Membership allows you to become fully involved in GeoAlliance activities by leading projects, running for an elected position on the Board of Directors, and making your vote count at the AGM.

If you are an individual, we do not have an option for individual membership. We encourage you to become a member of a group or association that currently holds GeoAlliance membership (a full list of members is available here). If you are currently a member of an organization that is not listed, please encourage them to join