Canadian Geospatial Data Sources: If Silos Could Speak…

Mar 03, 2014

“Knowing is half the battle”. I’m pretty sure most of the readers of this article/blog know this phrase. It’s a classic and if it brings back memories of Saturday morning G.I. Joe cartoons as a kid growing up then we’re already off to a good start, but you don’t need to be a G.I. Joe connoisseur to read on.knowingishalfthebattle

As you can tell by my introduction, I am already trying to find something we can all relate to in this community. Whether it’s because we’ve all heard the phrase or because you know about the action figure is not really the point. The point is, we all care about the “knowing” part, or should I say the “where” component of knowledge and the critical role our community plays in the business of “where” in Canada and why that matters. During the summer break, I would help my Dad, a Land Surveyor, out in the field  and quickly learned why “right there” was so important and why pulling out that “iron rod thingy” at the corner of a lot was a REALLY BAD idea on my part . Lessons learned.

Fast forward to today, where I now get to play with lots of great technology that transforms data into a meaningful map, something I can understand and make decisions based upon. And yet, despite all the great technology available, we in Canada still have some significant challenges when it comes to the lifeblood component at the core of what we do, and that is, of course…the data…and by that I mean what constitutes the “core data” that Canada needs which will form the underpinnings of Canada’s economic success in the geospatial arena for years to come. Who has it? How do we make it available to all? These are just two of many questions, and I’m only scratching the surface here. You can get all the details by reading the Data Dimension Strategy. However, it’s my fascination with how the data we produce plays an increasingly critical role in major information systems which are used to make decisions that affect our everyday lives which has prompted me to become a proud member of the Round Table and the Data Dimension group.badsilos

Participating in “Team Canada creating the right Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy” is not just important to me, but should also be important to you. Bringing you back to my introductory quote “knowing is half the battle” as well as the title of the article “If Silos Could Speak”: this is your opportunity to contribute whatever knowledge you have to get the Data Dimension portion of the Pan-Canadian strategy right. How? Part of the work that the Data Dimension group has done was to create an initial draft of what makes up “core data” as part of the Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy, but we recognize that the list only captures what the Data Dimension group knows. We want to know what you know. To achieve that, please comment below or send us an email directly at  It’s time to practice what we preach about the concept of the “Network of SDI’s”…share your knowledge 

Cheers and don’t be a Silo !

-David Monaghan is a member of the Steering Committee of the Canadian Geomatics Round Table and a Business Development Consultant with Intergraph Canada.


Add Pingback

Please add a comment

You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »