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2018 has been a busy year for BeSpatial / urisa ontario with many live events and webinars! As we approach the end of the year, perhaps you’ll find a few minutes to review a presentation or check out a recorded webinar from 2018.
In April, 2018, BeSpatial visited Thunder Bay for the Northern Ontario GIS Users Event, a first for the association. Presentations from the conference included:
In May, 2018, the Annual General Meeting and BeSpatial’18 conference was held in Mississauga. Many of the presentations from the event are available in the BeSpatial’18 Presentation Archive. Check out a presentation you may have missed from the conference. Dr. Lauriault’s keynote presentation Towards Open Smart Cities is so full of useful information; it’s a great reference if you missed anything during her presentation.
Our Conference also included two exciting and informative workshops:
In June 2018, the association hosted the webinar: Implementation of an Enterprise-wide Common Street Address Database. John Bacon, City of Hamilton and Marc Curtis, AGSI explain the creation of an authoritative, integrated and maintained source for address data at the City.
Back to School in September had us hosting a back-to-school LiDAR Webinar: Published LiDAR Specifications and How to Use Them. Included in this session was a detailed description of the various specifications. In addition, we sponsored all of the Ontario GoGeomatics Back to School Socials and added over 60 new student members.
In November, we hosted a webinar from the award winning Town of East Gwillimbury: Management and Development Dashboarding for a Rapidly Growing Municipality. Carolynne Saxton, GIS Coordinator from the Town provided an overview of their internationally recognized solution.
And just last week, the association hosted an applied LiDAR workshop, LiDAR 301 – How do I do it? Software Applications
All of the BeSpatial presentation archives are available through the Members Section of the BeSpatial website.
2019 promises to be a busy year yet again. The association will be hosting a ‘BeEmployed’ webinar on February 14, 2018. This webinar is for students, recent graduates and those new to the geospatial and information community. This promises to be an amazing learning and networking opportunity for your colleague who is looking to break into Your industry! Please spread the word.
BeSpatial will be hosting an event centered around geospatial and information management in the health industry on February 20, 2019. We are still recruiting speakers – submit your presentation idea!
The Annual General Meeting and BeSpatial’19 Annual Meeting Program and Expo promises to be an exciting event. Save the Date: May 1&2 at the Bayview Golf and Country Club, Thornhill. Have you considering sharing your work? Submit your presentation idea for BeSpatial’19!
On behalf of BeSpatial, we wish you Peace, Joy and Happiness through the holiday season. We look forward to connecting again in 2019!
Dear Member, On behalf of the association Board, I am pleased to take this opportunity to share the immediate rebranding of the Urban and Regional Information System Association of Ontario (URISA Ontario) as ‘BeSpatial, The Geospatial and Information Community’. This rebranding does not change the existing membership or sponsorship options.
Click here to read the full letter
We are excited to announce the venue and theme for BeSpatial'19.
Smart City - the role of the geospatial and information community in shaping and enabling the transformation to SMART!
"It's a great time to be in the geospatial and information community... geospatial solutions in a digital world are more important than you may think! All data to be useful has to be spatial!"
Two full days of sessions are planned to address the importance of geospatial and information, at all levels, to the successful realization of the Smart City. The approach will provide opportunities for GIS professionals and practitioners to showcase their initiatives along with insights from the management and executive levels.
Date: May 1 & 2, 2019Location: The Bayview Golf and Country Club25 Fairway Heights Drive, Thornhill, ON L3T 3X1
Who Should Attend?
The intended audience for this 2 day event includes public and private sector with participants from the federal, provincial, regional and municipal levels, IT leaders, GIS professionals and practitioners, , economic development professionals, city managers, CAO’s, CFO’s, mayors, reeves, wardens, chairs and senior staff – from large, small, rural and first nations municipalities. Other key stakeholders include community activists and visionaries from the private and not-for-profit sectors.
The topics are of interest to various levels - executives, management, technical and across disciplines. There are many diverse cross-discipline initiatives underway in areas such as planning and development, transportation, infrastructure, environment, open data, open government, data applications and tools (LiDAR, BIM, data collection sensors), monitoring, managing and analyzing everything spatial. Central to these initiatives is access to spatial information and analysis that is up-to-date and easily available to facilitate collaboration and achieve the efficiencies that a smarter city envisions. Following is a sample of one of our program highlights:
Some critical topic areas to be addressed:
If you want to be participate in one of these hot topic areas, the Call for presentations is Now open!
Watch for more details coming soon about these special executive panel forums addressing "Challenges and Opportunities". Other experts in the geospatial and information community are being drawn together to discuss various aspects of information management, Smart Cities and the global move to open and smart!
Keynote(s), Presentations, Panels, Workshops, Exhibits and Showcases
The Geospatial and Information community is actively engaged in many diverse building block initiatives that are supporting and shaping the smart city. A broader understanding of the significance of these spatial initiatives within an organization is required to realize the benefits from this potential and enable a smarter city. The presentations will speak to the critical role that the geospatial and information community plays in the evolution of the smart city.
Call for Presentations are now open. Contact: Sponsorship Opportunities to receive more details!
Best Public Sector - Silver
Town of Orangeville
Newly set up GIS section with impressive advancements in just 2 years
Best Public Sector - Bronze
City of Brampton
Launch of new public GeoHUB for Open Data, Citizen Engagement and Transparency
A special thank you to URISA Ontario's Executive Director Sandra Crutcher who received a standing ovation that was captured with a selfie!
Many attendees walked away with a prize given out by BeSpatial's Exhibitors. The winner of the Early Bird Grand Prize, a Bose Bluetooth Speaker, was Melissa Allin from the City of Brampton!
The sun literally shone on this conference - it was the first day of true springtime weather in the Greater Toronto Area. The Communications, Culture and Technology building of the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus, was an ideal venue for the day with its massive windows that let in lots of light and its easily accessible outdoor spaces. Appropriately for a meeting of spatial specialists, the interior layout of the building could be a fun challenge to one’s wayfinding skills.
President Catherine Fitzgerald led a brisk Annual General Meeting with an overview of URISA and its achievements during the past year, and a look ahead to its goals. President Fitzgerald also announced that URISA will be re-branded to BeSpatial with the launch of a new communications campaign. All committees will offer opportunities for members to participate in this new direction.
The conference had four themes:
There were 23 sessions in all and with each lasting 30 minutes, it was possible to attend a good mix of sessions according to one’s interests, with a lot of networking in between sessions. Another option was to check out the exhibitions by Esri Canada, Teranet, Consortech, The Association of Land Surveyors, Cansel and First Base Solutions.
BeSpatial ‘18 wrapped up with awards and door prizes and transitioned to BeSocial ’18 at the UTM campus pub.
Be sure to complete the BeSpatial ’18 evaluation survey! Your feedback will help us improve future events and can assist us in providing more value to the membership.
BeSpatial Evaluation Survey
Photos of BeSpatial ’18 can be downloaded from:
Mark your calendar for BeSpatial ’19 in May 2019!
Tracey P. Lauriault of Carleton University presented the keynote “Towards an Open Smart City”. A concept related to the Internet of Things, Smart Cities have large numbers of electronic data collection sensors throughout an urban area in order to better manage assets and resources.
This engaging talk covered the many complex issues emerging from the development of Smart Cities, particularly transparency, privacy and data residency. Currently, city governments do not control their city’s smart grids. Most of the technologies are developed and owned by private foreign corporations, who collect different data and have different data structures. While Smart Cities present vast opportunities for better understanding and managing urban processes – everything from traffic flows to crime and safety – care must be taken to ensure that the data collected is stored and shared in appropriate ways. Who governs the Smart City? is a question that has yet to be answered.
Professor Lauriault pointed out that all technology exists in a social, political and economic context, but is not necessarily suited to addressing social, political or economic problems. Additionally there are concerns about public resources being diverted from social programs towards investments in Smart City technology. Public-Private Partnerships may be an option for financing smart grids.
Calling for greater participation among geospatial professionals towards the development of Smart Cities, Professor Lauriault said they are by training ideal partners for the project. Data management and spatial analysis are our mainstays, and so we will have insights into the best ways to leverage the new streams of data from smart grids.
Toward an Open Smart City
BeSpatial’18 Keynote: Dr. Tracey P. Lauriault
Critical Media and Big Data, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University
Keynote: Towards an Open Smart City
This keynote will critically focus on smart cities, examining how they are socially and technically constructed. We will discuss the research outcomes of the Canadian Open Smart Cities project funded by the Government of Canada GeoConnections Program and Led by Open North and the author in collaboration with the Canadian Internet Public Policy Clinic and University of Toronto. Examples will be drawn from five case studies namely about the cities of Edmonton, Guelph, Ottawa and Montreal, and the Ontario Smart Grid as well as number of international best practices. The recent Infrastructure Canada Canadian Smart City Challenge and the controversial Sidewalk Lab Waterfront Toronto project will also be discussed. It will be argued that no two smart cities are alike and may not live up to the promise of being better places to live.
Although an Open Smart City does not yet exist, it will be argued that it is possible, especially if the ideals and practices of open data, open science, open geospatial data infrastructures and open government are mapped onto them.
Dr Tracey P. Lauriault, Assistant Professor, Critical Media and Big Data, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,
In addition to BeSpatial on May 2, there will be 2 full-day Interactive sessions being offered. Book the dates May 1-3 and Click on the Titles below for details as they become available! BeSpatial registrants can take advantage of a special rate of $55 for either LiDAR or FME or both!
May 1- LiDAR 201 - Applications of LiDAR Data
May 2 - BeSpatial’18 - Program sessions, Exhibits, MApps Gallery, Networking , Awards and much more...
May 3 - Preparing your Data for Smart Cities using FME 2018
Consider Submitting a presentation abstract for our Fall'18 or Winter'19 events.
Submit a Presentation
Date: April 25, 2018
Time: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Place: Valhalla Inn, Thunder Bay
Join your Northern Ontario geospatial peers for a day of learning best practices, networking, new concepts and technology advances. Focusing on the use of GIS in Northern Ontario, this event will feature presentations from GIS practitioners across many private and public industries.
If you are interested in contributing to the event, there are some speaking spots still open! We want to hear about your real world experience solving problems with a geospatial approach.
Limited Presentation opportunities still available:
Submit your presentation idea
Registration is OPEN!
Visit the Member's area to view the Presentations