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  • January 09, 2023 3:21 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    Dear BeSpatial Members,

    Well, another year is in the books. And while it feels good to slowly be returning to normal (post-CoVID), the operative word is “slowly”. We’re not quite out of the woods yet, as I can attest as I recover from a bout of CoVID in late November. Fortunately, it wasn’t severe, and other than a loss of smell and taste, it felt more like a mild cold. I’m therefore grateful for the vaccines I received and the continued watchfulness of our Public Health authorities.

    It definitely felt good to have our first in-person Board meeting in late August since I joined BeSpatial. Many of my colleagues on the board were only known to me virtually. We convened to have a strategy meeting to review our mission and strategic objectives, and set some priorities for the organization.

    One of those priorities was to continue to provide meaningful content to our members. Since our AGM, we staged 4 different webinars, including one on Airborne LiDAR, Addressing the Housing Affordability Crisis with Geospatial Data in September, Hamilton’s Enterprise GIS Roadmap in early November, and how the Broadband One Window online map-based platform supports the Province of Ontario’s Accelerated High-Speed Internet Program in late November.

    I’m also thrilled to report that we have filled a vacancy in our team. The Board has welcomed James Dorland, OLS, CLS as Northern Director. James is based in Sudbury, and is actively working towards staging a BeSpatial event in the area in 2023.

    As we look forward to the year ahead, the BeSpatial Board of Directors are already hard at work planning our 2023 AGM, on May 2-3. The theme we have selected is “BeCreative”. Creativity is intelligence having fun!

    • Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way
    • Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought

    Our Geospatial Professional members are creating new insights every day with the work they perform, so this theme should provide a wealth of material. We are deeply appreciative of the sponsors that have already announced their support.

     An initial “Save The Date” e-mail was sent out in late September, and we have recently issued a call for presentations. We’ll once again have different streams, centered around Technical, Business Apps and Strategy, and reflecting the diverse roles our members occupy. In short, we’ll have something for everyone. Please send us your expression of interest to present and a brief abstract, as soon as possible.

    Based on the feedback we received from our last Annual General Meeting, we took the decision to once again host the event virtually. While this may be disappointing to those that were looking forward to some real, face-to-face interaction (including myself), the fact is that we are able to reach a far greater number of our members this way. Many organizations, whether public or private, typically limit how many employees can attend such a live event. Those limitations don’t come into play for a virtual event. But we also recognize that many folks yearn for some in-person networking opportunities, and we have committed to holding a 1 day event in each of our three regions (Eastern, Western & Northern) in 2023.

    Last but certainly not least, I’d like to acknowledge and thank all of the stakeholders that contribute to bringing value to this community of like-minded geo-professionals, from our executive director and board to our volunteers, members, sponsors and other supporting organizations. May this new year hold much health, happiness and prosperity for you and yours.


    Peter Hettstedt
    President, BeSpatial

  • January 01, 2023 1:18 PM | Hanna Sjostrom, GISP (Administrator)
    MApps (Maps and Applications) People's Choice Award & Gallery

    It's not too early to start thinking and planning to exhibit in the Gallery! 

    You've worked hard to create a map or application for your organization and now is your chance to show it off to other GIS professionals and colleagues from around the Province at the annual BeSpatial program event!  Show off your best traditional Map design or create a layout to display your latest Web Application. Open for submissions until April 14th.

    For more details

  • December 01, 2022 5:31 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    Announcing BeSpatial 2024

    May ?-? (Virtual)

    BeSpatial Ontario is inviting you to view the PheedLoop Home Page for  program highlights as a sampling of sessions being offered.

    Register today to join your colleagues at the geospatial and information community's annual 37th AGM (Annual General Meeting), program event and EXPO.  Bookmark this page and check back often as program details are being updated! 

    Registration will soon open to attend  the May ?  workshop:  Title TBA. There are limited seats and registration is on a  first come basis. 

    A special thank you to our current sponsors and exhibitors. There are opportunities available for you and BeSpatial has added extra features to enhance your exhibit experience. Come join us in the exhibit hall!

    BeSpatial'24 is a once a year opportunity that will provide you with professional development , valuable information and updates about what is happening in your field, a chance to visit with exhibitors to learn about their new products and services and networking with others in the geospatial and information community and much more... 

  • December 01, 2022 2:35 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)
    This blog is interesting. I never thought of the new training opportunities that many low income workers were enabled to pursue during the pandemic. Many used the time to upskill...

    I've found an excellent article on https://community.challengefactory.ca/where-have-all-the-workers-gone/ which may interest you.

    Lisa Taylor from the Challenge Factory presented at  our BeSpatial'21 conference.

  • August 01, 2022 11:51 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

      BeSpatial Ontario is seeking one or preferably two Northern Section representatives. This volunteer Board position(s) is responsible for promoting BeSpatial to potential new members and organizations within Northern Ontario, liaising and representing the organization to existing members, and developing content in the form of webinars or seminars that is relevant to the regional membership. The position and related activities should align with our strategic objectives of...

    • Proactively encouraging individuals and organizations to participate and volunteer in the geospatial and information community
    • Deliver networking opportunities, programs and services contributing to geospatial and information community growth, enhanced productivity and innovation.
    • Engage community participation in actively sharing their geospatial and information knowledge and leadership.
    • Advocate for standards that will influence the geospatial and information community.
    • Recognize and reward excellence and innovation within the geospatial and information community.

    Due to the size of the Northern Section in Ontario, it would be preferable to have the duties split between 2 co-leads, one based in the Eastern half and one based in northwestern Ontario. The position(s) will be supported by the BeSpatial Board of Directors. Other duties would also include assisting with the planning, organizing and staging of our annual AGM, attending monthly Board meetings to report on activities and issues within the Northern Section.

    If this volunteer position is of interest, please reach out to president@bespatialontario.ca
  • April 28, 2022 1:59 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    Since 1999, VertiGIS Studio products and services have addressed common GIS application development challenges. VertiGIS offers pragmatic solutions to improve developer productivity, help solve complex business problems, and enable a better user experience when deploying Esri web GIS technology. The most popular capabilities of VertiGIS Studio can also be used from within modern Esri platforms such ArcGIS® Web AppBuilder, Experience Builder, and ArcGIS Online to allow you to accomplish even more with your Esri investment. 

  • April 28, 2022 12:41 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    Cansel is Canada’s largest supplier of geospatial and engineering field equipment, integrating sensors, field supplies and office processing software. Cansel helps clients capture, transform and manage data leading to increased field to finish efficiency and profitability. We have been providing tailored solutions to our clients for over 50 years in Canada.

    Check out the Full list of BeSpatial Sponsors and Exhibitors

  • March 21, 2022 8:55 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    It is with deep and profound sadness that we share the loss of our  colleague and friend John Bacon. John has been an active BeSpatial / urisa ontario board and committee member for many years. His contribution to BeSpatial and the geospatial and information community was extraordinary and will be remembered. We could always rely on John’s positive, friendly and supportive approach. He will be deeply missed.

    In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Good Shepherd or Neighbour 2 Neighbour would be appreciated by the family.

    Please sign the online Book of Condolences at Bay Gardens Funeral Home (www.baygardens.ca), Hamilton (905-574-0405).

  • March 10, 2022 11:36 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)
    Mapping the future of public health with GIS

    Alexander (Sandy) Watts

    The COVID-19 pandemic revealed once again that location matters when it comes to our health. As we transform Canada’s public health system, it’s clear that GIS has the potential to bolster and enhance public health strategy.

    In our keynote talk, we will walk through case studies to demonstrate how recent innovations in location intelligence and geospatial technology can enhance a wide spectrum of public health workflows, improve public health research and evaluation using novel sources of high-resolution spatio-temporal data, and help engage with communities using GIS dashboards and hub sites.

    We will highlight how GIS can facilitate collaboration and engagement between multi-institutional health teams, decision makers, and the public. We will discuss the value GIS brings to the ongoing digital transformation of Canada’s public health systems to facilitate data sharing across jurisdictions, improve access to essential health services for all Canadians and ultimately, to help reduce health inequity.

    Alexander (Sandy) Watts is the Public Health Industry Manager for Esri Canada. He is the lead of Esri Canada’s Public Health program, designed to support Canada’s public health community through the power of GIS and location intelligence. With a background in ecology, spatial statistics and infectious disease research, he has led various geospatial research projects for epidemic planning, preparedness, and response, developing GIS solutions that influenced policy decisions at the Public Health Agency of Canada, the US-CDC, and the World Health Organization. Sandy is passionate about the potential for location intelligence and GIS innovations to solve longstanding and future public health challenges, especially to reduce health inequity.

  • March 09, 2022 11:44 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)
    How Niantic is building the real-world metaverse

    Niantic's mission is to build products and experiences that encourage people to explore the world, exercise, and be social together in the real-world. Our current endeavor is centered around developing AR technology on top of a rich geodata platform that enables developers to build compelling augmented real-world experiences. In this session I'll walk through how we're collecting geodata and building a unique global map of the world in order to realize a real-world metaverse in AR; highlight of the complexities we are facing; and inspire you with the endless opportunities ahead.

    Danbi Lee, GISP - Senior Product Manager, Niantic Labs

    Danbi is a Senior Product Manager for the Geodata Platform at Niantic - owning the growth, management and delivery of geo-location data for Niantic’s published games such as Pokémon GO, Ingress and Pikmin Bloom. Her passion and curiosity for the built environment has led her down many career paths, including environmental science, urban planning and design, municipal parks planning, geospatial analysis, and information management in Canada, the Netherlands, and the US. Danbi works closely with Niantic game teams to help design and deliver features for Niantic Wayfarer, a community mapping program for players of Niantic games. 

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We are recognized as the premier geospatial and information non-profit organization in Ontario. where members share their experiences through networking and program events for the use and integration of spatial data, information, applications and technologies that provide solutions and solve challenges in both the public and private sectors.

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