BeSpatial Annual Event 

AGM program sessions and Expo  | Virtual Event 


Program Spotlight


BeSpatial Completed

Program Highlights 

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BeSpatial'22 overall event theme was Connection



  •  a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.

  •  the connections between social attitudes and productivity

  •  Real-world connections draw from, or upon, actual objects, events, experiences and situations to effectively address a concept, problem or issue. It involves learning allows students to actually experience or practice concepts and skills, as opposed to learning that is theoretical or idealistic.

  •  Social connection can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and actually improve our immune systems. By neglecting our need to connect, we put our health at risk.

  •  Connection helps us to feel responsible – for ourselves and for each other. Without connection, this feeling of responsibility can fade and we may lose sight of our shared purpose and values. This is the consequence of isolation and disconnection.

We are thrilled to announce Nora Young as our Opening keynote speaker for BeSpatial'22 

May 3 - Day 1 Keynote - Nora Young

Nora Young,  Host of CBC Radio’s Spark | Author of The Virtual Self

Nora Young is an informed and ideal guide for anyone looking to examine — and plan for — the ever-changing, high-tech landscape. As the host and creator of Spark, CBC’s national radio show and podcast about technology and culture, and the author of The Virtual Self, Young demystifies technology and explains how it is shaping our lives, as well as the larger world around us. She helps audiences understand trends in big data, new technologies, machine learning, and more.

Young was the founding host of CBC Radio’s Definitely Not the Opera, where she often discussed topics related to new media and technology. Her work has also been featured in print, online, and television and she is also a committed hobby podcaster. Her favourite technology is her bicycle.

Her work has also appeared online, on television, and in print. As a journalist, author, and speaker, Nora explores how new technology shapes the way we understand ourselves and the world around us. Her book, The Virtual Self, focuses on the explosion of data about our behaviours, thoughts, opinions and actions.

 She’s a casual blogger and committed hobby podcaster.

May 4 - Day 2 Keynote - Alexander (Sandy) Watts

Mapping the future of public health with GIS

Alexander (Sandy) Watts, Public Health Industry Manager for Esri Canada

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.

May 4 - Day 2 Featured Keynote - Lesley MacKenzie

BeConnected with Geospatial Performance

Lesley MacKenzie, Director of Innovation, Technologies and Strategies, Consortech

Implementing a Geospatial Performance Improvement Strategy provides a solid foundation for delivering innovative new solutions to stakeholders and increasing the reach of GIS departments and geospatial data.

In this presentation, we will define this concept and how its main contributing components (data, technology, processes, people and governance) interact from the point of view of applying automation to seek organizational efficiencies. Use cases will be presented where automation has minimized time-consuming and tedious tasks and where integration has allowed for the combination of sources (geospatial and non-geospatial) to break down silos and create new opportunities.

Lesley MacKenzie graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. Passionate about geomatics, she has been working in this field for over 22 years and has become a world-renowned reference with FME technology. Throughout the years, she has designed a novel concept of governance and use of best practices with this technology.

At Consortech, Lesley leads the consulting team in optimizing the use of FME and ArcGIS and accompanying clients towards geospatial performance. As Director of Innovation, Technologies and Strategies, she is responsible for the technological watch and is in constant contact with the Safe Software development team. Lesley also provides high-level consulting services such as strategic analysis, migration of GIS environments to the Cloud and management of large-scale development projects.

GISP Certification - Panel Session DAY 1, May 3 at 3:00 PM

Panelists: Tony Spicci,  GISP, CGMP, GISCI Executive Director Brandon Underwood, GISP,  Senior GIS Applications Specialist, Town of Ajax and member of the BeSpatial Young Professional Network (YPN), and a recent GISP;  James Burn, LET, C.E.T., CGS,  EP , GISP. GIS Lead Consultant and Partner at GM BluePlan Engineering Ltd. - Niagara Region and an At-Large member of the BeSpatial Board of Directors and Tammy Sikma, GISP,  Enterprise Applications Manager for Peterborough County

Marikka Williams, MSc, GISP, Professor, Fleming College  and BeSpatial Board of Directors, Eastern section, Moderator

Each Panelist will bring a unique perspective on the value and process of the GISP certification. There will a round of presentations including introductions, a bit of information about the background of each panelist including how long they have had a GISP. As each panelist brings a unique perspective the focus will be on the following themes:

  • Tony will provide a historical overview about GISCI and the GISP;
  • Brandon will talk about his experience with preparing for and taking the Exam ;
  • James will talk about his experience with how the GISP compares to the Canadian GIS Certifications that he has;
  • Tammy will talk about GISP as it adds a framework to the GIS profession and offers a reasonable timeline for maintaining credentials.

Panelists will provide their perspectives related to the following questions:

  • What is your experience with the GISP renewal process?
  • Do you have any advice regarding preparation for the GISP Exam?
  • What are your thoughts on the long term value of acquiring and maintaining a GISP?
  • Q&A from the attendees
Anthony A. Spicci

Tony has been active in the geospatial community for over 30 years.  He began his professional career with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) in 1992 building a team of research specialists that included technology, geospatial, biometrics and social science professionals that conduct and support science within the Department.  He recently retired from MDC to become the Executive Director of the GIS Certification Institute.  Tony’s role at the GISCI is to help grow and support the expanding GISP Community.  He received his GISP in 2012.

Tony has been effective in facilitating the use of GIS throughout the state and nation and has served in numerous leadership roles.  Tony has been an active member of the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) since 1996 serving on the Board and as the President in 2005-2006.  Tony currently serves as NSGIC’s co-lead on the Pandemic GIS Taskforce and is engaged with several NSGIC committees.  Tony has also been involved with numerous activities including participation with the Federal Geographic Data Committee Steering Committee, the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Future Directions Governance Team and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Geolocational Standards team, among others.   Tony is an appointee to the Missouri Geographic Names Board and served on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee.  Recognizing the need for better coordination among geospatial professionals, Tony helped lead the effort to create the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations (COGO).  Regionally, Tony participated with the MidAmerica GIS Consortium (MAGIC).  Tony has served as the Consortium Chair of MAGIC as well as the Symposium Chair many times.  He currently serves at MAGIC’s representative to COGO.

In addition to working for the GISCI, Tony is a member of Missouri Task Force 1, a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team and a volunteer with the Boone County Fire Protection District.  On fall weekends he can be found on the sidelines officiating for the Father Tolton Trailblazers, the Mizzou Tigers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Brandon Underwood

    Brandon works at The Town of Ajax as a Senior GIS Applications Specialist. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science from Queen's University as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in GIS – Applications Specialist from Fleming College. He has also taken courses in Business Analysis, Project Management and Big Data.  He is a member of the BeSpatial Young Professional Network (YPN) and recently received his GISP.

    He credits his pursuit of GIS to a high school guidance counsellor who mentioned it was a growing field for Geographers and Environmental Scientists.  When not working on GIS projects, Brandon enjoys exploring nature, community theatre, piano and long distance running.  

    James Burn

    James attended Brock University where he received his B.Sc. in Environmental Geology, and later attended Niagara College receiving a post graduate certificate in GIS and Geospatial Management.

    Over the past 20+ years, James has worked in the engineering field in both the public and private sectors and is currently the GIS Lead and a partner at GM BluePlan Engineering. In this position, he supports core engineering services as well as the Infrastructure Planning, Hydraulic Modeling and Asset Management teams.

    James is a Licensed and Certified Engineering Technologist in geomatics as recognized by the PEO and OACETT respectively and is also certified with the Canadian Institute of Geomatics in Geospatial Management and GIS/LIS in addition to being a certified GISP.

    Tammy Sikma

    Tammy is the Enterprise Applications Manager for Peterborough County.  She has led the GIS program there for the past 19 years and has recently expanded her role to support other enterprise systems & data use in multiple departments at the County and its 8 local municipalities.  She has held roles at City of Peterborough and City of Burlington and is an alumni of Fleming College’s Cartographic Technician & Technology programs, as well as the Environmental Science program at University of Guelph. 

    Tammy has a passion for helping people find productive new ways to meet their goals.  She has been dedicated to a lifetime of learning through hands-on and course work, industry events, and volunteerism.  She has maintained her GISP certification since 2015. 

    Marikka Williams, Moderator

    Marikka is a GIS Professor for the GIS Post Diploma program and Environmental Technician program at Fleming College. She also serves on the BeSpatial Ontario Management Board as Eastern Section Director, and prior to the pandemic she served as a GoGeomatics Peterborough Group Leader / Event Organizer to bring GIS professional development and networking opportunities to GIS practitioners. 

    Marikka has 20+ years of experience in the field of GIS which includes providing GIS services to support Municipalities and Engineering Consulting, as well as, educating College students about how GIS can be utilized to gather data, perform analysis and communicate information through Cartography, in the courses that she has been teaching at Fleming College since 2014.  These courses include Geomatics in Surveying, Remote Sensing, Spatial Analysis, Municipal Mapping, Geovisualization and Cartographic Design. 

    In her spare time Marikka enjoys staying active in the great outdoors, practicing yoga, engaging in continuous learning, and being an active part of the professional GIS community.  She has maintained a GISP certification since 2008. 


    The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) is a non-profit organization that promotes the advancement of proficient GIS professionals through its international GISP® (Certified GIS Professional) certification program.  The Institute fosters rigorous professional and ethical standards, community engagement, and professional mentoring within the GIS industry.

    The GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® is a groundbreaking development in the geospatial profession, software-agnostic, based upon a job analysis from a four-year experience level, informed by the GIS&T Body of Knowledge, guided by the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM), and centered upon the ten key knowledge areas shown elsewhere on these pages. It was developed by GISPs for the GISP Certification.  The GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam® measures a breadth of geospatial knowledge across the 10 Content Areas specified, not a depth of knowledge in any one area.  The next exam period is June 4-11, 2022, and the test will be offered worldwide at authorized PSI testing centers.

    For more information, please contact us:



    Telephone: 847-824-7768


    IO GeoPortal - The Evolution of a One Window View to your Municipality

    Joseph Lin, Director, Surveys and Geomatics  at Infrastructure Ontario (IO) In association with  Richard Norris, senior Manager, Strategic Accounts, Teranet Inc.

    Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Teranet Inc. have developed a strong working relationship that is empowering IO’s Geomatics’ services and products. These products and services are key components of the Ontario GeoPortal, which have enabled IO to take a leadership role in the Ontario Provincial Government’s real property management activities. The Municipal GeoPortal brings mapping and business information together into one integrated view, regardless of where data is stored, to provide broad access to key information, improved collaboration, and more informed decision-making in a consistent and easy-to-use way. This presentation will provide a clear understanding of how IO is leveraging Teranet’s and other key data, which is enabling new and novel geo-spatial products and services that can be made available through the Municipal GeoPortal to a broad community of users and uses. Attendees will gain a better perspective of how IO’s strategic partnerships offer a one window view to your municipality.

    Joseph Lin is the Director of Surveys and Geomatics at Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and the project manager for IO’s GeoPortal implementation. Mr. Lin is a licensed Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario and a licensed Ontario Land Surveyor and Land Information Professional with the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors. Mr. Lin obtained a Bachelor of Engineering Science from the University of Western Ontario and later obtained his education in Surveying Science from the University of Toronto. 

    Teranet is an international leader in electronic land registration, is the exclusive provider of online property search and registration in Ontario and creates custom land data related products and solutions to assist our municipal customer’s evolving needs. Richard Norris is a Senior Manager, Strategic Accounts for the Municipal and Provincial sector. Richard Norris is the Senior Manager, Strategic Accounts at Teranet. He will be introducing Mr. Lin and will be taking questions as the Q&A session that follows the presentation.

    Capturing, Visualizing and Mapping Mobility, Demographics and Behaviour

    Nader Shureih, Vice President of Business Development, Environics Analytics

    We are in the midst of volatile times where peoples' habits, behaviours and movements are evolving at a pace we've never seen before. GIS platforms are critical in understanding these changes and movements. But with the vast amounts of data available to us, how can GIS teams effectively capture actionable insights? 

    This session explores Environics Analytics' approach to leveraging anonymized mobile movement data to capture and map movement patterns of local populations, settlement patterns across jurisdictions, and shifts in transportation habits and behaviours.

    For almost 20 years, Nader Shureih has worked across the public and private sectors in marketing and market research. He now serves as Vice President of Business Development in EA’s public sector practice. In his current role, Nader works with clients across government to address key business questions and helps them leverage data to get at insights that can be used towards real, effective outcomes. Prior to joining EA, he taught market research at the post-secondary level and managed the market research function at Service Canada.

    What’s your geospatial strategy? Answering your organization’s most important spatial question

    Matthew Lewin,  Director of Management Consulting for Esri Canada

    They say that success in business is rarely an accident. Instead, it’s the product of a carefully crafted strategy executed by dedicated, passionate people. Success with geospatial technology is no different. The best organizations take a hard look at their geospatial strategy and diligently work to find the right mix of people, processes, and technology that will help their business achieve its grandest ambitions. But how do they do it? In this presentation, Matt Lewin looks at the five core concepts you need to address when answering your organization’s most important geospatial question – what’s our geospatial strategy?

    Matthew Lewin is the Director of Management Consulting for Esri Canada. His team's efforts are focused on helping management teams optimize and transform their business through GIS and location-based strategies. As a seasoned consultant, Matthew has provided organizations in the public and private sectors with practical strategies that position geospatial as an enterprise business capability. 

    Matthew's interests lie at the intersection of business and technology, and he thrives on helping organizations bridge the gap to achieve their most challenging geospatial ambitions.

    The Journey to Peel’s Census Information Hub

    Andrea Dort is a Specialist in Data and Outreach , Kevin Farrugia is an Advisor with the Peel Data Centre

    The Region of Peel's new Census Information Hub is a welcoming space for users to interact with Statistics Canada data that’s central to understanding our communities. In a visually appealing, storytelling style, the Hub is a move from a static PDF Census Bulletin to an engaging online platform driven by Esri ArcGIS Hub. The change to a dynamic platform allows us to expand to a wider audience - from data novices to professionals - increasing the number of people that can access, explore, and derive insights from Census data. 

    At this session, we'll tell the story of how we designed the Hub, built content around the Census, undertook user experience testing, used ArcGIS Online tools, and the lessons we've learned along the way.

    Kevin Farrugia is an Advisor with the Peel Data Centre, where he started as a co-op student 11 years ago. After graduating with a Geomatics degree, he’s built on his hard and soft skills through many diverse projects and through working with other civil servants and citizens to provide and use data. Now most of his time is spent working with colleagues on improving GIS and data maturity, improving access to data, and integrating automation into workflows, as well as continuing to lead the Open Data program.

    Andrea Dort is a Specialist in Data and Outreach with the Peel Data Centre. As the lead for socio-demographic data, Andrea works with users to better understand and use data. Building on her background in GIS, Andrea enjoys merging spatial elements with demographics and finding new ways to open up data for all users.

    Bringing Public Data to Industry for Better Decision Making

    Sarah Bencic, GIS Coordinator, Centre for Research & Innovation in the Bio Economy

    With our newest version of the Economic Fibre Supply Model(a first in kind decision making product for the Forest industry) launching in April. We are highlighting how many different groups have collaborated together to meet targets & improve a backbone industry for the Ontario & Canadian economy. As a part of our ForestEDGE platform the EFSM is an anchor tool for our partners & public to better understand where the underutilized fibre of Ontario is, and an estimated cost of putting that wood to work. With the unprecedented forest fire season we've experienced in 2021 it is imperative to bring more voices to the table including Indigenous communities, high fire risk communities, & potential users to the table to maintain adequate disturbance to the boreal & remove dangerous fuel loads from the landscape. Many of these generally unwanted forest fibre can be repurposed into fuels & products that help offset our carbon footprint to meet national carbon targets.

    Sarah Bencic is BioMulti-disciplinary Environmental Professional & GIS Coordinator for CRIBE. Background in Energy construction & Forestry. Post-grad at Fleming in GIS Specialist of Cartography, Undergraduate from Trent University in Environmental Science & Biology.

    Planning 101

    Adam Clark, Senior Urban Designer and  Melanie WawrykManager of Geospatial Data and Analytics, City of Kitchener

    This session will cover three planning processes and how they drive GIS: zoning by-law amendments; site plan applications; and minor variance applications. It will examine what each of these application types can and cannot do, as well as how they fit into the broader site plan approvals and development services framework. This course is ideal for people who participate in site plan review and would like to know more about the basics of how planning applications work.

    Adam ClarkSenior Urban Designer

    I am a creative problem solver who depends on research, analysis, rigorous testing and iteration to arrive at thoughtful, thorough and forward-thinking solutions.

    Melanie has been working in the GIS industry for over 25 years and is currently the Manager GeoSpatial Data and Analytics at the City of Kitchener.

    Melanie holds a Master of Science Degree from Manchester Metropolitan University, a Post Graduate Certificate in Theoretical and Applied Geographic Information Systems from Simon Fraser University and an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from the University of Waterloo.

    Geospatial data acquisition using UAV in Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) to inspect the integrity of hydroelectric network
    Maude Pelletier, Mme. President, MVT GEO-SOLUTIONS

    Traditionally, hydroelectric powerline and tower inspections are performed by helicopters equipped with high-resolution cameras or by direct visual examinations carried out by highly skilled staff climbing over de-energized power lines. The direct visual inspection option is time-consuming and costly, while due to regulatory constraints, helicopters are unable to cover narrow mountainous areas since its terrain landscape is considered as a dangerous zone. 

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are an attractive alternative for power line inspections due to its ease and rapidity of deployment, its low cost, and the safety of flight data capture execution. Thermal, RGB imaging and Lidar point cloud results will be shared to demonstrate the true potential of using drones for hydroelectric transmission line inspections. It will enlighten and demonstrate the added value of using UAV and its growing perspective in the industry as Transport Canada regulations evolve.

    This presentation will highlight the constraints and advantages of using UAV for power line inspections and the everyday challenges experienced by UAV pilots to operate in an industry where the regulatory frames are not entirely drawn. As drone performance increases exponentially, it allows for the first time a competitive solution, which will forever change how power line inspections are carried out.

    Maude Pelletier is  a geomorphologist who is passionate about remote sensing data and high technologies.  Having up-to-date data is crucial to see landscape changes, such as ground settlements due to permafrost thawing or cliff erosion along the seashore. 

    7 years ago, I began using UAV due to the lack of existing data of Northern Territories and I realized rapidly that UAV was the perfect aerial platform to carry sensors such as Lidar and cameras. In remote areas the ease of deployment allows us to survey frequently, even multiple times in a single season. No other aerial platform will give us this freedom at such a low cost. 

    6 years ago I founded the company MVT Geo-Solutions Inc. This company is here to help the drone industry grow and evolve. We provide services such as Lidar and aerial image acquisitions while providing numerous geomatics deliverables such as mapping, change detection, contour lines, digital terrain models, line works, and much more.

    4 years ago, I began an R&D project with MVT’s team of experts, where the goal was to develop the first modular lidar system, which will allow the customer to swap the different components of a Lidar, such as the laser, the inertial platform, and the cameras. The main objective was to provide freedom and flexibility for the customer, permitting them to adapt daily by changing their sensor to meet the needs of their project in terms of accuracy and resolution.

    In July 2021, I founded Balko Tech a company that develops, manufactures and commercializes the world's first modular lidar for drones.

    How the OneWindow platform will be leveraging spatial data to support the Accelerated High Speed Internet Program (AHSIP) related to the Building Broadband Faster Act.

    Kris Philpott,  Senior vice-President, Planview and Gord Reynolds, vice-President, Infrastructure Ontario

    Ontario has passed the Building Broadband Faster Act 2021. The province is about to embark on a massive uplift of high speed internet availability to bring service to a majority of the Ontario population that is currently unserved.  OneWindow is a map centric solution aimed at streamlining stakeholder engagement to support infrastructure projects.  OneWindow will provide Internet Service Providers with a Province wide solution for submitting and managing several project related requirements, examples include:

    • Municipal consent packages
    • Third party attachment request to LDC's
    • Pre-Engineering information requests
    • Specialty permits

    Stakeholders, including Municipalities and utilities, will leverage OneWindow to respond and engage with each request all while providing Infrastructure Ontario with valuable insights to monitor and control the Accelerated High Speed Internet Program (AHSIP).

    Kris Philpott, Senior vice-President, Planview has managed and implemented GIS, OMS and SCADA solutions for Electric, Gas and Telecommunication companies throughout North America. Kris has developed a strong understanding of how Utilities can efficiently manage their assets through business process and system integration.

    Gord Reynolds, Canadian Power & Utility Sector Leader

    Gord joined Infrastructure Ontario, a Crown agency of the Province that supports the government’s initiatives to modernize and maximize the value of public infrastructure, to lead the interactions with the utilities industry. He most recently was COO at NRStor, Canada’s leading energy storage developer, where he led the restructuring and refinancing of the business along with the development of innovative and complex power projects with governments, utilities and indigenous partners. Before NRStor, Gord was with Spark Power, an integrated energy service company, where he started as a founding member of the Advisory Board and later took on the role of COO and EVP of Corporate Development, leading a number of corporate initiatives that propelled the business forward towards its corporate objectives, including a number of acquisitions and a public markets listing (TSX:SPG).

    Gord was previously at IBM Canada as an Executive in their Utility Practice and maintains a role at the MaRS Advanced Energy Centre as well as helps several related organizations with transformation initiatives. Shortly after market open in Ontario and as the industry began its digital transformation, Gord transitioned from a technical field role at a utility and joined Capgemini/E&Y where he rose to become the Managing Director of the Canadian Utilities Practice and the Global innovation leader for the Power & Utility sector. In these roles, Gord has assisted many Power and Utility companies by being deeply involved in many critical business initiatives. He has spent most of his 20+ year career servicing the Power and Utility industry in a variety of capacities ranging from field and back-office operations, project and strategy development, and business transformation, to post-merger integration and restructuring. Specifically, he has led significant initiatives with Hydro One, BC Hydro, Toronto Hydro, Enbridge Gas Distribution, National Grid and Sempra/SDG&E (US), EDF Energy (UK), SP AusNet (AUS), among others. Through this varied experience, including working in the field as a Powerline Technician, in government, as an industry advocate and on boards, Gord has an appreciation of the issues facing the industry and has gained insights into leading performance bringing practical advice in the areas of executive leadership, corporate development, indigenous relations, operations, strategy, technology integration and business transformation.

    Automated GIS Screening Tool for Right-of-Way LID Measures: A new approach to prioritizing LIDs as part of Roadway Reconstruction in the City of Ottawa

    Chris Denich, B.Sc., B.Eng. WRE, M.Sc. WRE, P.Eng., CAN-CISEC, GIP

    In response to the forthcoming Provincial direction with respect to the requirement to implement runoff volume controls for road reconstruction projects and other local objectives, the City of Ottawa i partnership with Aquafor Beech (Robinson Consulting and Roddy Bolivar) has developed the first-of-its-kind fully-automated GIS LID screening tool to  select and prioritize roadway reconstruction projects for LID applications that will maximize net overall benefits on a sewershed basis.

     Presentation:  The presentation will describe the goals, objectives, drivers and outcomes of the study; discuss the architecture, criteria and ranking approach of the Screening Tool for Right-of-Way LID Measures; and the GIS sewershed health prioritization, LID evaluation and screening process

    Chris is the Director of Water Resources, LID and Green Infrastructure at Aquafor Beech Ltd. were he participates in a variety of municipal, private and public sector projects focusing on the planning, detailed design, tender preparation, construction administration and supervision of Low Impact Development (LID) & Green Infrastructure (GI) stormwater techniques, for both retrofit and new developments.  

    Chris is recognized as an industry expert in LID, GI and Sustainable Stormwater Management by organization across Ontario and Canada, and has planned, designed, constructed and monitored more than fifty (50) LID projects and over 200 stormwater management projects for Major municipalities and clients across Ontario - from Ottawa to Thunder Bay and across Canada.

    How Niantic is building the real-world metaverse
    Danbi Lee, GISP - Senior Product Manager, Niantic Labs

    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 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. 

    Automated Incident Detection on Roads using AI

    Den Ibana, Product Manager, Visual Defence

    Driven by the desire to aid municipalities and organizations in enhancing their road maintenance operations, Visual Defence developed ROVER, an automated road incident detection system that employs artificial intelligence. In this presentation, Visual Defence will demonstrate how users can utilize ROVER to collect road-related issues for operations planning, decision making and standards compliance to meet their particular needs and challenges.

    Den Ibana is a Product Manager at Visual Defence with over 15 years of experience deploying mission-critical projects in the transportation and government sectors. As a technical leader, many of the significant projects he has completed are for some of the world’s busiest international airports, including centralized command centers for security systems, access control, asset tracking applications, automation and integrations.

    Currently, he is responsible for the planning, deployment and overseeing of the ROVER AI automated road incident detection product.

    The Canadian Aquatic Barriers Database: Using open-source solutions to support freshwater connectivity across Canada

    Katherine O'Hearn, GIS Technician, Canadian Wildlife Federation

    Canada’s freshwater systems continue to be disrupted by aquatic barriers like dams, weirs, and culverts, which negatively affect the species that rely on these systems to complete their life cycles. An essential first step towards improving the connectivity and health of our freshwater ecosystems is to identify these aquatic barriers and prioritize them for remediation. However, gaps in data coverage, data completeness, and limited access to analytical software can make this process increasingly difficult.

    To address these challenges, the Canadian Wildlife Federation is developing the Canadian Aquatic Barriers Database (CABD), a new database and web mapping tool providing comprehensive, standardized data for large and small barriers throughout the country. This presentation will cover how open-source GIS tools and software like QGIS, PostgreSQL, and PostGIS have supported the development of the CABD; how the project team has addressed the challenges of combining and managing hundreds of spatial and non-spatial datasets from different sources in a single system; and how the CABD can be used to support fish passage remediation and restoration projects.

    Katherine O'Hearn graduated from the University of Guelph in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. After working as a GIS Analyst with a consulting engineering firm for several years, she joined the Canadian Wildlife Federation as a GIS Technician in 2021. Her role on the Canadian Aquatic Barriers Database team includes compiling and standardizing spatial and non-spatial datasets, managing and updating the centralized CABD database, performing quality assurance and quality control on aquatic barrier data, and preparing hydrographic networks for network analysis.

    Lost in Translation - An Information Management Perspective on GIGO

    Tracey Dal Bianco, B.A., MLIS, Manager, Information Management Services & TPH Privacy Officer

    Garbage In - Garbage Out (GIGO) is a term that is well-known to all information professionals. Where does the garbage data come from? These days most data is created electronically and stored in specifically designed systems. We design, build and rebuild information systems and by doing so, we might be influencing the quality of data. What are the consequences of system changes? What is problematic and how to fix it? During the presentation, specific examples of data collection and data handling problems, particularly related to the pandemic management, will be discussed.

     At Toronto Public Health, Information Management encompasses a number of key areas: Privacy compliance, Records management, Policy management, Documentation practices, TPH Library, TPH call centre –Toronto Health Connection, Complaints management

    Tracey is the Manager, Information Management Services for Toronto Public Health and the TPH Privacy Officer.  I have been in the role since 2007. By education, I have a Masters in Library and Information Science from Western University. My BA (Hons) is from the University of Toronto. In the past, besides positions in libraries, I have had a variety of roles in the Ontario government, as well as with one of the major banks.

    Mississauga – Leading the way in parcel mapping in Canada

    Rajni Gupta, Supervisor - Data ManagementHung Giang, GIS Analyst, City of Mississauga and Heather  Page,  Application SpecialistEsri Canada

    The City of Mississauga is the first organization in Canada to implement the ArcGIS Pro Parcel Fabric. Together with Esri Canada’s Land Information Solutions team, the City completed a digital land parcel modernization project to transform their parcel maintenance environment from a CAD based system to the ArcGIS Pro Parcel Fabric, successfully modernizing their parcel maintenance and publication activities. This presentation covers how the collaborative approach between the City of Mississauga and Esri Canada’s Land Information Solutions team ensured a successful outcome, from data migration through to implementation support, and provides current metrics and lessons learned. It also covers how ArcGIS Pro’s out of the box technology including Tasks, Attribute Rules and Branch Versioning were leveraged, resulting in improvements in daily maintenance activity efficiency and to overall data quality. Finally, it covers how the core ArcGIS Pro Parcel Fabric model and Canadian Parcel Data Model (CPDM) were configured and extended to best fit the City’s data and connect into existing business systems.

    Rajni Gupta is the Supervisor of the Data Management Group in the GeoSpatial Solutions section, Information Technology with the City of Mississauga. She provides overall support to the Data Management Group who is responsible for maintaining the GIS datasets of Parcel, Address, Street, Storm Network, 3D Topographic Mapping, Landuse, Zoning and other datasets. She leads the team for migrating existing CAD Data Maintenance processes to Esri Enterprise platform.

    Hung Giang is the GIS Analyst in the Geospatial Solutions section in the Information Technology department with the City of Mississauga. The Geospatial Solutions team consists of 40 GIS Professionals, Developers and Project Leaders providing GIS, Asset Management, Work Order, Field Inspection and Data Collection solutions to the organization.

    Hung has actively developed and supported various applications for data maintenance such as property, street centerline, address, stormwater, and planimetric information. Within the last year, he has helped migrate many of the existing CAD data and maintenance processes over to the ESRI Enterprise Platform.

    Heather Page is an application specialist in Esri Canada’s Land Information Solutions Professional Services Team. She is responsible for assisting Canadian customers implement and optimize their land administration and land records.

    Sharing Data to Maximize Value and Minimize Risk – A Policy Framework

    Laura Purves is the Manager, Information Governance and Laura Thomas is the Enterprise Data Governance Specialist at the Regional Municipality of York

    Making it easier to access and use data promotes collaboration, reduces inefficiencies, and creates opportunities to deliver services more effectively. Business units throughout York Region are increasingly seeing how the data they collect, develop and use increases in value when it’s shared with others in the Region. However, sharing doesn’t necessarily happen naturally and there are obstacles.

    One obstacle is a lack of clarity on legislative and policy requirements. York Region’s new Information Management Policy and its Information Security Classification Standard are addressing this.  The new policy framework emphasizes that data should be made available to the greatest extent possible, while the standard establishes clear guidance in determining data appropriate for sharing and what controls and safeguards may be required if the data is, for instance, personal or confidential

    Another obstacle to effective data sharing is that data is collected and maintained for specific business reasons with little thought to other potential uses. As well, many staff are reluctant to share because they worry that other users may not “get” the data or know how to interpret it. York Region is tackling these challenges through a data stewardship framework to support broader uses of data sets. Improved clarity and guidance on data sharing practices is shifting the organization’s culture. Internal business units, partner organizations, and the public are benefitting as York Region staff become more comfortable in sharing trusted data.  During this session, you will learn more about York Region’s journey to liberate its data to maximize business value. 

    Laura Purves is the Manager, Information Governance at the Regional Municipality of York. She earned her master’s degree in Information Studies from the University of Toronto before embarking on an impressive career spanning more than 20 years in information and knowledge management. The breadth of Laura’s work experience includes municipal government, regulatory colleges, eHealth, and independent consulting.

    Laura Thomas’s career in public sector GIS and data management has spanned more than 20 years.  She joined The Regional Municipality of York in 2007, coming from Bristol City Council in the UK.  Since joining York Region, Laura has been involved in various initiatives, including drafting partner data sharing agreements, Open Data and data catalogue programs, corporate data purchasing, and data platform governance. Building on her experiences, Laura moved into her current role as Enterprise Data Governance Specialist in 2019.

    Addressing the Housing Affordability Crisis with Geospatial Data

    Monika Jaroszonek, CEO + Co-founder, Ratio.City

    Demand continues to outpace supply in the Canadian housing market, with Vancouver, Toronto and Hamilton being named as some of the least affordable cities in North America. And while these cities are taking steps to encourage the construction of new buildings, the rising cost of construction has presented developers with a challenge:

    How can we increase the supply of affordable housing when construction and land costs are already at an all time high and the development process is so time consuming?

    The answer lies in our ability to derive insights from complex geospatial data. Housing providers need help identifying and evaluating opportunities to create affordable housing while simultaneously considering risks, impacts, and costs. Municipalities need a way to share pertinent information with the private sector and track the real-time impact of their housing policies. Both groups know that urban data will help their cause, but many land use professionals lack the technical skills and in-house capabilities for data management or GIS.

    In the BeSpatial presentation, Monika Jaroszonek will discuss how Ratio.City can help both public and private city builders address the global housing crisis. We’ll explore the value of structured geospatial data in community development and how you can leverage our web-based analysis tools to integrate affordability into the due diligence process. Finally, we’ll share real use cases from a variety of organizations who are using Ratio.City to build more livable, equitable communities across Canada.

    Monika has always been fascinated by dynamic cities. She believes that technology can be used to build more livable cities through increased density, affordable housing, well designed municipalities, and better access to urban information. After 15 years in the architecture industry, Monika co-founded Ratio.City, a proptech company that helps city builders make data-driven decisions for urban transformation. Since launching in 2018, Ratio.City has become a trusted source of information for some of Canada’s largest real estate developers and REITs. Monika is frequently asked to speak about the future of city building and the intersection of real estate and technology.

    Strategies for implementing an Integration Platform into a Geospatial Technology Portfolio

    Lesley MacKenzie, Director of Innovation, Technologies and Strategies, Consortech

    The power of geospatial information is now recognized by many Ontario municipalities. We are witnessing the decompartmentalization of GIS departments and technologies to democratize this data and integrate it into corporate systems to create new solutions and possibilities. This session will present practical advice on planning and implementing a GIS data integration platform such as FME with a medium- and long-term vision. We will discuss tips on how to stay focused on your business objectives and avoid falling into the short-term technical optimization paradigm.

    Lesley MacKenzie graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. Passionate about geomatics, she has been working in this field for over 22 years and has become a world-renowned reference with FME technology. Throughout the years, she has designed a novel concept of governance and use of best practices with this technology.

    At Consortech, Lesley leads the consulting team in optimizing the use of FME and ArcGIS and accompanying clients towards geospatial performance. As Director of Innovation, Technologies and Strategies, she is responsible for the technological watch and is in constant contact with the Safe Software development team. Lesley also provides high-level consulting services such as strategic analysis, migration of GIS environments to the Cloud and management of large-scale development projects.

    Hamilton's Enterprise GIS Roadmap: How to Measure Progress and Report Successes

    Matt Pietryszyn, Supervisor, Spatial Solutions and Data Services, City of Hamilton.

    Paul Giroux, President, Mass Maturity Inc.

    The City of Hamilton is focused on enabling staff and citizens with accurate, current and reliable data. How does an organization share the tools to analyze, visualize and report their decisions, keeping everyone informed, and maintaining trust in the underlying data?

    Through collaborative planning and measuring Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). We'll demonstrate how we measured our current state of GIS and data maturity, Identified our organization's main challenges, planned our approach to solve those challenges, and present our progress through a data-driven enterprise roadmap. And, as our geospatial program progresses, so does the underlying maturity model and methods that continue to adapt to the rapid evolution of GIS within organizations. This evolution will be discussed in the context of new variants of the maturity model whose measures and strategic insights will continue to be used to transform the City of Hamilton and others with data, integrations, business and location intelligence.

    Matt Pietryszyn, GISP,  has been working at the City of Hamilton since 2019, helping to create a more collaborative, enterprise-wide GIS program. With nearly 20 years of municipal and private sector geospatial experience in various roles, Matt brings a broad perspective to organizations looking to implement geospatial solutions and optimize GIS services and data across the organization.

    Paul Giroux, M.Sc.(GIS), GISP started his career working with at advanced technology and innovation centers in the late 90s and evolved through several roles in local government as a Web Developer, as Enterprise GIS Analyst/Administrator and as a Systems Supervisor leading a team tasked with transforming Water/Wastewater Operations. Since 2018, Paul has been leading Innovation, Business and Location Intelligence at the local utility. He has evolved his academic work on Slimgim Enterprise GIS Maturity Model which is shared freely with the broader community. He continues to help organizations adopt methods for maturity model driven strategic improvement.
    Introducing a Cloud Based Data Library for Managing Municipal Survey and Asset Applications

    Scott Paterson, Business Development Manager, Tulloch Mapping

    Many municipalities are adopting mobile LiDAR/Imagery surveys for populating their municipal infrastructure asset geodatabases, rather than traditional airborne or field surveys.  Airborne surveys can miss important municipal assets due to the nature of nadir collection and ground surveys can be very expensive and time consuming.  Whereas, mobile mapping systems offer high-speed data capture, high density 3D measurements increasing the feature mapping detail, and reduction of erroneous/questionable data.

    Sharing and access to these large datasets can pose barriers to use throughout an organization.  Cloud based data storage and new software tools offer a solution to viewing large datasets across a wide network of stakeholders to make faster and more accurate infrastructure management decisions.  This presentation highlights several example projects of on-line cloud-based asset databases and corresponding point clouds and 360-degree imagery derived from mobile mapping surveys. 

    Scott Paterson is currently the Business Development Manager for Tulloch Mapping, responsible for nurturing new clients and applications for Tulloch’s municipal and transportation engineering services.  Scott has over 30 years’ experience in surveying and mapping, remote sensing imaging and GIS sectors.  For the past 20 years Scott has been involved with mobile and airborne LiDAR applications.

    What you need to know about the Federal Airborne LiDAR Specification and the USGS LiDAR Base Specification

    Susan Muleme Kasumba, Business Development Manager, Airborne Imaging - Clean Harbors Exploration Services, LP

    The Canadian government first formally created LiDAR specifications in 2017. The document was updated in 2020 to Version 3.0. This session will review the Canadian Federal LiDAR specifications and compare them to the USGS LiDAR Base specification, updated in 2021.

    We will discuss LiDAR for Flood Mapping, as many agencies have used the NDMP to fund these types of LiDAR projects. We will talk about the ground control requirements of both specifications with respect to non-vegetative vertical accuracy (NVA) and vegetative vertical accuracy (VVA) control points. We will talk about classification and deliverable options for a survey.  If you will be planning an acquisition project in the near future, this session is for you.

    Susan Muleme Kasumba is a graduate of Sir Sanford Fleming’s GIS/Cartography program and attended the University of Guelph. She joined Airborne Imaging in 2011 and has over 20 years of experience in the mapping industry. Susan lives and works in Ottawa and has been a member of BeSpatial since 2017.

    Don't get lost: Squeezing accuracy out of consumer-grade GPS/GNSS device

    Shawn Morgan, Professor, Fleming College

    RTK and other corrected Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS, aka GPS) is a wonderful tool to get centimeter-level precision for your GIS. However, survey-grade can be expensive, requiring subscriptions and costly hardware. With new satellite signals (L5) and constellations (Gallego), what is possible today using your standard smartphone or handheld GPS?

    This session will first review how GNSS works and then compare various devices and discuss how you can get the most from consumer-grade inexpensive Smartphone or handheld devices. As a related topic, we will also introduce how PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons), Garmin Inreach (Iridium) and similar satellite emergency communicators work.

    With 25 years of industry experience, Shawn helps lead new professionals into the geospatial industry through his roles as professor and GIS program coordinator at Fleming College. As well, Shawn has a successful practice consulting for clients in web and database solutions development. Outside, he can be found exploring backcountry hiking and biking trails, and on the water sailing.

    Using Geospatial Data to Making Housing Decision and Upcoming Federal Housing Funding over the next 5 Years.

    Devin Tu, President,  MapYourProperty  &  Zain AbedinDirector, Community Development, Rural Development Network

    Affordable housing is one of the top concerns of Ontario with soaring costs of housing.  Ontario has a goal of building 1.5 million new homes and increasing density in urban and urban areas.  Due to the complexity and localizations of housing on a per municipal basis, there is a patch work of data and housing information.

    Consortium of Affordable Housing Data (CoAHD), a group of non-profits like Ryerson University, Rural Development Network, and Habitat for Humanity, and data intelligence firm, MapYourProperty will be working to develop an all-in-one housing database including tracking zoning, land use, developments, and current and future housing across the GTHA. The group with funding from Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) will launch affordable housing online platform across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area and Ottawa Metro Area for free to all government and housing agencies.  


    • Come learn about upcoming data collection on affordable housing indicators and municipalities' access to upcoming mapping platforms and data for decision-making.
    • See how data analytics and geospatial analysis to identify vacant lands or densification opportunity for affordable housing
    • Provide your input and insight on collection of geospatial data and access (API, web, FTP) to housing datasets
    • Hear from housing experts on new affordable housing program by the Federal Government including Housing Supply Challenge ($300 million over 5 years) and the upcoming $4 billion Accelerator Fund focused on removing municipal barriers
    • Learning about new data being developed as part of Housing Supply Challenge Data Driven round

    Devin Tu, President, powered by MYP and has 15 years experience in public policy and geospatial expertise with the Ontario Natural Resources, Ontario Ministry of Environment, and Australia Department of Natural Resources and Arup.  Devin has develop large biodiversity and vegetation for the entire Queensland state in Australia and helped Ontario Source Water Protection and Drainage mapping. 

    Devin is president of MapYourProperty, a data intelligence real estate firm, that is backed by Colliers International, largest real estate brokerage, and Techstars, a large seed VC in the US.  Current, MYP tracks more than 200 datasets across the GTA.  MapYourProperty primary focus is to launch Affordable platform to provide affordable housing platform to non-profits, government agencies across 16 cities in Canada within the next two years.

    Zain Abedin works with Rural Development Network (RDN) as the Director of Community Development to help build affordable housing and estimate homelessness in rural communities across Canada. He authored an award winning guide to estimate rural homelessness in communities which is now being adopted by other provinces and also gaining traction internationally.

    He has international sales and account management experience with significant experience in developing and maintaining major customer accounts in the Oil & Gas industry. Before joining RDN he helped startups in the social entrepreneurship space in Canada to secure government funding by conducting market research, and writing business plans.


    Utilizing High Resolution Imagery to Reduce the Likelihood of Utility Strikes in Ontario

    It is estimated that over $1 Billion in damages occurs every year in Canada due to utility strikes during construction/excavation. As the most populous province in Canada, Ontario logically has one of the highest totals and percentages of damages in Canada, due to the sheer volume of work that occurs each year. First Base Solutions works with Ontario One Call to help improve the accuracy of Locate Requests and notifications to owners of utility infrastructure by providing custom web-mapping and high-res imagery to aid in specifying exact dig locations. The presentation will discuss how the imagery is being used within the locate request application.

    Peter obtained a B.Sc in Geography from the University of Calgary, graduating in 1987. While working as a research assistant in the Yukon in the summer of 1986, looking into permafrost landforms, he was introduced to surveying. After graduation he worked as a surveyor and Party Chief for an exploration company in both Africa and the Middle East. Once kids came along, he didn’t want to be an absentee parent, and he transitioned into a sales role promoting new Survey technologies, including GPS, Reflectorless Total Stations and in 2001 the introduction of terrestrial LiDAR to Canada. He has been involved in the Geomatics/Geospatial industry ever since. He now works as Business Development Manager for J.D. Barnes Ltd. and its subsidiaries, including First Base Solutions and Onsite Locates Inc., and joined the BeSpatial Board of Directors in 2021 and is the current and 18th President.

    VertiGIS Studio SaaS, Hosted Widgets and Activity Work Packs

    Join VertiGIS (formerly Geocortex) as they present the value of VertiGIS Studio Software as a Service (SaaS) and related capabilities such as AGOL Hosted Widgets and VS Activity Work Packs.

    Adoption of SaaS is at an all-time high, and this includes GIS. VertiGIS Studio provides our Workflow, Reporting and Printing capabilities as SaaS based services along with access to AGOL Hosted Widgets for use in Esri’s WebApp and Experience Builder environments.  This means that in addition to on-premises deployments, VertiGIS Studio provides several additional options to right-size your server infrastructure. 

    VertiGIS Studio Activity Packs are bundled workflows that provide value and deep integration to specific GIS systems such as Safe Software’s FME. This also extends into other well-known systems such as IBM Maximo, Laserfiche and Cityworks.

    Peter McLaren, an Account Executive with VertiGIS Studio, is based out of Toronto, servicing organizations in Northern & Eastern Ontario and much of the Canadian Federal Government. Before working at VertiGIS, he worked at Esri Canada for 15 years, supporting public sector organizations of all types. Peter has a degree in Urban Planning, a diploma in GIS and an MBA. He understands the business value of GIS and how important it is to connect people, processes, and systems together to truly realize efficiencies. With over 20 years' experience working with organizations, large and small, Peter's goal is to always find win-win outcomes in every engagement.

    Steve Maddison: Steve helps organizations working with GIS achieve high-value business results.  How?  By helping customers replace the complexity of GIS programming with the simplicity of low and no-code development tools.

    Closing the ‘complexity’ gap that often exists with GIS, while helping people improve their productivity to build apps, connect data and enhance existing business systems with the awesomeness of GIS has been a professional pursuit of Steve’s for over 20 years.

    Angus GeoSolutions Inc. (AGSI)

    Marc R. Curtis, Solution Sales Director with Angus GeoSolutions Inc. (AGSI)

    Marc is an Environmental Engineering Technologist. Since achieving the top overall grade average at Georgian College, Marc has worked in the Geospatial industry. He has held the positions of GIS Analyst, GIS and Data Sales Manager, Reseller Account Manager for geospatial data, Geospatial Business Manager, Senior Account Representative and currently Solution Sales Director with Angus GeoSolutions Inc. (AGSI). Including Marc's broad knowledge of geospatial products and services his achievements include Canada Scholar designated by Government of Canada for Studies in Science, Engineering and Technology and Geospatial Information Technology Association (GITA) Executive Board member and Past President.

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