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  • December 24, 2023 1:39 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    I hope this message finds everyone well, and that you are looking forward to spending some quality time with friends and loved ones over the holidays.

    As the year winds down, I love to look back on what we accomplished as an organization in 2023, as well as looking ahead to the New Year. Let’s start with a bit of a retrospective.

    For myself, as well as the BeSpatial Management Team, 2023 was somewhat of a milestone year, as it represented the fulfillment of our commitment to return in-person events. While we plan to we continue to plan to continue holding the AGM virtually, due to the ability to reach a much greater audience of members, we also pledged to hold live regional events, in response to our member’s and industry partner’s desire to reconnect with live networking opportunities. We staged two events since our 2023 AGM, one in Kingston at the end of June, entitled “Learn What I Learned”, as well as another event in Cambridge in late October, around the theme of “Leveraging Geospatial data for Health and the Environment”. We had a positive turnout for both, and I wish to thank not only those that attended and the Management Team members who organized and hosted, but also the great selection of speakers, panelists, and sponsors for their incredible support. 

    I’m also pleased to announce that we have two in-person events planned for our Northern Section in 2024, but more on that in a moment. We did have some changes in our Northern Section, with James Dorland stepping down as Section Co-Manager. However, I’m pleased to announce that Karen Lehtonen with Acorn Information Solutions, a division of the Sault Ste-Marie Innovation Centre, has agreed to take up the mantle, and joins Angela McEachern as a Co-Manager of this large and relatively sparsely populated, but mighty, region. Karen and Angela are already very busy planning our northern in-person live events. Given the geography of this section, we are committed to holding two events. The first will be held in Sudbury on January 30th, 2024 (details can be found at https://www.bespatialontario.ca/Events), and another planned for early June in Thunder Bay. Please keep an eye on our website and enewletters for more details. 

    In addition to Karen joining the Board, we were delighted to have some new members join the board over the course of the year. Jax Vollmer and Jenn Gross have agreed to co-manage our BeSpatial Annual Event, while Jackie Smith has taken on the Communications role. All three are employed at GM BluePlan, who is a Silver sponsor for the coming year. We are incredibly grateful to them and GM BluePlan for the support. We also welcomed Jessica Hobbins as our new YPN Manager. Jessica works as a GIS Analyst with Peterborough County, and is a recent YPN member as well. She understands the challenges with being a recent grad and pursuing a passion for GIS; she is doing a great job guiding our Young Professionals Network members.

    BeSpatial Ontario is also excited to announce that we have entered into a new partnership with Pathfinders Exploration Community to sponsor a year of engaging Pathfinder’s podcasts. This collaboration brings our members 24 episodes (2 a month for 2024) packed with expert insights, fostering professional development and innovation in the geospatial sector. It's an opportunity for our community to connect, learn, and make informed decisions using knowledge shared openly by GIS leaders across the globe. Check out pathfinders. Social for a journey of growth and discovery in the world of GIS!

    All of us on the Management Team are already deep into the planning stages for 2024. In addition to our AGM in early May, we have also agreed to work with the Faculty and Students Association at Seneca College to provide a 1-day event in late February at one of their campuses, to help students within the School of Environmental and Civil Engineering technology, as well as other faculties, understand the power of geospatial analysis and how it can be a springboard to a rich and rewarding career.

    As for our AGM, taking place on May 1-2, 2024 the Management Team has agreed to the theme of BePrepared – Bracing for Technological Breakthroughs and the World of Work. This theme has a dual connotation:

    1.       Geospatial preparedness – understanding how new tools, datasets and technological innovations can help us, and…

    2.       Preparing for the business opportunities that will arise from this understanding.

    Registration is now open, and we hope to “see” many of you there.

    In the meantime, we’re still staging our regular webinars, which continue to be a popular forum for sharing tips, tricks and trends in the GeoSpatial domain. I would just like to remind everyone that we still have a couple of webinars planned, both this week and next, where you can test your GIS and holiday trivia knowledge, and have some fun before many of us wrap up for the year.

    On that note, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank our amazing community of members and sponsors for your continued support, and also take a moment to offer my humble thanks to everyone on the Management Team and associated committees that do the heavy lifting to keep you informed, enlightened, and coming back for more. From all of us (see below), to all of you, we wish you a joyous Christmas and happy holiday season with your loved ones, and much health, happiness and prosperity for the coming year.


    Peter Hettstedt, President, BeSpatial

  • December 20, 2023 1:12 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    Pathfinder's Sponsorship/Partnership Announcement

    Exciting News for Our Members!

    BeSpatial Ontario has teamed up with Pathfinder Exploration Community to sponsor a year's worth of engaging podcasts. This collaboration will bring 24 insightful Pathfinder episodes to our community, aligning with our shared mission of fostering networking and professional growth in the geospatial sector. 

    Why This Matters:

    • Shared Goals: BeSpatial Ontario and Pathfinders are committed to enhancing professional development within the geospatial community.
    • Valuable content: Episodes will focus on sharing expertise, driving innovation, and supporting evidence-based decisions in geospatial information.
    • Community Impact: The partnership will enrich our community's  knowledge and skills, offering fresh perspectives and expert insights.

    Your Call to Action:

    Valuable Content: Episodes will focus on sharing expertise, driving innovation, and supporting evidence-based decisions in geospatial informatioCommunity Impact: The partnership will enrich our community's knowledge and skills, offering fresh perspectives and exDon't miss out on this unique opportunity to expand your professional horizons. Visit Pathfinders.social  pathfinders.social to access these enriching podcasts and join us in this exciting new journey of learning and growth!

    Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to expand your professional horizons. Visit pathfinders.social to access these enriching podcasts and join us in this exciting new journey of learning and growth!

  • December 01, 2023 12:01 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    BeSpatial'24 Annual Program event, workshops and EXPO to be held May 1 &2, 2024

    BeSpatial’24 is virtual! 

    The Theme is BePrepared

     February 24, 2024 at 11:50PM - Your Intent to Present must be  emailed to Wendy 

    March 5, 2024 11:59PM is the deadline for abstract submission(s) - all abstracts to be considered must be  submitted online 

    Day 1 – Geospatial Creativity in Real Places 
    Day 2 – Creative Ways to Tackle Business Problems with Geospatial Data and Technology

    Be Spatial is inviting you to present at its 37th AGM (Annual General Meeting), program event and EXPO. Virtual presenters for each session are offered complimentary registration.

    Industry Partners - please note that presentation opportunities for our IPs, who are exhibitors, will be offered in the IP session tracts on a first come, first served basis.  Sponsors, depending on their level, will have guaranteed speaking opportunities. 

    Topics include but are not limited to:

    • Geospatial applications use of spatial and not spatial data
    • Extracting value from data through increased access and legal compliance.
    • Business applications using Open Data.
    • 5G and IoT.
    • Data access technologies and business growth.
    • Ideas for eliminating the geospatial divide through cooperation and collaboration.
    • Multi stake-holder cooperation models.
    • Challenges and opportunities in public-private partnerships.
    • How to improve executive understanding of the business value of geospatial? What works and what doesn’t?
    • How to address geospatial illiteracy in a business environment?
    • How to prepare for the next wave of geospatial technologies?
    • How prepare for a new type of jobs which will require new skills and a high degree of adaptability.
    Contact Wendy by email asap with your Intention to present.

    Abstract Submission - Please complete the online form.

    Note: abstracts will be posted online in the program highlights area as approved.  

    The preliminary agenda with designated speakers and presentation times will be posted once  presentation timeslots are confirmed .

  • October 26, 2023 3:34 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

    Now accepting proposals for Winter and Spring 2024. 

    Some great webinars continue as we rollout planned webinars for the upcoming year.  

      Some of these webinars may sound familiar to BeSpatial annual event attendees and you would be right! These amazing presenters from BeSpatial's annual event have agreed to provide a more detailed presentation from their BeSpatial event session.  Stay tuned for more information and registration details!

      Interested in offering a Webinar? Contact Wendy Programs

    • September 30, 2023 5:12 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)
      Board of Directors
      • Executive Director,  Sandra Crutcher
      • Immediate Past President,  Susan Muleme Kasumba 
      • Director, President, Peter Hettstedt
      • Director, 1st Vice President,  Wendy Baldin
      • Director, 2nd Vice President,  Melanie Wawryk
      • Director, Treasurer, Brooke Hewitt
      • Director, Secretary,  Hanna Sjostrom
      • Director, Andrew Lyszkiewicz
      • Director, Jeff Norris
      • Director,  James Burn
      Standing and Ad Hoc Committee Managers
      • BeSpatial/AGM Project Management: Jax Vollmer & Jenn Gross
      • Communications: Jackie
      • Education: Courtney Dunn
      • Finance: Brooke Hewitt
      • Membership: Hanna Sjostrom
      • Programs: Wendy Baldin
      • Strategy & Outreach: Susan Muleme Kasumba & Andrew Lyszkiewicz
      • Web: Jeff Norris
      • Eastern Section: Your name goes here!
      • Western Section: Melanie Wawryk
      • Northern Section:  Angela McEachern & Karen Lehtonen
      • Young Professional Network (YPN): Jessica Hobbins

      Welcome 2023 Board Management Team!

      We're excited to have such talented professionals join us in moving BeSpatial forward. Stay tuned for their director profiles to come in future eNews.

    • August 29, 2023 11:14 AM | Hanna Sjostrom, GISP (Administrator)

      Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the membership survey! We were able to use the feedback and suggestions from our members to help plan events for the upcoming year. 

      Congratulations to the following members who won gift cards for filling out the survey:

      • Juliana Pentikainen
      • Anik Hagen-Menard
      • Matthew Wierdsma
      • Simon Morris

      A special shoutout to Kevin Farrugia who was the 23rd survey respondent and won an Apple AirTag!

      We heard a few common themes throughout the suggestions and can provide the following updates:

      • For those of you who asked for in-person events outside of the GTA: We have recently hosted an Eastern event and have 2 upcoming events in Cambridge.
      • For those of you who asked for webinars at different times other than 12 and 1: In our 2023/2024 program schedule we will be implementing more webinar time frames.
    • June 30, 2023 11:56 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

      The 2023 Eastern Section 'Learn What I Learned' Regional Event, took place in Kingston, Ontario, on June 29, 2023.

      A recap:

      This Regional Event was created based on the feedback gathered during a Pre-Event Survey that was sent to Eastern Members in November 2022 and again in March 2023.

      The Pre-Event Survey indicated that 65% of the respondents were interested in attending an 'In-Person' event, 53% indicated that Kingston, Ontario, would be a suitable location, 59% indicated that 1/2 day event was preferred and 57% indicated that June was the preferred month. 

      The top 5 themes that people demonstrated interest about included:

      • 'Web Applications' (57%)
      • 'What Others are Working On' (53%)
      • 'Best Practices' (50%)
      • 'Innovations' (47%)
      • 'NG-911' (47%)

      The presenters and panelists were selected based on this feedback.

      KeynoteDr. Barry Wellar, presented about best practices with respect to access to geo-records by the public


      • Marc Curtis, AGSI spoke about NG-911
      • Casey Price, Environics Analytics and Paul Voegtle, Esri Canada presented on how Demographic Data and Esri Web Solutions are being utilized to inform Economic Development
      • The Panelists spoke about projects that they were working on, which included examples of Web Applications and Innovative Solutions that support Municipal Operations
      There were 39 people in attendance.

      If you attended the event and have not yet had the opportunity to fill out the Post-Event Survey please fill out the survey at this link. We value your feedback and will integrate it into future events.  

      If you were unable to attend the Eastern Regional Event, please fill out the Pre-Event Survey at this link. so that we can design the next event based on your interests.

      These Regional Events are meant to create an environment that fosters professional development and networking so please take a few moments to fill out the Survey.

      Your feedback is key to maximizing your investment in membership and ensuring the success of future events.  Thank you!

      Moderator and Event organizer: Marikka Williams, MSc, GISPBeSpatial Eastern Section Manager.

    • April 03, 2023 5:27 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

      NG911 Municipal Data Preparation

      Local public safety operations for emergency service response has to be efficient, fast and effective. See how this is possible with Next Generation 911 (NG911). NG 911 is fast approaching.  Learn what it means, its requirements, components and benefits to the community.  We will explore the existing and new NG911 systems, public safety access points, real time data, obstacles and municipal data preparation.  An overview of the required NG911 geospatial data and its structure will be examined.

      City of Guelph and Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Database Development and Data Load for NG9-1-1

      The City of Guelph was selected, alongside its partner Esri Canada, as the Canadian city to lead the development of a next-generation emergency services geographic information system (GIS) database. This innovative partnership was awarded $1.017 million in federal grant funding and will support critical enhancements in public safety in Guelph and across Canada, as the country implements a modernized Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) emergency response system. Improved call routing through use of GIS point in polygon processes is one of the drivers of NG9-1-1.


    • April 03, 2023 5:39 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

      Running against time - Workflow enhancements using FME, ArcMap & python scripting to find creative solutions for today's problems

      Graphics & Visualization team in City Planning's mission was to build an automation tool capable of creating report maps connected to the development review process for community council. This project aligned to the City's Strategic priority of "Modernization", as well as technology innovation and paperless transaction. 

    • April 01, 2023 4:08 PM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

      Interest in the program is high with presentation  20+ sessions being offered. Bookmark the Programs Spotlight area for breaking news about our presentations

      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...

      BeSpatial 2024

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