Tag: GIS





GoGeomatics is leading the charge in bringing together the geomatics community in Canada.  While the company’s initial focus has to serve as a bridge between people and job opportunities in the geomatics sector, they are doing much more to promote the Canadian geomatics industry.  Their most recent articles have shone the light on women in the industry providing valuable insights into careers, challenges and opportunities facing women in our business.  Check out their new website – they are developing as an important platform for people and companies in the Canadian geomatics sector.

Is Location Information Important to Project Management?

Some time ago I was involved in several discussions around the value of integrating project management and geographic or location information.

The essence of the conversation was that linking the two disciplines provided project management decision makers with important additional information to assist in the operational execution of projects.

As projects become more complex factors such as communication, resource coordination and sharing become increasingly important in managing project timing, costs and potential disruption of associated activities.

Those of us involved in the discussion agreed that a prime example of the need for tighter linkage between project management and spatially relevant data was in the area of urban capital project execution.

An understanding of geospatial information such as: environmental factors, demographics, infrastructure, transportation corridors, etc. is increasingly relevant in measuring project impact and risk.

A Spatially Oriented Project Management Solution

Envista CorporationRecently we came across Envista a software product that integrates aspects of spatial information with project management.

The product is targeted towards municipal governments and associate utility organizations with the goal of helping these organizations identify and mitigate project conflicts.

Envista is a web-based solution that allows various stakeholders in a region to share  information, identify conflicts and provide tools for resolution conflicts and for future project planning.

Envista Working Environment

From a GIS perspective Envista has the ability to accommodate data in .shp file format.  And on the project management side it is compatible with Oracle’s Primavera and IBM Maximo products.

For more information check out Envista and don’t forget their cartoon – Street Cut Capers!  We can always use more humor in this business!

Based on the research we have done, there is more that can be done in the integration of project management and spatial information.  If you know of other solutions or case study examples let us know.

Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) have been around since the mid 1980’s when the Australian Land Information Council was first created.  While somewhat of a generalization – SDI promotion and use has largely been confined to those with a high degree of knowledge of spatial data and technology.

Recent coverage of government transparency and data access in the United States got me thinking about the role spatial information tools and infrastructure play in enabling a broader community of people and organizations to access and understand the value of spatial information.

The concept behind an SDI is that it provides a mechanism for greater accessibility to spatial information with resulting economic (to both the data providers and users) and social benefits to countries or regions implementing SDIs.  Today SDIs have been or are being implemented in well over 100 countries.


(modified from Rajabifard et al, 2002)

In their early formulation the focus of SDIs was largely on database creation but in recent years the focus has been more towards user community needs with emphasis on processes for data access, use and dissemination.  This shift can be seen clearly in the refocused mandate of the Canadian GeoConnections program which now concentrates much of its effort (and funding) on encouraging user communities to take advantage of the Canadian SDI (Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure).

Despite the shift in focus, considerable work remains to be done in order to facilitate greater access to data.  Surveys have shown that SDI usage is still predominantly in the world of research and government where knowledge of spatial concepts is on average higher and technology infrastructure greater than in the general public as a whole.

However, the emergence of tools such as Google Earth and other “geo-browser” tools and the associated interest in spatial information among a broader range of users has not gone unnoticed by SDI policy experts and researchers. Today there is considerable discussion about the evolution of SDIs and what can be learned from the Web 2.0 world of spatial information.  The challenge will be to draw the best from both worlds to create an environment where the value of spatial information can be realized more simply and by a broader group of people.

I see at least two threads emerging in this discussion: one around the challenges of evolving SDIs to bring all the value of past investments to a point where a broader group can access it in a user friendly manner and the second around helping users to fully benefit from all spatial information has to offer.

What form will user implementations take, how will they be sustained, and what benefits will users realize?  It will be interesting to see what the future holds.