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  Geomatique_2011 Again this year, the Geomatics conference was a huge success. More than 600 participants from various industries with very different profiles (surveyors, managers, equipment suppliers, developers, GIS specialists, etc.) attended the two-day event, again setting a new attendance record.

Geomatics 2011 was the main attraction of something new in 2011, which has been dubbed “Geomatics Week in Montreal”. Indeed, members of the geomatics community had the opportunity to start the week by participating in WhereCamp Montreal held at Notman House on Tuesday, October 11. Some 30 participants took part in discussions, conducted using the “BarCamp” formula, on a variety of themes such as geomatics and mobility, open data, open source software and others. Later, the exchanges continued at the Benelux bar & brewery during a happy hour organized and sponsored by OSGeo Quebec in partnership with the Canadian Institute of Geomatics - Montreal Chapter (CIG-Montreal Chapter), the organizer of Geomatics 2011.


Salon exposantsThe week continued with the Geomatics 2011 conference itself, held on October 12 and 13, 2011, at the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure. The conference received support from 13 partner agencies and boasted 33 exhibitors who came to demonstrate their know-how related to our field.


In addition, nearly 70 lectures on various topics such as 3D, earth observation, mobile, web 2.0, data management, augmented reality and others were presented. A technology showcase also provided an opportunity for several companies to come and demonstrate their new products.


Mitch JoelWe should also mention the participation of the keynote speakers, including Mitch Joel, an expert in brand development, social media and digital marketing, who, at the opening plenary session, told participants about changes that social media and digital marketing are bringing to the ways that products and services are marketed and how that marketing is perceived by the consumers of today and tomorrow. His very interesting talk induced reflection on how organizations today use the Web to promote themselves, their products and services to potential customers.

Anthony sani (Left) - Matthew Tait (Right)The General Meeting of the CIG was also held during the first day. More than 50 members were present for the appointment of the new President of the National CIG, Mr. Anthony Sani, President of Spatial Geo-Link Ltd and Sani International in Toronto. He is joined by the following people to form the new Executive Committee: Mr. George McFarlane (President Elect), Mr. Steve Guillemette (Vice President), Dr. Matthew Tait (Outgoing President), Mr. Gilles Champoux (Treasurer) and Executive Director Mr. David Stafford.

Pierre ChastenayDuring the luncheon on the first day, we also had the pleasure of listening to Pierre Chastenay, astrophysicist and host of the program “Le code Chastenay" which airs on Télé-Québec, discuss 10 still-unsolved mysteries of the Universe. An interesting lecture that for 45 minutes allowed everyone to turn their gaze to outer space rather than toward the Earth, which is usually the primary topic at the Geomatics symposium.

Sonia LupienAlso during this luncheon, scholarships were awarded by the CIG-Montreal Chapter and CIG-Champlain Chapter to seven students who have demonstrated academic excellence in their studies in geomatics or who have distinguished themselves through their research.

At the luncheon on the second day, the guest speaker Dr. Sonia Lupien, who holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and serves as Chair on Gender and Mental Health with the Canadian Institute of Gender and Health, came to explain the complex mechanisms of stress in humans with concrete examples and plenty of humour. A dynamic speaker, Dr. Lupien elicited the interest of all in attendance, and provided us with tools to better manage stress on a daily basis.


Pierre Tessier

This second luncheon was also an opportunity to announce the winner of the 2011 Gaïa Prize. Since 1993, the Gaïa Prize has been awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of geomatics in Quebec. Selected in conjunction with the CIG-Champlain Chapter, the winner of this year’s award was none other than Mr. Pierre Tessier, President of the Association of Land Surveyors of Quebec.

 Throughout the two days, many speakers captured the interest of participants. Fortunately, this year's event was held in a larger facility in anticipation of increased attendance, but in spite of this effort some people had to stand at the back of the room as there were still not enough seats. This just shows how very popular some of the lectures were. Examples include the talk on the famous Plan Nord, major project aimed at sustainable development of resources including energy, mining, forestry, bio-food, tourism and transport, wildlife development, environmental protection and biodiversity conservation that stole the show on the morning of Wednesday, October 12. And let's not forget the official launch of the new range of products from Addresse Québec, the joint initiative of the MRNF, MTQ MAMROT and DGE including improvements that now make it possible to generate optimized routes, increase geocoding capabilities, ensure unparalleled fine geolocation, simplify the experience of users and improve the quality of their operations by basing their work on high quality data that is current, complete, consistent and accurate.

Soirée réseautageIn addition to lectures, there were also plenty of networking opportunities. As we all know, this kind of event is often an opportunity to create new business relationships or maintain existing relationships with partners, customers or one-time classmates with whom contact has been lost over the years. The Geomatics conference celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and to mark the event, at the end of the first day, much to the delight of attendees, the main room was re-outfitted to hold a cocktail buffet in a relaxed “lounge” atmosphere, allowing various groups of people to move around freely and facilitating interpersonal exchanges, which was the main goal of this “networking night”. There was also a surprise awaiting the guests, which came in the form of a troop of acrobats who entertained us for a time with a truly impressive "hand to hand" show.

So it was a highly colourful event, with a varied program and high-quality content. The organizing committee made every effort to make this event a success, and I thank them. If you were with us I hope you enjoyed the experience. If not, well, be sure not to miss the next one in 2013!


Hope to see you there,

 Danick Venne
CIG – Montreal branch


Comité organisateur
Organizing Committee - CIG-Montreal Chapter, from left to right:

1st row: Karine Casavant-Picard (City of Montréal) – Manager of Exhibitors, Brenda Tapp (Aecom) – Conference Manager, Danick Venne (Géomap GIS Amérique) – President, Natasha Messier (Hydro-Québec) – Conference Manager, Florence Raimbault (Dessau) – Secretary

2nd row: Philippe Darche (Boréalis) – Vice-President / Treasurer, Danielle Courtemanche (Aqua-data) – Manager of Exhibitors, Claude Levasseur (Viasat Géotechnologies) – Consulting Manager, Louis Carrier (Hydro-Québec) – Webmaster, Jean-Noël Lechasseur (Consultant) – Gaïa Prize Manager, Martin Chevrier (Dessau) – Conference Manager, François Robitaille (Urgences santé) – Communications Manager


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Geomatics 2011 is proud to be associated with WhereCamp Montréal 2011 and 5 à 7 OSGéo-qc.