Geospatial community takes on climate change

by | Feb 28, 2022

The Canadian geospatial community is tackling climate change at their annual conference this year.

GeoIgnite: Winter Geo is the fourth national conference for the Canadian community. This year, it's running online from March 1 to 10.

Jon Murphy, chair and founder of GeoIgnite, is pleased to welcome the community back to conference, and expects great things from this year's event.

I look forward to the engagement. Connecting the community together online. I love bringing people and organisations together to share ideas, news, updates, on all things geospatial. Its my life's work. Its important, said Murphy. In terms of the format, we have kept our straightforward televisions style. One stream for the conference and a sack channel for networking. Our attendees can watch the conference off the side of their desk on their mobile devices or just listen. This allows our audience to work throughout the day while still being productive.

Murphy adds that this year anyone can take part in the conference through YouTube. Being introduced in 2022, a live stream will play host to the conference, allowing anyone who wishes to learn more about the geospatial world to tune in.

As in previous years, the event will consist of speakers, panels and workshops, all presented by influential members of the community. This includes speakers like Barbara Ryan, executive director of WGIC, Brian Perry with NRCan, Prashant Shukle, president of Global Geospatial Group.

One of three keynote presentation will be given this year by Will Cadell, CEO of Sparkgeo.

When he's not presenting, or running a workshop, Cadell says he hopes to learn how others are working with change.

Instead of thinking about maps, and pixels and data, I would like us to be thinking more about change. I think change is the core product for earth observation. I don't think we should be thinking about the way we capture change; we should be thinking about the change itself. [We must] try to understand why that change is happening, how we can measure for that change, and how we can protect ourselves as a population against particular catastrophic events.

Another presenter this year is Nick Kellett, founder and CEO of Deploy Solutions, who will be taking part in his third GeoIgnite conference this year.

His presentation Building Software Solutions for Climate Change: Closing the communication gap between citizens and trusted authorities before, during, or after a disaster, will take place March. 2.

During his talk, Kellett says he will discuss the progress and key findings from a climate change research and development project, which has been in the works since 2019.

In 2019, we recognized that in order to build our technology and our concepts and test everything out, we needed an application for a project that we could use ourselves internally to drive that work. We're interested in climate change, obviously we think we're going to be affected by it. So, we thought what would be better than researching software that could be used to help individuals and communities deal with climate change impacts, said Kellett. We started that in 2019, first by asking questions so, we started interviewing Canadian citizens, NGOs, government officials, scientists and trying to identify what those top communication problems and obstacles to action were. The goal after doing that was to explore how software could help overcome those.

Kellett says the ultimate goal of the work was to build a prototype to help with this work.

Each year, Kellett has used GeoIgnite to discuss the progress of his work on this project and showcase his research. This year, he plans to not only discuss progress on the prototype, but also do a deep dive into the work.

GeoIgnite: Winter Geo, runs from March. 1 to 10.

Space is limited for the Zoom show, and registration closes at the end of February.

To register, visit



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