Signal Boost: The Value of Cross-Sector Partnerships

Over the past several decades, organizations across Canada have worked independently to promote geospatial literacy and the value of geospatial data, tools and technologies. They’ve targeted different audiences (including school children, decision makers in government and industry, the general public, and academe), with varying degrees of success. Many have reported that the impact of these communications was limited by a lack of popular awareness of the value of geo. Wouldn’t it be easier to communicate the value of historical GIS if you were confident your target audience actually knew what GIS was to begin with?

GeoAlliance Canada is working to unite the diverse groups and organizations that make up the Canadian geo community under one umbrella, to work together to create an easily understood, consistent message communicating the economic, environmental and social value of geo. By pooling our energy and resources to create a consistent baseline message, each of our independent signals can be louder and achieve more.

Many of the challenges facing the CHGIS partnership echo the discussions we’ve been hearing across the country. Communicating the value of geo to citizens, fostering collaboration across sectors and disciplines, avoiding unnecessary duplication of efforts and ensuring that all users can access high quality data are commonly recurring themes within our national community.

In the face of these challenges, the CHGIS partnership has seen great success in building partnerships and working across organizations and silos. So what can GeoAlliance Canada do to support the second half of your project? How could you benefit from access to a cross-disciplinary national network? How can we boost your signal to help you achieve your goals? And, if historical GIS should be a part of our national sector identity, what are the key messages you wish to deliver to your peers and colleagues in the community?

GeoAlliance Canada is a neutral platform for the Canadian geomatics, geography and geospatial community to work together on the issues that affect us all. We are pleased to have support from the academic community for our ongoing efforts around data access, education, and sector identity through the Royal Canadian Geographical Society – Canadian Geographic Education and Canadian Association of Geographers Geographic Education Study Group. We’re looking forward to connecting with the CHGIS community on June 20 in Toronto!

Caitlin Blundell,
GeoAlliance Canada

This post is also available in: French