Government of Canada's Leadership in Geomatics Underlined at International Conference

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC -- (MARKETWIRE) -- May 14, 2012 -- The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, today discussed Canada's leadership role in the field of geomatics at the 2012 Global Geospatial Conference in Quebec City. The field's influence of the geomatics sector is felt both nationally and internationally as its science is increasingly applied to all areas of our economy.

"The importance of geomatics to Canadians' everyday lives is growing," said Minister Oliver. "From GPS units in our cars to harnessing Earth observation imagery to help respond to natural hazards, geomatics technology is everywhere, and Canada is recognized as being at the forefront of it all."

Geographic Information Systems, which drive applications such as global positioning systems (GPS), were invented in Canada in the 1960s and Canadian scientists coined the term geomatics. In 2010, the Government of Canada provided funding of $30 million over five years to renew Natural Resources Canada's flagship geomatics program, GeoConnections. Over the last decade, this national funding initiative led the development of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI), which brought Canada's geospatial data and information to the Web and attracted international acclaim.

Minister Oliver used the speaking opportunity to announce the newest series of contribution agreements through GeoConnections, investments totalling $1.6 million over three years. This funding will ensure that Canada remains a leader in the rapidly growing fields of geomatics and Earth observation.

"Governments use geospatial information to enhance decision-making on best locations, benefits and environmental concerns for major projects like pipelines, hydroelectric power stations and national parks - providing a clearer picture that informs stakeholders," said Minister Oliver. "Right now, Canada's energy and natural resources sectors are driving economic growth right across our country and the Government of Canada is applying the science of geomatics to major economic development projects."

Canada is also recognized as a leader in providing open-source information. Downloaded by over 11 million users per year, Government of Canada data is available for free and accessible from everywhere by visiting www.data.gc.ca.

The Global Geospatial Conference is one of the world's largest gatherings of the geospatial community, drawing more than 700 geospatial experts from Canada and around the world.

The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:

Geomatics Achievements in Action

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media

Contacts:
Media may contact:
Patricia Best
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
613-996-2007

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
613-992-4447

The general public may contact:
Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
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