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Site adjustments will be made gradually.


Infrastructural Thinking and Open Smart Cities

Tracey P. Lauriault, Carleton University

Conference: Open smart cities are becoming a reality in Canada and there is a willingness to grow a critically informed type of technological citizenship to build these large and complex social and technological systems. In this keynote I will share with you some of the successes resulting from the Open Smart Cities work developed with OpenNorth and funded by the GeoConnections program. I will discuss the context within which this work emerged, what it is countering and its impact. I will also suggest, that the success of this work stems in part from earlier thinking and work done to build spatial data infrastructures, and I would argue that as we move toward big data, automated processes, and interconnected systems, that the early principles, collaborative approaches and systems thinking of open science and SDIs are required, now, more than ever, in domains beyond geography, geomatics and the spatial sciences, to ensure that these systems not only be well built, but that they be operationalized with guiding principles and in the public interest.

Biography: Ms. Lauriault, is Assistant Professor in Critical Media and Big Data, Communication and Media Studies, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University, Cross Appointed to the MA in Digital Humanities. Her work on open and big data as well as open smart cities is international, transdisciplinary and multi-sectoral. She is one of the founders of the new domain of critical data studies and of open data in Canada and has expertise in data infrastructures and spatial media. She serves on the multi-stakeholder forum for the Canadian Open Government Civil Society Network, is on the Board for Open North Canada, and is a research associate with the Manyooth University Social Science Institute in Ireland, the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre at Carleton University and the Centre for Law Technology and Society at Ottawa University.

Outside, Inside, Under and Over – the Role of Geospatial Standards

Speaker: Trevor Taylor, OGC

Conference: Smart and Resilient cities and related location and Geospatial standards are a key area of work by the international OGC Community. Given the massive increase in data sources (e.g. mobile, UAV, in-situ sensors) combined with the increase need for resilience (e.g. Extreme events, climate change), it is now more important than ever for the community to work together to ensure data and information is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-sustainable (F.A.I.R.). This presentation will summarize the cutting edge work, based on real world needs and examples, on-going within OGC.

Biography: Mr. Taylor has over 30 years of experience in the international Geospatial community in a wide variety of technical, client services, project, business, and strategic planning activities, Mr. Taylor currently is OGC’s Director for Member Services. Smart and Resilient communities, and how to ensure data and information is interoperable is a key long term initiative led by OGC members. Mr. Taylor will provide a brief overview of past and current activities driven by the international community.

From principles to action: open smart cities

Speaker: Jean-Noé Landry, Open North

Conference: In the fall of 2018, the Government of Canada announced that Open North and its partners had been chosen to receive up to $4.6 million over two years as part of the Smart Cities Community Support Program to implement the Community Solutions Network. The Network helps cities of all sizes carry out their strategic and ethical thinking processes relating to approaches smart cities can take to improve the quality of their residents’ lives. Open North is using this program to implement a consultation service primarily based on the Open Smart Cities Guide funded in 2017-2018 by Natural Resources Canada’s GeoConnections Program. This new Canadian community advisory and capacity-building service, which will support over 50 to 80 cities across Canada at no cost between now and March 2020, targets key sectors such as smart technologies, governance and information management, open procurement, privacy and security, and citizen participation. The presentation for the SDI Summit will therefore be on the Guide’s methodological operationalization process for this program, including the development of a self-diagnostic tool for municipalities.

Biography: Jean-Noé Landry is the Executive Director of Open North, the principal non-profit organization in Canada which specializes in open information and governance, applied research and open smart cities. Open North works with the most innovative and connected cities across Canada and around the world to develop their effective and ethical use of data and technology to solve civic problems and facilitate the organizational transformation of democratic institutions.

Open North, initially grounded in the civic technologies community, provides three types of activities: custom advisory service for open smart cities funded by Infrastructure Canada; its applied research laboratory; and its international programs and projects.

Mr. Landry started Open North working with institutions and international networks of practitioners such as the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Open Data Charter and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). These contributions are regularly sought by researchers and governments, including the Open Data Institute (ODI), the World Wide Web Foundation, the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) and the International Open Data Conference (IODC).

Mr. Landry is a member of the Canadian Open Government Multi-Stakeholder Forum, co-founder of Montreal Ouvert and Connexité-MTL, founding member of the board of directors of Synapse C, a Fellow of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, and a member of the Standards Council of Canada’s Data Governance Working Group.

Mapping underground infrastructure is an essential part of SDI for smart cities

Speaker: Geoff Zeiss, Between the poles

Conference: In the United States there are 400,000 reported cases of underground utility damage.  Over the past 20 damaging underground utilities during construction has resulted in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and a drag of at least $50 billion on the economy.  Among the biggest causes of highway construction project delays are unknown or inaccurately known underground utility infrastructure.  More cities, regions and countries are beginning to see the value of a national digital twin of the underground.  Paradoxically information about underground infrastructure is (repeatedly) captured, but it is rarely shared.  In the last few years there have been important advances in meeting two challenges relating to the underground; advances in remote sensing technology to detect of location of underground utilities and new government policies, often targeted on the surveying community, and systems to enable to sharing of information about utilities exposed during construction. The latest reality capture technologies for geolocating underground infrastructure are making it easier to detect and map underground infrastructure.   The development of standards and policies for sharing underground infrastructure location information is progressing in a number of jurisdictions in North America, Europe and Asia. This presentation will focus on why the time is right for ramping up the discussion about how we detect, survey, record, and share information about underground infrastructure.

Biography: Mr. Zeiss tracks the contribution of geospatial technology to mapping underground utility infrastructure as an essential component of spatial data infrastructure for smart cities and communities. In recognition of his efforts to increase the awareness of geospatial data and technologies in utilities and construction, Geoff received the Geospatial Ambassador Award at Geospatial World Forum 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.  Mr. Zeiss is a director of the Open Geospatial Consortium.

Saskatchewan’s GIS Services and Community Engagement

Speaker: Ken Yurach, Government of Saskatchewan

Conference: The Government of Saskatchewan is implementing a provincial “Sask GeoHUB” for spatial data and applications over the few years. The Provincial Office of Geomatics Coordination is working with the internal and external stakeholders to design and implement a solution that meets a majority of the GIS community’s business and informational needs. The presentation will be a preview of the provinces future state.

Biography: Mr. Yurach is a technical geographer that has designed and implemented geomatics solutions for government agencies since the early 1990s. He is actively engaged in developing Saskatchewan’s geomatics standards and policy through his Manager position at the Provincial Office of Geomatics Coordination.  He is focusing his technical and project management skills on the development of a provincial open data platform on the enterprise spatial data infrastructure for the Government of Saskatchewan.

Hydrographical Knowledge: Supporting Coherent Land-Use Planning and Driving Economic Development

Speakers: Stéphanie Brodeur and Riccardo Binotto, Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles, Government of Quebec

Conference: The Government of Quebec is working to develop a high-precision hydrographical frame of reference and digital terrain models that are hydrologically coherent, intelligent and cutting-edge, for the benefit of industry, the Government, municipalities, the research and innovation community, and the public.

The presentation will discuss the project’s objectives, main completion stages and conditions for success. Also covered will be the status of the proof of concept as well as the benefits of and implementation opportunities for such frames of reference, along with examples of how they can be used and what needs they meet, including flood management.

Biography: Ms. Brodeur obtained a bachelor’s degree in geomatics sciences in 2003 and became an engineer in 2014. She worked for a number of years in the private sector as a geomatician specializing in forestry and land-use planning. Since 2011, Ms. Brodeur has been a geomatics project lead at the Geospatial Information Branch of the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles. Her responsibilities include projects involving aerial photography acquisition, LIDAR data acquisition and the development of hydrologically coherent digital terrain models.

Forêt ouverte: an interactive eco-forestry data map… and much more!

Speaker: Mélanie Major, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec (MFFP)

Conference: The MFFP will present Forêt ouverte [open forest], an interactive map which will enable you to view, question and download, free of charge, Quebec eco-forestry data … and much more! You will see how to explore a location’s features without having to use a specialized geomatics software.

Biography: Ms. Major is a forestry engineer who graduated from Université Laval in 2007, and obtained a Master of Science Degree in Forest Science in 2010. In 2009, she was on the ecology team in the Direction des inventaires forestiers [forest inventory branch]. In the fall of 2018, she joined the division de la diffusion et du soutien à la clientèle [distribution and client support division], where she was responsible for files relating to the distribution of eco-forestry data through, among other things, the interactive Forêt ouverte web-based map.

What is my Role in the Smart City? From the Dynamic Player to the Passive and Uninformed Individual

Speaker: Jérémy Diaz, Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) ‒ UQÀM

Conference: The smart city promotes the idea that technology plays an important role in the improvement of urban life, reminiscent of the traditions of futuristic and utopian thinking. However, it also adopts a distinct representation of the individual, namely, that of the individual as a dynamic player in this new way of perceiving and building the city. As an engaged and reactive player, the city-dweller is perceived as having the ability to participate, in his/her own way, in this open and collaborative city. However, such representations of the role of technology and the individual are problematic on two fronts. First, technology is not neutral and its presence in the contemporary urban political discourse challenges us to reflect on its consequences for the individual. Second, the representation of the individual that the smart city suggests is, at least in theory, simplistic and remains insufficiently theorized in the literature. In such a context, what is the role of the individual in the smart city? After presenting the theoretical ties between technology and policy, as well as between the smart city and cyberspace, and building on the experience of many smart cities throughout the world, a typology of roles attributed to the individual by the smart city will be presented. It will be demonstrated that the individuals of this new urban reality are in fact passive and uninformed players. This category of passive and uninformed individuals, however, is significantly different from that of the winners and losers of the smart city. By presenting all the facets of the role of the individual, the absence of an authentic political and social vision in smart city projects will be underscored. It will also be argued that the smart city concept fails to recognize the individual as a partner or a technology co-creator.

Biography: Mr. Diaz is a Ph.D. candidate in urban studies at the INRS-UQÀM. He is also a lecturer at the UQÀM’s Department of Geography. His doctoral thesis focuses on the Maker Movement, the socio-spatial ownership of technologies and the implementation of the first network of collaborative makerspaces in Barcelona. He is the co-founder of the Collectif Villes Autrement, a collective that brings together researchers, practitioners and entrepreneurs around new trends in urbanism and land use planning. His research interests focus on territorial development, collaborative spaces, social and technological innovations, and urban governance. Since 2015, he has been building expertise on smart cities and urban communes, in collaboration with Sandra Breux, professor at the INRS ‒ Centre Urbanisation Culture et Société.

Ressources naturelles Canada, validation des données topographiques

Speakers: Rémy Pelletier, Consortech et Guillaume Dubé, Ressources naturelles Canada

Conference: In the last year, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) improved the norm they used for cartography projects, moving from a Microstation format to an ESRI File Geodatabase. This impacted both data format and data structure that subcontractors now have to provide to NRCan. In 2018, a FME based data validation toolbox was deployed to ensure that data delivered was compliant to the new structure and the new scheme. These tools help create useful reports highlighting data that is not compliant to the norm, which allow time gain for NRCan when it comes to process review.

The presentation will focus on objectives, stages of implementation and key success factors. It will expose proof of concept status with advantages and possibilities of such referentials deployment. Use cases such as flooding management will also be presented.


Rémy Pelletier, President, Consortech

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in geomatics from Université Laval in 1996, Mr. Pelletier worked in various public and private organizations before joining Consortech in 1999. At Consortech, he held several positions before becoming president of the company in 2013 following a succession process started 5 years earlier. His professional background has allowed him to accumulate a lot of experience largely thanks to multiple projects involving the transformation, integration and validation of geospatial data in which he participated. Today, his team’s mission is to provide municipal organizations access to quality data allowing them to make informed decisions that benefit the community as a whole.

Guillaume Dubé, Project Manager – Surveyor General Branch, Natural Resources Canada

Mr. Dubé graduated from Université Laval where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Geomatics in 2006. He has been a Quebec Land Surveyor since 2007 and a Canada Lands Surveyor since 2012. M. Dubé is currently employed at the Surveyor General Branch within Natural Resources Canada where he is responsible for the Aboriginal Community Mapping Program and the First Nations Land Management Program for Quebec.

Smart Communities Providing Community Information to Citizens

Speaker: Gordon Plunkett, ESRI Canada

Conference: Local governments are traditionally responsible for local services such as safety, infrastructure, environment and recreation. Often citizens are not aware of available services, so it is incumbent on the local government to provide information about these services in a convenient way such as on the web. This information can be made easy to use, more understandable and relevant if it is provided in visual form like in web maps and web apps. This talk will discuss the importance of providing information to citizens, how to make the information accessible, how SDI technology can be used to implement solutions and provide some examples of communities across Canada who provide geospatial data. In addition, this talk will show how this geospatial data can be leveraged within an SDI to provide smart community capabilities in applications such as planning, engineering, delivering services, connecting with the community and using data and analytics to make local government decisions.

Biography: Mr. Plunkett has been active in developing SDIs in Canada and internationally. He currently works on several SDI projects and produces a popular SDI blog. His presentation will cover how SDIs can be used by communities to share and combine geospatial data for visualization, analysis and value-added activities.