Location data is being used for value creation and it doesn’t look like a map anymore.

In the era of smart devices, capturing data at a one-to-one scale is now effortless – often its simply running in the background. Both businesses and individuals have been active in collection information in the age of big data, however the way we’ve optimized the use of the data has changed the way business is done. Big data has already begun to transform the relationship that individuals have with institutions – customers with companies, patients with the healthcare system, students with universities, and voters with government. As we move into the age of hyperconnectivity, real-time analytics and insights become more prevalent. Advances to integrate cameras, lidar, sensors, and IoT devices to drive data collection pushes us off the map as we find new and useful ways to interpret the data.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Hotel Check-in

Once you arrive in Banff, you’ll be able to check into your hotel room at Lloyd Hall from 4:00 PM.

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Welcome Drinks

Pick up your badge and join us in the MacLab Bistro for welcome drinks.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

7:00 AM – 8:30 AM


Join your peers for breakfast and networking in the Vistas Dining Room.

8:30 AM – 8:45 AM

Welcome Remarks

The conference kicks off with welcoming remarks and an introduction to the 2020 theme, Off the Map.

Jonathan Neufeld



8:45 AM – 9:15 AM

Opening Remarks

Michele Evans

Assistant Deputy Minister
Economic Development Division
Science and Innovation Division (Acting)
Alberta Economic Development and Trade

Government of Alberta

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM

Keynote: The Map of the Future is Not a Map

Maps are more widely used today than at any point in history, while we all carry an incredibly detailed map of our planet in our pockets, are we using this amazing capability to really improve our lives? While maps are mainstream, have we lost the ability to understand the world around us, perhaps the problem is not the message but the medium.

Ed Parsons

Geospatial Technologist


10:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Coffee Break

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Panel: Industry Update

The advancement of geospatial technologies is tied to the emerging tech that is pushing spatial information to the forefront. During this session, panelists will dive into how IoT, Machine Learning and Blockchain are enabling the adoption of geospatial.

Tricia Shanahan, Executive Director of Emerging Markets, Alberta Innovates

Mark Scantlebury, Chair, Alberta IoT

Koleya Karringten, Executive Director, Alberta Blockchain Consortium

David Chan, Director of Amii Innovates

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Geospatial Intelligence meets Activity Based Intelligence

Experiencing futures by building synthetic models of potential outcomes.

Reality is messy but important to understand. When it comes to those tasked with building complex systems that will both solve and withstand the future, the dynamics of reality become critical. Integrating the activities of people, the environment, new technologies, infrastructure, economics, and events, with geography enables a fundamental shift in future-proofing our decisions.

Myrna Bittner


RWI Synthetics

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Lunch & Networking

Join attendees in the Vistas Dining Room for lunch and networking.

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Panel: Geospatial Analytics Will Eat The World, And You Won’t Even Know It

The future of geospatial technology probably isn’t a map. The future of geospatial tech might be an email alert, a report, a graph or an ordered list. In fact, it will be all those things and likely more.

Will Cadell, CEO, sparkgeo

Benjamin Tuttle, Chief Technology Officer,

Sean Gorman, Co-Founder,

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Mapping Industrial Methane Emissions from Space

Methane is a greenhouse gas that has a global warming potential 84 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. Reducing methane emissions from industrial facilities is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Cost-effective solutions to detect and measure methane are helping to enable industry’s innovative efforts to reduce emissions.

Warren Shaw

Manager, Airborne Systems


2:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Coffee Break

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Debate: Open vs Closed-source Software

Open and closed source geospatial solutions each have unique benefits and drawbacks. Through this engaging debate we’ll uncover the opportunities and challenges of both.

Jon Neufeld, CEO, TECTERRA

Paul Ramsay, CEO, Clever Elephant

Mehdi Amoui, CTO, Localintel

4:00 PM – 4:45 PM

Keynote: Hasn’t the World Already Been Mapped?

As an advocate for OpenStreetMap, this is a frequently asked question. Geospatial data in many parts of the world has historically been expensive or not available. Not anymore. OpenStreetMap and its committed mapping community have altered the geospatial data landscape by providing free, editable open data to people all over the world. Is your town on the map?

Maggie Cawley

Executive Director

OpenStreetMap US

6:15 PM

Social Event Shuttle Departure

6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

NORTH51 Summit Social at the Bison Restaurant

We’re taking the party to the heart of Banff for an evening of networking, live music from New Soul Duo, and local farm-to-table fare.

Friday, February 7, 2020

7:00 AM – 8:30 AM


Join your peers for breakfast and networking in the Vistas Dining Room.

8:30 AM – 8:45 AM

Day One Recap & Opening Remarks

Jonathan Neufeld



8:45 AM – 9:15 PM

Machine Vision from Rocks to Reservoirs

Geological features of interest for modern energy and mining reservoirs are increasingly smaller than the scale at which they can be effectively measured and modeled with existing methods. We will demonstrate how machine vision can solve this problem at the per-well scale, using a variety of robotized photonic sensors and advanced analytics to quickly and efficiently analyze rock properties at the mm scale down the whole well. We will discuss the challenges of reservoir-scale analysis of the resulting ultra-high-resolution geospatial data, which is beyond the capability of existing methodologies and toolsets. We will introduce the concepts behind a next-generation geostatistical modeling system built around high-resolution well data, with ability for a single automated modeling process to generate meaningful results honouring complex variable relationships with complete alignment at both the broad reservoir scale and at the highest resolution local scales.

Grant Sanden



9:15 AM – 9:45 AM

The (Ir)rational Trucker

Modelling Real-World Complex Agents with Geospatial, AI, and Economics

Thousands of independent heavy haul operators make daily decisions about deploying a massive asset, incurring operating costs, spending their time and selling their expertise to make a living.  Intense personalities abound and drivers are notoriously fickle about what they will haul from where to where for how much money.  How can we actively coordinate thousands of such unique economic agents to deliver savings for shippers and delighting truckers at the same time?

Alex Gierus

Chief Technology Officer

Trusted Dispatch

9:45 AM – 10:15 AM

Coffee Break

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Panel: Innovating Through Spatial Awareness: Our Methods, Hurdles, and Rewards

During this session, advocates of geomatics will showcase how they have led vastly different companies to adopt geomatics technology at different stages of their company’s life cycle. We will uncover the methods we tried, hurdles we faced and reflect on successes (or challenges) that resulted.  This diverse panel will also give their perspective on how we empower the next generation of innovators to carry the torch and lead the next iteration of change.

Landra Trevis, Business Development, Melton Design

Stefan Price, Geomatics Services Supervisor, Town of Cochrane

Kelsey Davis, Senior Management Consultant, ESRI Canada

Mohamed Elhabiby, Executive VP, METI Engineering Tech

Jeff Plourde, Geomatics Operations Manager, SITE Resource Group

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM

Keynote: Tactical wildfire monitoring: from technology to information

The session will explore the challenges, innovations and successes in developing Canada’s national wildfire monitoring program.  In response to the growing trend of high-risk wildfires, the government of Canada has been working with industrial and international partners to develop the most advanced fire intelligence tools in the world.  But before this critical information makes it onto the map, the team is breaking new ground in the development of detector technologies, satellites, algorithms and informatics.

Joshua Johnston

Forest Fire Research Scientist

Natural Resources Canada

12:00 PM

Closing Remarks & Lunch

The conference closes and you have the opportunity to have lunch in the Vistas Dining Room before hitting the road.