Elaine Dawson Honoured with the Roger F. Tomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award

Please join us in congratulating Society President Elaine Dawson for being honoured with the Roger F. Tomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award at the Esri Canada User Conference in Victoria. This award recognizes Elaine as a trailblazer in her promotion of enterprise data sharing and spatial data infrastructure development.

“We have had the great pleasure of working with Elaine Dawson in her capacity as a Director on the ICI Society Board, and as President of the ICI Society and have been inspired by Elaine’s commitment to open data and data sharing initiatives.  Elaine’s support, engagement and vision over the years has contributed greatly to the Society’s continued success and growth,” states Ann Archibald, Executive Director, ICI Society.

The award was created as a tribute to Dr. Roger F. Tomlinson O.C., a visionary geographer who conceived and developed the first geographic information system (GIS) and became known as the ‘father of GIS’. This accolade recognizes individuals for their outstanding achievement and contribution to the GIS community during their career.

“Like Roger Tomlinson, Elaine Dawson is a trailblazer. The data access services and policies she crafted on how governments should safely handle data have become the standard-bearer for provincial governments across the country,” said Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “She had the vision to push for provincial dataset standards supported by strong data governance and standard approaches to spatial data interchange.”

“Elaine has also worked tirelessly to advance data sharing between many levels of government and with the public and remains a strong advocate for incorporating location in decision-making.” Mr. Miller went on to applaud Ms. Dawson’s generosity in volunteering across the country to be on innumerable committees looking to learn from her work in appropriately storing and sharing spatial data and advancing open data.

“I’m lucky to have been part of a long-range vision, which has shown that access to authoritative integrated geographic data saves costs and helps government make informed decisions. Our development work has also supported private sector innovation and commercialization, which have contributed to BC’s overall economic development,” said Ms. Dawson.

Ms. Dawson led the development of BC’s Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) supporting data discovery, distribution, connection and visualization as well as location services. The BC Geographic Warehouse, at the centre of the Provincial SDI, has been emulated by other provinces. She has been a key force in the success of BC’s Open Data Initiative.

She recognized the importance of sharing data among the provincial government, local governments and the utilities, ultimately saving BC taxpayers money. This contributed to the creation of the Integrated Cadastral Information Society (ICI Society), of which she is now president. ICI Society is a non-profit partnership between local and provincial governments and major utility companies to share geospatial information.

Ms. Dawson has a BSc from the University of Victoria, an IT Leadership Development Certificate from Ryerson University and an extensive public service career as a data management professional. She chairs the BC Data Council and actively works with the Federal Government on the advancement of Open Data, Canadian geospatial platform services and more broadly, geomatics in Canada.

Source: Esri Canada, April 17, 2018