In 1998, a team of geomatics researchers built a national collaboration of government, industry and the research sector to win a highly competitive bid. The result was the GEOIDE Network (GEOmatics for Informed DEcisions), funded by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (a permanent programme of the Government of Canada) from 1998 through 2012. The drive to create the Network came from a few dedicated individuals, researchers and partners in government and industry. Dr Keith Thomson deserves particular credit, along with the team at the Centre for Research in Geomatics (CRG) at Université Laval. The early group built a process to involve larger and larger participation in the early years.
Over its fourteen year existence, GEOIDE assembled researchers across Canada, in a range of fields termed “geomatics” in Canada (including surveying, geodesy, photogrammetry, remote sensing, image processing, geography, planning, and geographic information science). It also mobilized domain specialists from various environmental sciences, engineering, public health and the social sciences. Over the full period, GEOIDE funded a total of 121 projects, with a total investment of 79.3million$CAD. In these projects, 395 research scholars from Canada participated, and a total of 1437 students. In addition, 174 industrial affiliates were engaged, alongside 95 governmental entities at all levels. Researchers from around the world have been linked formally and informally from 146 institutions (research laboratories, universities and the like). In terms of traditional output measures, GEOIDE projects reported 2675 peer reviewed papers and another 2070 in non-peer reviewed outlets. So, in the traditional measures, GEOIDE was a big research enterprise, but it also showed results beyond the traditional outputs of research.