Tireless educator elevated surveying into a profession in Canada and established a world-class surveying engineering program that has trained numerous geospatial leaders
TORONTO—November 14, 2022—In celebration of GIS Day, Esri Canada President Alex Miller presented Professor Emeritus Angus Hamilton with the Roger F. Tomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his many achievements in laying the foundation for the wide expansion of geographic information systems (GIS). Professor Hamilton helped professionalize surveying into a discipline of engineering and extend it into the concept of land information systems, leading to the founding of University of New Brunswick’s world-class surveying engineering program.
The award recognizes individuals for their outstanding achievement and contribution to the GIS community during their career and was created as a tribute to Dr. Roger F. Tomlinson O.C., a visionary Canadian geographer who conceived and developed GIS and became known as the ‘father of GIS’.
“Professor Hamilton’s academic leadership in surveying engineering developed one of the best programs in the field, which has contributed to Canada’s rich pool of highly qualified geomatics professionals including engineers, geodesists and surveyors. His vast experience, knowledge and energy have inspired me as his student and many GIS professionals who have had the privilege of his mentorship,” says Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada.
“I am truly honoured to receive the Dr. Roger F. Tomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award. In the Surveying Engineering Department, we wanted our research and teaching to be well ahead of the profession. It has been gratifying to see our graduates exceed what we hoped they would do—and Alex Miller is a shining example of their success,” remarks Professor Hamilton.
Born in 1922, Professor Hamilton completed high school in Ontario in 1939 and went into military service during World War II as a radar technician. After the war, he became a surveyor with Canada’s national mapping organization. In 1954, Professor Hamilton was nominated to the Council of the Canadian Institute of Surveying, where he advocated for higher education in surveying. He led the Institute’s Symposium on Survey Education in 1959, which was the turning point for survey education in Canada. It resulted in the establishment of the Department of Surveying Engineering at the University of New Brunswick (UNB).
In 1971, Professor Hamilton assumed the role of Chair of UNB’s Surveying Engineering Department (which later became the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering). Over the next 14 years, his leadership was crucial to building and sustaining the international acclaim of the department. As a result, the department attracted outstanding students, faculty and research associates who fundamentally changed the world of surveying and mapping, geomatics and geodesy, and GIS.
After his retirement from UNB, Professor Hamilton and his wife Margaret remained in Fredericton, where they continued contributing to the community in many ways. He has also written and contributed to a number of books about the history of surveying in Canada, his involvement in WWII, and the Hamilton clan in Canada and beyond.
About the Roger F. Tomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award
The Roger F. Tomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award was instituted in 2014 and is awarded to an individual for outstanding contributions to the GIS community over the course of their career. The award is named after GIS pioneer Dr. Roger F. Tomlinson O.C. (1939 – 2014), who conceived and developed the first geographic information system (GIS) for the Canadian federal government in the 1960s. He initiated, planned and directed the development of the Canada Geographic Information System to create the Canada Land Inventory, a geographic database still used today by municipalities for land planning. His innovation has enabled the development of modern mapping technology and techniques and established a multibillion-dollar industry employing thousands of people worldwide.
About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower people in business, government and education to make informed and timely decisions by leveraging the power of mapping and spatial analytics. These solutions enable organizations to better manage their resources, plan their future and collaborate within and beyond their organization. Esri Canada’s products and services help advance successful digital transformation. The company serves 12,000 organizations from 15 offices across Canada and is based in Toronto. In 2019, Esri Canada achieved Platinum Club status with the Canada's Best Managed Companies program by retaining its Best Managed designation for seven consecutive years or more. More information can be found at esri.ca. Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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