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Chris North: Refocusing the GIS industry on "who" and "why".

Updated: Jun 9


In this episode of Pathfinders, Chris North discusses how there is a tendency to become engrossed in the complex tools and technologies at our disposal, often overlooking the broader objectives of our projects. He understands that professionals in the field are highly skilled in managing spatial data and analysis but frequently focus too narrowly on technical specifics like web service performance or scalability. This focus shifts attention away from addressing significant issues such as climate change or urban planning and the ultimate beneficiaries of our work. Chris believes it is crucial to elevate our perspective, concentrating on the "who" and "why" behind our efforts, rather than just the "what" and "how," to ensure our work has meaningful impact.


"Leadership is about reframing the perspective to see the broader picture beyond the technology. It's not just about managing complex tools but understanding and addressing the real-world problems they solve, focusing on the people and purposes served."


Christopher James North

M.Sc. - Edinburgh University

B.A.(Hons) - Queen's University

Cartographic Technology Diploma - Fleming College

Chris North is a senior strategist with over 30 years of experience in the GIS industry. Chris is an accomplished GIS advocate who brings an in-depth understanding of enterprise GIS and technology trends, and what these mean for GIS and GIS professionals. He has a master's degree in GIS from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and an undergraduate degree in geography from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Chris is also a graduate of the Cartography Program at Sir Sandford Fleming College, Ontario. He is the recipient of several industry awards and continues to be involved with many industry groups.


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