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Peter Hettstedt: Giving Back to the Profession

Updated: Jul 7


In this inspiring Pathfinders Podcast episode, we are honored to feature Peter Heddstedt, the past president of BeSpatial Ontario. Peter's passion for GIS ignited in childhood, blossomed into a remarkable career spanning seismic surveys in Africa and major infrastructure projects in Canada. His story is one of relentless dedication, leadership, and unwavering commitment to the GIS community. Despite personal health challenges, Peter's spirit remains unshaken as he continues to advocate for the profession he loves. This episode is a heartfelt tribute to Peter's extraordinary journey and a powerful reminder of the profound impact GIS has on our world. Don't miss it!

"The power to enact change within our industry rests with each and every one of us. We have to speak up, we have to be advocates for our professions, and there’s no better way of supporting the profession than joining a group or community of like-minded individuals. Make sure your voice is being heard."




Peter's passion for GIS is rooted in his childhood fascination with geography and maps. Inspired by his father's love for National Geographic, he immersed himself in the world of maps and place names. His academic journey in geography further fueled his interest, leading to a successful career in geosciences. Peter's enthusiasm is evident in his lifelong dedication to understanding and utilizing geographic information systems to better understand the world around us.


Throughout his career, Peter has taken decisive actions that have significantly impacted the GIS industry. From conducting seismic surveys in Africa and the Middle East to contributing to major infrastructure projects in Canada, his work has spanned continents and industries. His role at First Base Solutions and his contributions to BeSpatial Ontario showcase his commitment to leveraging GIS technology for societal benefit, promoting its integration and importance across various sectors.


Peter's journey in the GIS field has not been without challenges. He has demonstrated remarkable tenacity in overcoming obstacles, from managing the complexities of staging large conferences for BeSpatial Ontario to adapting to health challenges later in his career. His dedication to his profession and his ability to juggle numerous responsibilities, all while fostering a collaborative and supportive community, exemplify his resilience and determination.


Despite his numerous accomplishments, Peter remains humble and grounded. His willingness to step down from his role as president of BeSpatial Ontario due to health reasons and his openness about his diagnosis with preclinical Alzheimer's reflect his humility and strength. Peter continues to contribute to the community as past president, valuing the support and teamwork of his colleagues, and emphasizing the importance of advocacy and collective effort in the GIS industry.



Toronto Memory Program is a multidisciplinary, community based medical facility specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Specializing in Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.

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