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Survey of Advanced Technology: Use of geomatics and geospatial technologies, 2014

Released: 2016-02-12

Nearly 1 in 10 enterprises in industries covered by the 2014 Survey of Advanced Technology used global positioning system (GPS) technology, making it the most widely adopted geomatics and geospatial technology.

Geomatics technologies aim to gather, analyze, interpret, distribute and use geographic information, while geospatial technologies refer to the hardware and software systems that relate and display data of geographic, spatial or location nature.

Enterprises in the utilities sector reported the highest level of GPS adoption (43.9%), followed by the forestry and logging (36.5%), transportation and warehousing (36.1%), and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (31.1%) sectors.

Nearly 4 in 10 enterprises reported that the main purpose for adopting geomatics or geospatial technologies was for planning (that is, visualization). This was especially true for enterprises in the utilities sector (82.7%) and the forestry and logging sector (59.3%).

In turn, 29.0% of enterprises using geomatics or geospatial technologies indicated that the key driver for using these technologies was for competitiveness reasons. While 17.7% cited improving existing products or processes as the key driver for the use of geomatics or geospatial technologies, these percentages varied by sector. For example, a significant proportion of enterprises in the utilities (39.2%), and forestry and logging (34.4%) sectors reported improving existing products or processes as the most important driver in using these technologies.

High development and implementation costs were the most frequently cited main challenge (32.6%) in adopting geomatics and geospatial technologies. The lack of technical expertise and skilled personnel was viewed as the main challenge by 18.0% of enterprises who adopted these technologies.

In 2014, 4.0% of enterprises that adopted geomatics or geospatial technologies had an alliance or collaborative arrangement with government or academia for the purpose of using these technologies. Enterprises within the utilities sector had the highest incidence of alliances or collaborative arrangements with government or academia for the purpose of using geomatics or geospatial technologies at 20.9%. The professional, scientific and technical service sector followed at 10.9%.

  Note to readers

The Survey of Advanced Technology is an occasional survey that collects essential information about the extent to which Canadian enterprises use advanced technologies. Just under 12,000 enterprises were surveyed from a population of 85,000 enterprises comprising 87 industry groupings. The sample was stratified by size based on the number of employees.

Data on the adoption, use or development of geomatics or geospatial technologies, nanotechnology, biotechnology, bioproducts and medical devices are now available by region and detailed industry group in CANSIM for 2014:

  • Tables 358-0417 to 358-0421: Geomatics or geospatial technologies
  • Tables 358-0422, 358-0450 and 358-0451: Nanotechnologies
  • Tables 358-0427 to 358-0431: Biotechnologies
  • Tables 358-0432 to 358-0435 and 358-0454: Bioproducts
  • Table 358-0436: Medical devices.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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