Photo of Geoff Zeiss

For over 30 years, Geoff Zeiss devoted his life to the Geospatial industry and community all over the world.

It was a life focused on the utility and construction sectors, mapping underground utility infrastructure, BIM, CAD, Geospatial interoperability, machine learning, and substation design among other interests. Zeiss was responsible for multiple large and prosperous implementations of records management software and locator-aware enterprise designs.

Zeiss was a knowledgeable, busy, productive, and inspirational individual. He was an author, speaker, creator, leader, and so much more. Holding a Doctorate from McGill University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell University, Zeiss gained experience working in various positions (President, Vice President, Director) for companies such as Tydac Technologies, VISION, DPA, and Autodesk.

Zeiss was an active advisor to National Underground Asset Registry, Minnesota Geospatial Advisory Council Emergency Preparedness Committee, and Singapore Digital Underground Initiative. He wrote articles that appeared in LIDAR Magazine, was Editor for Energy and Building with Geospatial Media (2014-2016) and was involved in founding the Open Sources Geospatial Foundation from 2005-2006.

Throughout his life, Zeiss was a man dedicated to promoting the awareness and evolution of geospatial data, underground utilities, and technology. He often spoke about the importance of mapping underground utilities and infrastructure issues. Zeiss supported open standards as a director of the Open Geospatial Consortium.

With enthusiasm, Zeiss often spoke at events and forums all over the world. He made time for participating in, as well as being a founder and Conference Chair of, SUMSF. Throughout his life, Zeiss also participated in the Geospatial World Forum, Where 2.0, Location Intelligence, MundoGeo Connect, India Geospatial Forum, Middle East Spatial Geospatial Forum, Asia Geospatial Forum, and GITA events.

Zeiss was recognized for his dedication and efforts. During the years 2007 through 2009, he received Speaker Excellence Awards at GITA. He also received one of ten global technology awards from Oracle Corporation for ‘technical innovation and leadership in the use of Oracle’ in 2004. Zeiss continued his work, and at the Geospatial World Forum in 2014, he was yet again recognized for his efforts to increase the awareness of geospatial data and utility awareness. Zeiss received the Geospatial Ambassador Award.

Besides speaking, Zeiss created Between the Poles, a thought leadership blog where he advocated on issues of importance to the community. The blog addresses infrastructure issues and updates, and continues today under the care of GoGeomatics Canada, keeping Zeiss’ life mission of awareness and information moving forward.

Sadly, Geoff Zeiss passed away Sept 14, 2022.

The Geoff Zeiss Urban Infrastructure Mapping Fund builds on decades of innovation by Dr. Zeiss in developing effective and sustainable urban infrastructure through research and development supporting urban information systems.  The goal will be to focus on the democratization of utility mapping, creation of infrastructure digital twins, and modernization of data workflows in global construction and infrastructure management. The potential for new technologies and methods to facilitate crowd-sourced mapping and more equitable data access will end the monopoly of publicly funded private assets and improve both efficiency and safety of the construction industry. Depending on the funds raised, several exciting possibilities exist, from graduate student scholarships to post-doctoral fellowships to longer-term and endowed research positions.

Carleton University is an ideal place to house such a research fund. The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies excels at integrative scholarship, bringing together expertise in geomatics, physical and human geography, and environmental studies, while working closely with the researchers from engineering, architecture, industrial design, public policy, law, communications, and urban planning. This multi-sector, interdisciplinary approach is necessary to innovate across the complex socio-technical domain of urban information systems.

Please consider marking Geoff’s legacy with a contribution in his honour to advance this important research.