Geolocation, 40 years in 2020




Word from Ivan Pagé, a.-g., a.t.C., Chairman of the Board of Directors of Géolocation


Forty years have passed since I have founded Géolocation.

As of March 10, 2020, Geolocation already had four decades of existence. Each of these decades has been marked by significant events.

1980-1989. Graduated from Laval University in 1973 and after a two-year internship as a trainee engineer at Natural Resources Canada, I worked in a private company in Quebec to gain my experience in surveying, geodesy and photogrammetric mapping. 1980 marked my obtaining the license as a Canada Lands Surveyor and the incorporation of Geolocation. The objective of the incorporation in 1980 was to serve me as an investment vehicle with three other companies in the field of photogrammetry to get in the private digital mapping market, a first in Quebec, under the name of “Société de cartographie numérique NGS inc. ”. I have applied and obtained the employment of President, CEO of this most up to date company. This adventure endured for four years until the four investors decided by mutual agreement to cease activities and each repatriate their recent experience to their own conventional mapping company. It must be said that the new technology of that time was inefficient but despite everything, far ahead of the market.

It was therefore in 1984 that I made the decision to create Geolocation, a new company operating by itself in geomatics. So I started these activities on my own, referring to the many contacts that I have established and seeing the democratization of photogrammetry coming with the arrival of the DVP digital video restitutor, developed at Laval University by Dr. Paul- André Gagnon.

In 1989 and 1990, Géolocation was the main partner of the “BPLP consortium”, of which I was given the position of technical director, and later was chosen by Hydro-Québec to carry out the largest pre-project study ever carried out in Quebec, covering the entire territory of the basin of the Grande Baleine complex. More than 59,000 km² to be covered with first and second order geodetic points and photogrammetric control points to achieve digital cartographic coverage at 1: 20,000.

1990-1999. This decade was marked mainly by our involvement within the “Groupe Aéro-Photo Géolocation”. We carred out out in the Republic of Guinea of ​​Africa, in 1995 and 1996, major aerial photography and mapping projects in the field of rural engineering, subsidized by the World Bank and the African Development Bank. To win these projects, Géolocation had applied and received from the “Centre de Recherche Industrielle du Québec” a grant to modify the RC-8 photogrammetric cameras in order to synchronize the shutter opening with the positioning signals of our very accurate geodesic GPS receivers.

2000-2010. Our team, then made up of ten employees, took a new step towards the future by recruiting new professionals Quebec land surveyors and technicians in geomatics to develop new markets. This is how we invested more in the development of our knowledge on LiDAR technology and emerged in the fields of land surveying and geomatics for the Quebec Ministry of Transportation. We also strategically founded “Geolocation Focus LLP” with the company Focus of Calgary to carry out several surveys for gas exploitation along the shores of the St-Laurent River and for the oil industry in network construction and maintenance projects of pipelines network in Eastern Canada.

2010-2020. Following the sale of Focus, Geolocation, with its acquired expertise, directly qualified with major companies in the oil and gas sector in Western Canada. Then happened the creation of “Géolocation Énergie sencrl” of which Géolocation is the parent company, bringing together other Quebec land surveyors offices located in almost all of the administrative regions of Quebec Province, in order to increase our capacity and our knowledge in large centers and in remote areas. This decade also marks the acquisition of our own 9,000 square foot building in 2013 which has become the new address for the head office. There was also our registration as a contractor with the ‘’Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ)’’ and the ‘’Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ)’’ to allow us to carry out major projects in construction surveying and at the same time get involve with the collaboration of our professional clients in the supervision of construction sites.

2020 (in progress). Only a few days after the date of March 10, 2020 marking our 40th anniversary, we experienced the arrival of containment and social distancing measures. Then, the closure of several shops and businesses in the province of Quebec (and around the world), following the global pandemic of coronavirus associated with COVID-19 disease. Immediately, Geolocation set up a committee made up of its two directors and a third person employed to develop its strategy in the face of the pandemic: all the employees of the company were kept employed and were organized for teleworking. Our field teams were mobilized exclusively to serve our main clients already identified as priority services by the Government of Quebec. Our administrative staff was able to come to the office a few times for emergencies and able to do most of the work from home to support our ongoing operations. Our professionals have kept in touch with all of our clients and have continued to respond to all requests for proposals / quotes. Several of our employees have had the opportunity to register for online training. Currently, we are already planning for the imminent arrival of a second wave and we have several ideas in mind to shape the future of Geolocation for the next decades.

Despite the pandemic, our professional activities in surveying and geomatics have nevertheless intensified in a remarkable way, in particular for our professional services in contruction site supervision, among one of our many specialties.

As I set out my review of the past forty (40) years, let me tell you that I am confident that we have a formidable succession team in place to meet all the challenges the future holds. My career has been the one of a geomatics and surveying enthusiast, and this is the image I want to leave to those who will continue their journey within Geolocation.