What is Geomatics?

Geomatics is the art, science, and technology of establishing the relative and/or precise positions of points and features near the Earth’s surface. Geomatics involves the following disciplines:

  • Land Surveying – The establishment or retracement of land parcel boundaries.
  • Construction Layout – The location of construction projects on the ground.
  • Land Development – The design and location of subdivisions for people to live.
  • Geodesy – The science of determining the size and shape of the Earth.
  • Cartography – The art and science of making maps.
  • Remote Sensing – The use of cameras and other sensors to measure land forms and vegetation on the Earth.
  • Photogrammetry – The use of vertical photographs to map the surface of the Earth.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – The use of software to tie together particular features with their location on the Earth.
  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS) – The use of satellites to determine the precise location of features on the Earth.

What are the fundamental skills required for a career in Geomatics?

A good high school background in mathematics and science is desirable for studies in Geomatics. While much of the work involved the application of trigonometry and plane geometry, an understanding of calculus is required to understand how error in the measurement affect the products desired by clients. Increasingly, the technologies utilized by the Geomatics Professional involve the propagation of light energy. The use of such technologies is benefitted by the knowledge of physics describing how light propagates in the atmosphere. The student can expect to use precise sensitive equipment to make measurements on the Earth and to process those measurement into useful products using computer software.

Is Geomatics an Engineering program?

A broad definition of engineering is the application of mathematics and applied science in order to solve the needs of clients. In this sense, Geomatics is an engineering discipline. The explosion of measurement technology has caused the body of knowledge necessary for success in the profession to require its own engineering studies. Also, the path to licensure as a Geomatics Professional is unique.

Why do I need to be licensed as a Geomatics Professional?

All states require Geomatics Professional’s practicing in the Land Surveying discipline to be licensed to protect the citizens of that particular state. Licensure involves the passage of national examinations, a state specific examination, and work experience acceptable to the respective state licensure board. Licensed professionals generally earn more and experience more work responsibilities. While Licensure is desirable, it is not necessary for a productive and profitable career in Geomatics.

Why is the choice of a career in Geomatics so desirable?

A wide range of career opportunities lie ahead of the graduate with a four-year degree in Geomatics. Our society need educated professionals to analyze and produce products produced by measurements of features on the Earth’s surface. These measurements are commonly referred to as spatial data. Many professionals like the overall project oriented nature of the work. They also enjoy traveling to different locations in order to gain spatial data. Many professionals also like to work outside in nature, while others like to process spatial data in the office producing maps or products necessary for clients. Other professionals like the fact that the profession rewards the application of mathematics. Since the Geomatics Professional is desired in all communities, both large and small, work is available in large and small businesses across the nation. Frequently, Geomatics Professionals establish successful businesses in order to serve their communities. Geomatics (geospatial technologies) is also listed as one of the Top 3 emerging industries by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Education.

Can you give some representative examples of jobs typically performed by the Geomatics Professional?

The following are examples of jobs that are performed by Geomatics Professionals. Please note that this list does NOT cover the wide range of possible jobs and tasks that are available:

  • Locating the boundary lines of a parcel purchased for commercial development.
  • Dividing a parcel into lots for a land development project.
  • Negotiating a contract for the photograph necessary to a large scale map.
  • Producing a map showing the features of a parcel for a client.
  • Determining the elevation of a parcel being considered for development.
  • Mapping vegetation for wetland delineation and monitoring.
  • Managing the use of mobile mapping technologies for monitoring roads and bridges.
  • Marking the location for proposed construction projects.
  • Using satellite technology to precisely locate point of critical importance such as nuclear power plants and hydro-electric dams.
  • Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Software and measurement data to optimize the location of transportation hubs and routes.

How are the job prospects for the Geomatics Professional?

The profession of Geomatics is changing in a way that benefits the graduate with a four-year degree in Geomatics. The explosion in technology requires an understanding of math and applied science and its application to measurement science. Graduates are in high demand by companies who reply on the successful application of emerging technologies to remind successful and competitive in a ever-changing business climate.