Defining Geomatics

Posted By Ted Madson on 10/1/2009 at 3:52 PM

Much has been posted about “Geomatics.” For clarification, the University of Florida program in Geomatics describes it as follows:

“Geomatics refers to the integrated approach of measurement, analysis, and management of the descriptions and locations of geo-spatial data. These data come from many sources, including earth-orbiting satellites, air and sea-borne sensors and ground based instruments. It is processed and manipulated with state-of-the-art information technology.”

Geomatics has applications in all disciplines which depend on spatial data, including forestry, environmental studies, planning, engineering, navigation, geology and geophysics. It is thus fundamental to all areas of study which use spatially related data, such as Surveying, Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry, Cartography, Geographic Information Systems, Property or Cadastral Studies and Global Positioning.”

University of Florida Geomatics Definition

Land surveying falls under the umbrella of geomatics that enjoys a broader scope of services. For instance, since GIS embraces many geo-located themes, a “Geomatician” is qualified to analyze such GIS data (“Geo-Data”) and render an opinion based on that data. As an example, I personally had occasion to define several appropriate sites for a sanitary treatment plant based on parameters of proximity to residential areas, topography, stream flows, etc. This is the practice of geomatics. Further, using surveying measurement techniques the location in the field of each of these sites would also be considered geomatics.

Geomatics is an opportunity to expand our markets using our existing licenses as land surveyors, not to limit those markets. For those who are reluctant to move into new markets it seems to me that it would be perfectly acceptable for an existing surveying and mapping licensee to only practice land surveying under a geomatics license.

Ted Madson

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