Point of Beginning

Sight Lines: Geomatics, Formerly Known as Surveying

December 20, 2010


I received a press release late yesterday afternoon about new bachelor’s and associate of science degrees in Geomatics at Utah Valley University (UVU). One phrase in particular caught my eye. In its description of the program, the university stated: “Geomatics, formerly known as Surveying… .” 

Now, I have been aware for quite some time of the subtle shift toward the geomatics term. Increasingly, “geomatics division managers” head up “geomatics departments” both for equipment manufacturers and multidisciplinary engineering firms. POBhas long used the term in our official mission statement: We are “dedicated to helping the geomatics industry succeed through our coverage of new applications and evolving technologies, practical solutions to surveying and mapping problems, and business, legal and educational issues.” It is an internationally recognized term that encompasses the land surveying profession in the broader geospatial realm.

However, this is the first time that I have seen someone explicitly state that the term “geomatics” has replaced the term “surveying.”

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