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A surveyor's shed showing equipment used for geomatics

Geomatics (also known as geospatial technology or geomatics engineering, or geomatic engineering, géomatique in French) is the discipline of gathering, storing, processing, and delivering geographic information, or spatially referenced information. In other words, it "consists of products, services and tools involved in the collection, integration and management of geographic data."[1]

Overview and etymology[edit]

Geomatics is a relatively new scientific term, first proposed and defined by Michel Paradis a French Canadian surveyor in an article published in 1981 in the Canadian Surveyor and in April 1982 in a conference given as keynote speaker at the centennial congress of the Canadian Institute of Surveying. He was claiming that at the end of the 20th century, the needs for geographical information would reach a scope without precedent in history and in order to answer properly these needs, it was necessary to integrate in a new discipline, the traditional disciplines of land surveying and the new tools and techniques of data capturing, manipulation, storage and diffusion.[2]

It includes the tools and techniques used in land surveying, remote sensing, cartography, geographic information systems (GIS), global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Compass), photogrammetry, geophysics, geography and related forms of earth mapping. The term was originally used in Canada, because it is similar in origin to both French and English, but has since been adopted by the International Organization for Standardization, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and many other international authorities, although some (especially in the United States) have shown a preference for the term geospatial technology .[1]

The related field of hydrogeomatics covers the area associated with surveying work carried out on, above or below the surface of the sea or other areas of water. The older term of hydrographics was considered too specific to the preparation of marine charts, and failed to include the broader concept of positioning or measurements in all marine environments.

A geospatial network is a network of collaborating resources for sharing and coordinating geographical data, and data tied to geographical references. One example of such a network is the Open Geospatial Consortium's efforts to provide ready global access to geographic information. A number of university departments which were once titled surveying, survey engineering or topographic science have re-titled themselves as geomatics or geomatic engineering.

The rapid progress, and increased visibility, of geomatics since the 1990s has been made possible by advances in computer hardware, computer science, and software engineering, as well as airborne and space observation remote sensing technologies.

The science of deriving information about an object using a sensor without physically contacting it is called remote sensing, which is a part of geomatics.


Application areas include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Applied Geomatics Research Laboratory, University of Waterloo
  2. ^ Paradis, Michel (September 1981). "De l'arpentage à la géomatique". Le géomètre canadien 35 (3): 262. 

External links[edit]