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[Sticky] Definition of Geomatics

5,000+ posts Admin

According to Wikipedia, the definition of Geomatics is:

Geomatics is defined in the ISO/TC 211 series of standards as the "discipline concerned with the collection, distribution, storage, analysis, processing, presentation of geographic data or geographic information". Under another definition, it "consists of products, services and tools involved in the collection, integration and management of geographic data". It includes geomatics engineering (geodesy and geoinformatics engineering, formerly known as surveying engineering) and is related to geospatial science (also geospatial engineering and geospatial technology).

Source: Wikipedia

Please feel free to provide your insights, suggestions or other thoughts regarding this definition.

Topic starter Posted : October 17, 2021 10:24 am
Mark Mayer
1,000+ posts Member

Geomatics /ˌjēəˈmadiks/  noun  See Surveying

Posted : October 17, 2021 6:08 pm
Jp7191 liked
Dave Karoly
10,000+ posts Member

In the old days Land Surveyors had to do everything manually.

Now Geomatics (a contraction of Geodetic and Automatic) Engineers simply press the F5 key on their keyboard which starts the automatic surveying process. They have a lot of free time.

Posted : October 17, 2021 7:41 pm
Brad Ott, FairleyWell, Jp7191 and 2 people liked

Jim Frame
5,000+ posts Member

"Geomatics" is the science of geodetic measurement.  "Geomatics Engineering" is geomatics lite, a dumbed-down version that can be grasped by engineers.

Posted : October 17, 2021 8:06 pm
Jerry Hastings, FairleyWell, Jp7191 and 4 people liked
Andy Nold
1,000+ posts Supporter

It's frippery, consarnit! Pure frippery.

Posted : October 18, 2021 1:52 pm
Jp7191 liked
200+ posts Member

I've waited so long to reuse this, "That is definitely chimps flying rockets."

Posted : October 18, 2021 2:18 pm

500+ posts Member

What stands out to me is the emphasis on data management, integration, and analysis.

The definition of "land surveying" (in the other pinned thread) is more detailed with respect to data collection but pretty light on management and analysis, beyond determination of boundaries.

It's been interesting to see the changes even in the short (~17 years) I have been involved in this profession/industry, especially as the tech sector and the power of "big data" has grown.

The license is a single tool in my geomatics toolbox. It allows me to place legal boundaries on the ground and publicly record my observations and opinions of them, but it doesn't (and shouldn't) restrict me from performing other geomatics services.

There's always going to be some need for "land surveying" as it relates to boundary determination, but geomatics and geospatial database analytics have really taken off and are quickly outpacing boundary work. That's where the future is - geodetic database maintenance, analysis and extraction, from a variety of sources, not necessarily total stations or GNSS receivers. Being able to maintain that database with rich attributes and metadata that can be queried and analyzed is critical.

PNEZD points in CAD drawing files, with 3- or 4-letter feature codes, no metadata, no geodetic reference, and no cross-referencing is useless for the future of geospatial data products.

Posted : October 18, 2021 2:39 pm
James Fleming
5,000+ posts Member

@rover83 About a decade ago when I was the editor of Professional Surveyor Magazine (RIP) I wrote a column about keeping in mind that the definitions of the practice of land surveying and the business of land surveying were not always the same thing.

The practice of surveying can be defined as the activities that are regulated by the individual licensing bodies of the states...The business of surveying encompasses the activities regulated as the practice of surveying as well as ancillary services performed daily by surveyors—that the unique combination of education and knowledge in both legal matters and measurement sciences enables them to perform.


Posted : October 19, 2021 5:38 am
1,000+ posts Member

I think the survey program I went through changed names a few times over the last 15 years. When I graduated it was called geomatics engineering or something. I've had people ask what my degree is and I always hesitate to tell them geomatics because nobody has a clue what that is. I've seen enough confused looks where now days I usually just say land survey. People still don't know exactly what that is but at least they recognize the words. 

Posted : October 19, 2021 8:21 am