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.
Overview and etymology
Geomatics is a relatively new scientific term, coined by Pollock and Wright in 1969, with the intention of combining the terms geodesy and geoinformatics. 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, 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 .
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:
- Air navigation services
- Archaeological excavation and survey for GIS applications
- Coastal zone management and mapping
- Disaster informatics for disaster risk reduction and response
- The environment
- Infrastructure management
- Land management and reform
- Natural resource monitoring and development
- Seismic Interpretation
- Subdivision planning
- Urban planning
- Resource Management
- Climate Change/Environmental Monitoring
- Geographic information systems
- Land Surveying
- Digital terrain modelling
- at DMOZ