University of Calgary

What is Geomatics Engineering

The mathematics of the earth; the science of the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, especially instrumental data, relating to the earth's surface. (Oxford English Dictionary)

Geomatics Engineering is a modern discipline, which integrates acquisition, modelling, analysis, and management of spatially referenced data, i.e. data identified according to their locations. Based on the scientific framework of geodesy, it uses terrestrial, marine, airborne, and satellite-based sensors to acquire spatial and other data. It includes the process of transforming spatially referenced data from different sources into common information systems with well-defined accuracy characteristics.

A Geomatics Engineer uses knowledge coming from several disciplines, such as:

  • Geodesy (terrestrial, celestial, and orbital coordinate systems measurements)
  • Positioning and Navigation (e.g. with GPS)
  • Digital Imaging (how to extract useful information from images according to the application, e.g. environmental studies or agricultural studies) and Mapping (how to make the maps of tomorrow) using Photogrammetry (airborne photographs) or Remote Sensing (images taken by satellite sensors)
  • Geographical Information Systems(computer systems capable of assembling, storing, manipulating, and displaying geographically referenced information)
  • Land Tenure Systems (land information managing, land surveying, land right).


Modelling spatial geometry, making observations and estimating spatial positions and their uncertainty is a key component of the Geomatics Engineering education. Since the world of Geomatics is constantly evolving, it is also essential to keep up with the rapid growth of the know-how, methods and tools of this interdisciplinary field.

Geomatics Engineering education thus opens to you the gates of very challenging, interesting and different career profiles… All you have to do is choose!!