Geomatics is a modern, all encompassing term, given to the activities of collecting, managing, processing, analysing and storing geo-spatial data (geographic information). It includes the age-old profession of land surveying, as well as newer areas such as aerial photography, GIS / LIS (Geographic / Land Information Systems), remote sensing, global positioning systems (GPS) and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging).
Typically, a degree in geomatics leads to a person being involved in various land-related activities. Cadastral land survey speaks to the legal determination of property boundaries. Engineering survey provides the mapping of topographic features as a basis for engineering design and the ability to measure any change in infrastructure positioning, no matter how slight. Industrial survey allows for high precision measurement and mapping of industrial developments, factories and assembly lines. Construction survey includes the setting out of new developments, monitoring of correct geo-location and the verification of as-built infrastructure.
But, there is more:
Cartography is the art of map-making and is closely associated with global positioning systems (GPS), which also falls within the ambit of Geomatics. This is probably the area of geomatics with which you, the reader, are most familiar.
Hydrogeomatics is the word used to define surveys which are conducted on or below the water surface. This might include the survey of marine topography, such as coral reefs, or port and under-sea infrastructure, such as oil pipelines and harbour quays.
The application of geomatics can be found all around us. The term health geomatics speaks to the use of geo-spatial information to better understand disease in relation to location. This allows for an improved approach to disease control and healthcare planning.
Surveyors are usually the first on site, preparing topographic maps and plans on which engineers and architects base their designs. Once the project goes to construction, the surveyor is again involved in setting out of critical detail to ensure the project is built in the correct place. And once construction is completed, surveyors again are involved in providing “as-built” information to verify that the contractor has built according to plan. In critical applications, the land surveyor will provide ongoing monitoring of infrastructure like bridges and dam walls.
As positioning systems and data processing technology has advanced, so has the need for surveyors to operate within specialised fields of expertise developed.
In the past, a surveyor was primarily a measurement scientist. Today, with the advance of technology, surveyors must also be data managers, systems developers, project managers, 3D visualisation experts, problem solvers and skilled communicators. As a land expert, the professional land surveyor also plays an important role in the legal framework of property law.
The principles of classic land survey theory provide a solid foundation for professional geomatics practitioners to adapt and engage with a variety of related disciplines.
Many people think of land surveyors as the people who stand behind tripods in the road. Yet, in reality, the surveyor behind the tripod is only one of many facets of what make Geomatics an exciting, challenging and modern profession.
The company has origins dating back to 1905 when the Horne brothers established their practice in Queenstown.
We specialise in Land, Cadastral, Sectional Title, 3D Laser Scanning, Topographical and Engineering Surveying.