Careers in Geomatics and Surveying

The field of geomatics is about measuring, analyzing and using spatial data from many sources, including satellites, air and sea-borne sensors and ground-based instruments. In the past, the primary career in geomatics was surveying, but today geomatics encompasses photogrammetry, cartography, geographic information systems, remote sensing and more.
In measuring and drawing what the earth’s surface looks like, surveyors do different types of work. Some measure land, airspace and water areas; others measure construction and mineral sites. Surveying job titles include boundary surveyor, construction/Engineering surveyor, geodetic surveyor, hydrographic (ocean, river, waterway) surveyor, topographic surveyor and GIS Analyst/ Geoinformation technologist.

A challenging and satisfying profession, many fields benefit from geomatics, including urban planning and land use management, in-car navigation systems, virtual globes, public health, local and national gazetteer management, environmental modeling and analysis, military, transport network planning and management, agriculture, meteorology and climate change, oceanography and coupled ocean and atmosphere modelling, business location planning, architecture and archeological reconstruction, telecomunications, criminology and crime simulation, aviation and maritime transport.

Therefore surveyors have a wide range of Employment opportunities making the demand for surveyors high. Professional surveyors can choose to work with public parastatals (like NWSC, NEMA, UMEME, UECTL,CAA etc), Education institutions, GIS firms, National army and Police, Telecomunication companies, international and local consulting firms, Highway and Transportation Engineering Department, surveying and civil engineering firms, Engineering contractors, spartial marketing etc or even join private practice following completion of licensing requirements.
Surveyors must complete a four-year degree in surveying, or geomatics engineering and then registered as licenced surveyors subject to the surveyors Registration Act, a mark that sends them to the world to practice their profession.


Construction Surveyor

No matter where in the civilized world you go, construction crews are bound to follow-or else they have already been there. Buildings, highways, bridges, pipe or high-tension lines, plus countless other manmade structures, all require construction crews to create or modify them. And where you find construction, you will invariably find one or more construction surveyors.

The Construction surveyors carryout measurements and advise engineers, architects, contractors and other associated professionals, during all stages of construction projects. In most projects, the construction surveyor has to get involved at the initial stage of the job. They are responsible for verifying the accuracy of construction when any structure is being built or subject to modification. Once the construction job is completed, they check the construction to ensure whether work is completed in line with the original plans and local authority requirements.The important attribute of a construction survey is the attention to detail as major construction projects require a great deal of accuracy or precision.

Boundary Surveyor

Boundary, or cadastral, surveyors measure, mark, and map the boundary lines of land ownership. Anyone who owns property will work with a boundary surveyor. These surveyors trace deeds and other public records to verify the measurements of a piece of property for which the original survey could date back hundreds of years. Boundary surveyors can also serve as expert witnesses for court cases involving boundary disputes.

Hydrographic Surveyor

A hydrographic surveyor specializes in the measurement and description of features which affect maritime navigation, marine construction, dredging, offshore oil exploration/drilling and related disciplines. Strong emphasis is placed on soundings, shorelines, tides, currents, sea floor and submerged obstructions that relate to the previously mentioned activities.The work demands an understanding of and consideration for environmental issues.


Studies size, shape, and gravitational field of earth: Employs surveying and geodetic instruments, such as transits, theodolites, and other engineering instruments, in setting up and improving network of triangulation over earth’s surface, in order to provide fixed points for use in making maps.
Establishes bench marks (A geodesist assigns 3 dimensional points on, above and below the surface of Earth to measure the average depths of oceans, mountain peaks and also abnormalities in the surface of Earth). Performs gravimetric surveying to determine variations in earth’s gravitational field, and provides data used in determination of weight, size, and mass of earth.

GIS Analyst

A GIS Analyst creates internet based mapping applications and should have skills in programming (JavaScript, VBScript, VB, ArcXML, HTML, Avenue, Java). A strong understanding of client server technology, server architecture, and network protocol and standards is needed in addition to Web design and visual communication. A GIS Analyst must have strong communication skills.

Forensic Surveyor/Expert Witness

A forensic surveyor maps and recreates accidents and crime scenes by compiling data in the field. He / She will also serve as an expert witness in court cases and provides expert testimony to reconstruct accidents during a trial. They must be excellent communicators and feel generally at ease speaking in public.

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