Geomatics Engineer Spotlight

Geomatics is not a new area of focus but rather a regrouping of several other well-established ones. It combines the practices of land surveying, mapping, computer programming and technological data-mining to gather and use geographic data.

What a typical day looks like:

Oil and gas companies require geographic data to make decisions and solve problems. They use conventional land documents such as aerial and satellite photographs, maps and land surveys, or newer technologies such as geographical information systems (GIS), 3D scans and global positioning systems (GPS) data to determine where something is, how big it is, and whether it has changed over time.

Geomatics Engineers are the people who collect, store, interpret and use this data to provide real-time solutions to their company. They could use this information to track a vehicle’s location on a work site, determine the exact location of an abandoned well or determine spatial referencing networks for environmental monitoring.

These engineers are often found in an office environment using computers and advanced technologies to gather and process data but will occasionally work in the field with land surveyors to get the information they need. Geomatics Engineers usually work standard office hours and work closely with a team of engineers, computer programmers, land surveyors or resource managers. They are typically employed in the exploration and production (E&P), oil sands, oil and gas services and pipeline sectors of the oil and gas industry.

The kinds of problems Geomatics Engineers solve at work:

Geomatics Engineers combine their knowledge of engineering with new technologies to solve complex problems. They may be asked, for example, to help determine the best transport routes to a drilling site. They would combine land survey information about the project with local population data and GPS traffic flow information to put together a recommendation for the best routes to use and times to ship equipment or start employee shifts.

Skills used most on the job:

Geomatics Engineers have strong math skills and can analyze spatial data and geographical areas. They have strong communication skills and can convey complex ideas to others. They are also critical thinkers who can use their knowledge of computers, electronics, engineering and technology to answer complex questions.

Geomatics Engineers are able to combine traditional mapping information with new technologies to help their companies make the best decisions possible.

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