Geomatics Engineering

Geomatics refers to the methods and technologies used to collect, distribute, store, analyze, process, and present geographic data. Geomatics encompasses the fields of geodesy, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), hydrography, mapping, photogrammetry, remote sensing, and surveying.

Diploma in Geomatics Engineering

Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training

Certificate/Diploma

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3 years

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Diploma in Geomatics Engineering was initiated as Diploma in Survey Engineering in 2000. With regard to various developments in this sector and also the field of application, the need of revision of this course has become prominent. Most of the international institutions and universities currently recognize this subject of study as Geomatics. Also, in view of the Kathmandu University initiative in this subject by starting the Bachelor's of Engineering in Geomatics Engineering in Nepal has prompted for change in the course title as Diploma in Geomatics Engineering. The course is aimed at producing middle level technical human resource in the field of Geomatics.

This course is based on the job required to perform by a Geomatics technician at different related industries and organizations in Nepal and abroad. The Diploma in Geomatics Engineering program extends over three years. Each year is divided into two semesters. There are six semesters in total within the period of three years. It is designed to produce middle level competent Geomatics technicians equipped with knowledge and skills related to the land surveying, engineering/construction surveying and Geographical Information System and applications. The study of Geomatics Engineering provides the ample opportunities of employment and self employment in the field of surveying, mapping and GIS.

This curriculum includes the basic science subjects like physics, chemistry, and mathematics applicable in the field of Geomatics Engineering. It also includes language subjects like Nepali and English applicable for the communication in the field of Geomatics technology. The course structure and the subject-wise contents that follow reflect the details of this curriculum. In short, this curriculum guides its implementers to produce competent and highly employable middle level technical human resources in the field of Geomatics Engineering.

The contents of individual subjects prescribed in the curriculum are incorporated in the light of "must to know and must to do" principle.

Aim:

The program aims to produce middle level technical personnel with sound academic knowledge equipped with perfect technical skills that can be faced in real life situation.

Objectives:

After the completion of this program, the graduates will be enabled to:

  • This course is designed to produce Surveyors / Geomatics Technicians meeting the requirement of intermediate level of surveyors for the Government and engineering construction industry / companies
  • The gradates shall have adequate knowledge and skill in spatial data acquisition using field survey methods, processing and visual presentation
  • The graduates will have working knowledge in interpreting image data acquired through Air survey and Remote Sensing
  • The graduates shall be capable for continuing higher education.

SALIENT FEATURES

Duration: 3 Academic Years (Six Semesters)- 15 weeks/semester, 40 hrs/ week.

Target Group: SEE passed or equivalent

Group size: A maximum of 48 (Forty eight) in a batch

Medium of instruction: The medium of instruction will be in English/ Nepali or both

Pattern of attendance: Minimum of 90% attendance in each subject is required to appear in the respective final examination.

Pass marks: The students must secure minimum 40% marks in theory and 50% marks in practical. Moreover, the students must secure minimum pass marks in the internal assessment and in the semester final examination of each subject to pass the subject

Provision of back paper: There will be the provision of back paper but a student must pass all the subjects of all semester within six years from the enrollment date; however there should be provision of chance exam for final semester students as per CTEVT rules.

Certification and degree awards:

  1. Students who have passed all the components of all subjects of all 6 semester are considered to have successfully completed the program.
  2. Students who have successfully completed the program will be awarded with a degree of "Diploma in Geomatics Engineering". 

ELIGIBILITY

SLC Pass or SEE with minimum C grade in Compulsory Mathematics & Science and D+ in English. TSLC in Geometics Engineering with minimum 66.68%.

ADMISSION CRITERIA

Should pass entrance examination as administered by CTEVT.

JOB PROSPECTS

The graduates will be eligible for the position of Non-gazetted class I in Nepal Government services as Surveyor or as prescribed by the Public Service Commission of Nepal.

The graduates well acquainted with land data acquisition, process and visual presentation with fundamental knowledge of GIS and remote sensing are highly in demand in the engineering profession. 

The DiGE graduates can well serve as Geomatics Technicians in the field of Local level planning, Land resource management, Natural Resource planning, and development construction.

The graduates are eligible for their academic pursuance in Bachelor's level of education. 

Geomatic Applications

Geomatic solutions are used in wide variety of practical applications, including: 

  • Aeromagnetic surveys
  • Airborne geophysics
  • Air navigation services
  • Archaeological excavation and survey for GIS applications
  • Climate Change/Environmental Monitoring
  • Coastal zone management and mapping
  • Disaster informatics for disaster risk reduction and response
  • Estimation of crop yields
  • Infrastructure management
  • Land management and reform
  • Land-cover classification and mapping
  • Meteorology
  • Natural resource monitoring and development
  • Oceanography
  • Parks
  • Seismic Interpretation
  • Statistical area sample frame construction for surveys
  • Subdivision planning
  • Urban land use monitoring

Geomatic Technologies

The main focus of geomatics is the technologies, products, and services involved in the gathering, analysis, and management of spatial data. Geomatics equipment and methodologies typically integrate the following sciences and technologies:

  • geodesy and geomatics: Geodesy is an essential component of geomatics. It is the science of mathematically determining the size and shape of the earth and the nature of the earth's gravity field.
  • surveying and geomatics: Professional land surveyors use satellite, sonar, 3D scanning, software, and drone technology to measure, map, and establish official boundaries in land, waterways, and airspace. 
  • lidar geomatics: lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure variable distances to the Earth to create precise, 3D information about characteristics and the shape of the Earth.
  • remote sensing: Remote sensing is the science of acquiring information about an object or phenomenon by measuring emitted and reflected radiation. There are two primary types of remote sensing instruments -- active and passive.
  • location-based services: Location-based services (LBS) refers to services that are based on the location of a mobile user as determined by the device’s geographical location. LBS applications provide services and information that are most relevant to the user at that location.
  • Geographic Information Sytems: Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, are computer and software tools for gathering and analyzing data connected to geographic locations and their relation to human or natural activity on Earth.


Other areas of knowledge include: geodynamics, geomatic maps, GPS, hydrography, cartography, spatial database management, spatial analysis, spatial data mining and knowledge discovery, spatial statistics, computer-aided design (CAD) and scientific visualization, geovisualization, geovisual analytics, visual communication design, graphic design and multimedia technology, image processing, photogrammetry, Land Information Systems (LIS), cadastre, real property law, geoinformatics, and digital terrain modelling.

 

Areas of knowledge

Geomatics integrates science and technology from both new and traditional disciplines:

 

 

What does geomatics do ?

Geomatics is a broad discipline of study of Geospatial information. More specifically it has to do with the acquisition, interpretation, management and representation of Geospatial data.

There are several sub-disciplines or areas of work/study which may fall under the umbrella term Geomatics, in my time studying the subject I've been exposed to the following:

  • Land/Engineering surveying.
  • Geographical information systems (GIS)
  • Photogrametry
  • Remote sensing
  • Geodesy


A brief overview of what each one is can be seen below.

Land/Engineering Surveying
This has to do with taking terrestrial measurements of various points the earth's surface, using instrumentation such as a GPS receiver or a Total station. The positions of these points are used in creating maps (topographical or otherwise), defining property boundaries or setting out reference points in engineering project. An example is shown below where a surveyor is surveying the site of a road construcion.

It's worth noting however that the use of laser scanning has become more common. This is where large datasets of 3D coordinates of points are collected as point clouds. See the video below for an example in a mining environment.

GIS
This has to do with a system that transforms real world spatial data into geographic information which can be used as input for decision making process.

Commonly this is done by linking databases with geographically referenced data to a map interface. This allows relationships between often seemingly unrelated data to show themselves by means of spatial correlations.

GIS systems, while offering a tool for spatial data management and presentation, it also incorporates spatial statistical analysis capabilities among other analytical tools to maximize the use of the data contained in the system. This provides location intelligence in a variety of applications including engineering, mining, planning, management, transport/logistics, insurance, telecommunications, and business.


Photogrametry
This can be defined as the science of obtaining reliable information about an object by means of recording, measuring and interpreting imagery.

This includes measurements of position (x,y) as well as heights, and their associated precisions. Height measurements are done using the same principles that allow us to see the world in 3D. This is known as stereoscopy and works essentially as follows.

If an object is imaged from slightly different positions with about 60 -80% overlap in the imagery and the positions of the camera at the time of capture as well as the internal geometry of the camera are known, then positions of points in the imagery can be precisely determined including the depth component(often height, i.e. when using aerial imagery).

Products of photogrammetry include orthophotos and digital terrain models.

With the increase in computing power, photogrametric techniques have developed allot to produce some really exciting products.
One such technique, Structure from Motion(SfM), uses image data to create dense point clouds for the visualization of objects in full 3D. See the video below for an example.

Remote Sensing
This can be thought of as the science of gathering information about an object, area or phenomena though the analysis and interpretation of data acquired by a device which is not in contact with the object, area or phenomena.

A common application of remote sensing is the analysis of satellite imagery for various reasons from monitoring to mapping. The sensors on the satellites are generally passive sensors and rely on the sun for illumination. Depending on the satellite and the sensor mounted on it the resultant imagery could have resolutions that translate to a pixel size effectively being less than 1mX1m on the ground. These sensors also often capture images in the 3 visible wavebands, however some capture additional bands such as the Infrared bands to gain additional information.

The imagery is then processed using various image processing techniques to extract the information that is required on a project. This makes use of the spectral fingerprint of different materials on the surface of the earth.


Geodesy
Geodesy can best be explained by the aims of the discipline:

  • To determine the relative positions of widely separated points on the surface of the earth, and to monitor these positions.
  • To provide the basic control points necessary for the orderly carrying out of surveys.
  • To measure and model the earth's gravity field, at the surface and immediately above, and to determine time variations in the gravity field.
  • To determine the size and shape of the earth, as manifested by the geoid.
  • To measure and model the precise rate of rotation of the earth as well as variations therein.
  • To measure and model the variations in the position of the rotation axis of the earth with respect to the surface of the earth.

Scope and Career Prospects

 

Geomatics is one of the most fast growing engineering fields. Graduates can find good jobs in very short period of time. Geomatics Engineers can work at offshore companies positioning oil rigs and monitoring pipelines across ocean as they have technique of mapping. Geomatics graduates who have good knowledge remote sensing can get job in national heritage, environmental organizations, minerals and oil industry. The graduates will have ample opportunities to travel while working so it is very interesting. The graduates can work in the organizations where technician with GIS knowledge is needed. In Nepal some of the fields where Geomatics Engineers can work are:

  • Government organizations
  • NGO/ INGOs
  • Hydro power companies
  • Consultancy and firms
  • NEA and Environmental organization
  • Nepal Army
  • Organizations working in transport management and natural resources management etc.