Geomatics and Surveying: Essential Engineering Tools

3 December, 2018 | Blog

MARIE-FRANCE PROULX, P.Eng., M.A.Sc., PMP

Team Leader, Civil and Structural

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With today’s technology, processing geographic information has been turned on its head since the mapping production process has become entirely automated.

Geographic information on a digital map is translated into points, lines or polygons that have related descriptive databases that in turn provide additional information about each element.

Let’s talk geomatics

Geomatics is a relatively new discipline that integrates computer technology with earth sciences. It’s modern geography! You can get geographic information using several methods, including surveys. Read on and discover more about this civil engineering expertise and its technological developments.

Any project that requires placing engineering structures in a space or on a property, especially a layout or general arrangement, requires geomatics and surveying.

When is surveying necessary?

  • When there is no geographic data
  • When adding or connecting proposed engineering structures to existing facilities
  • Before any construction project to validate and calibrate geographic information gathered from a study
  • When existing structures must be analyzed to monitor potential relocation

The added value of geomatics and surveying

Geomatics provides additional accuracy to engineering and estimates. It also confirms and standardizes the coordinate system, enabling all disciplines to work in the same system.

Associated risks if this expertise is wasted

Poorly located engineering structures can lead to inadequate infrastructure alignment and positioning errors, which can in turn lead to additional costs and delays in the construction schedule.  This issue is all the more pronounced over long distances or any large-scale projects, such as mining sites.

Work tools

Technicians use GPS in most cases as well as robotic total stations for better accuracy (position of anchors, bolts for columns, placement of underground services, placement inside buildings, etc.).

For the future

Eventually, there will be drone surveys, but this technology will still require surveyors to georeference the surveys. Drone surveys will help us get to hard-to-reach places more quickly or to places that are potentially dangerous, and will save time and money. 

We could also produce 3D photographic surveys, which will make it easier for our engineering teams to understand and solve client challenges or issues and meet their needs more efficiently.

At BBA, our experts hold many years of construction survey experience in placing engineering structures, verifying alignments, auditing volumes and quantities, and much more.  Contact our experts today to learn more about our geomatics service.

This content is for general information purposes only. All rights reserved ©BBA

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