Geomatics is defined in the ISO/TC 211 series of standards as the "discipline concerned with the collection, distribution, storage, analysis, processing, presentation of geographic data or geographic information". Under another definition, it "consists of products, services and tools involved in the collection, integration and management of geographic data". It includes geomatics engineering (and surveying engineering) and is related to geospatial science (also geospatial engineering and geospatial technology).
Geomatics is an applied science and a professional discipline. As an applied science it involves an integrated approach to the measurement, analysis, management, and display of geographic and other spatial data. As a professional discipline, geomaticians have specialist skills, knowledge, and understanding in order to provide services that meet the needs of society and which contribute to social and political stability, quality of life and the management of natural heritage and resources. Geomatics professionals may be involved in designing, conducting and managing activities relating to surveying, geography, information systems, land development and planning, law and commerce. Geomatics professionals use the latest satellite, laser, acoustic, and information technology and are continually branching into new challenging areas of specialisation, as the programme streams described below demonstrate.
The School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics offers a number of streams in the BSc (Geomatics) degree. These are intended to provide graduates with a qualification that is flexible and allow entry into a number of different careers. Moreover, specialist knowledge of spatial information science and spatial data acquisition (a feature of all streams) provides a geomatics professional operating in another area of specialization (e.g. geology or environmental science) with an advantage over competitors.