2017-18 University Catalog 
    May 18, 2024  
2017-18 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geomatics Department

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Jack Walker, Department Chair
Professors: J. Ritter, J. Walker
Associate Professor: M. Marker
Wilsonville Program Director: T. Kent

Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Geomatics with options in:
    • Surveying
    • Geographic Information Systems

Minors Offered

  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Surveying

Geomatics is the modern surveying, engineering, geoscience, and IT-related discipline which employs an integrated approach to the measurement, mathematical modeling, and management of spatial data. Spatial data is obtained from a variety of sources including ground-based instruments, mobile mapping technologies, aerial imaging, hydrographic, and earth-orbiting satellite systems. Spatial data is used to create a detailed but understandable picture of the Earth’s physical features. This data enables the design and development of land administration systems for sustainable planning and management of the built environment.

Geomatics provides the opportunity to work primarily outdoors, exclusively in an office, or in some combination of the two. Geomatics attracts individuals who enjoy working outdoors, as well as those who enjoy working indoors with computers, advanced technology, and high-tech instruments. Career employment is available in rural and urban areas.

The United Nations has adopted its first resolution, A Global Geodetic Reference Frame for Sustainable Development, recognizing the importance of a globally coordinated approach to geodesy – the geomatics discipline focused on accurately measuring the shape, rotation, and gravitational field of the earth.

Students within the Geomatics Program must choose between either an option in Surveying or Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Students may, with consent of their advisor, complete both options.

Program Objectives

Graduates of the Oregon Tech Geomatics options will:

  1. Acquire the ability to obtain professional licensure and/or certifications in the geospatial industry.
  2. Advance in the geospatial industry during their career by becoming involved in local, state, national, or international professional organizations.
  3. Obtain industry positions requiring increased responsibility.
  4. Assume responsibility for lifelong learning in professional and personal development.
  5. Demonstrate readiness for graduate education and/or advanced technical education.

Student Preparation

It is recommended that students prepare for entrance into the program by emphasizing mathematics and science in high school. Two years of algebra and one year each of geometry, trigonometry and physics are desirable prerequisites.

Bachelor of Science in Geomatics, Surveying Option

The department offers a nationally-recognized professional degree program that prepares students for employment within the geomatics profession and licensure as a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS). Students enjoy small classes taught by licensed professionals that emphasize fundamental theory and problem solving in a computer-intensive curriculum. Field laboratory experiences integrated throughout the curriculum provide practical skills, and offer extensive opportunities to prepare students to work in teams using state-of-the art technology. Upon completing the freshman year, students often have sufficient experience to obtain summer employment as a survey crew member.

Completion of the program qualifies graduates to take the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam during the spring term of the senior year. The broad-based nature of the curriculum ensures that graduates will be prepared to fulfill both the traditional and contemporary roles of the profession.

Cooperative Education

Geomatics students may, upon completion of the freshman year, apply for student career experience programs (Pathways) with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Bonneville Power Administration, U.S. Forest Service, or other appropriate federal employers. Work experiences are paid and may be for three or six month periods. Students may earn two or four credits for work experience periods. A maximum of four credits may be applied toward the bachelor’s degree.

Geomatics students are also eligible for the Civil Engineering Cooperative Program (CECOP), offering high-quality, paid industrial experience and related academic activities while students pursue their degree. The Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying (OSBEELS) counts this internship time toward PLS licensure requirements.


Approximately 40 scholarships are available to geomatics students each year through an endowed Geomatics Department Scholarship, CLSA, PLSO, LSAW, WESTFED, NSPS, and other organizations.

Career Opportunities

The employment forecast for graduates in this field is exceptional. As an increasing number of licensed surveyors across the nation retire, a personnel shortage has been created within the geomatics profession. Graduates are prepared for a wide variety of career opportunities in the fields of surveying, engineering, construction, remote sensing, GIS, and land information management.


The Geomatics Program (surveying option) is accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission (ASAC) of ABET, Inc., http://www.abet.org. ABET is a specialized accrediting board recognized by the Council for Higher Education and/or the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

Bachelor of Science in Geomatics, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Option

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a systematic approach to the management, analysis, and display of geographic information. Although the management of such information often times requires the application of advanced RDBMS techniques, the ability to see a project through to completion requires fundamental project management skills as well. The analysis of geodata sets is predicated on a firm understanding of spatial reference/coordinate systems, topological relationships, and statistical methods. Techniques for displaying geographic information take various forms such as maps, geographic datasets, and data models. Students graduating from this course of study will understand how to manipulate geographically based data in order to solve geospatial problems and how to use and create online resources to effectively communicate their results.

Students learn in a project-based environment how to manage the flow of data through the project in terms of data acquisition, processing, analysis, and presentation. Within the GIS option, students are able to select individual areas of focus based on independent study and/or online courses.

Career Opportunities

The list of opportunities for students in the field of GIS has been, and is continuing to show substantial growth. As our society becomes more data centered, the importance of understanding the spatial location of this data and its spatial relationship to other data is becoming increasingly apparent. Understanding such geospatial relationships is fundamental to areas such as health care, land records management, transportation modeling, environmental engineering/science, and urban planning, to name only a few. Local, state, and federal agencies are embracing GIS more each year as these agencies realize that GIS is the appropriate tool to solve long-standing geospatial problems. Private industry is also embracing GIS since it can be used to streamline delivery and/or response routes. Both private and public entities have also realized that GIS provides an excellent decision support framework structure.



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