Earth & Atmospheric Science (EATS):

Geomatics Science

About the Program:

Research activities in the Department include mantle convection, core dynamics and Earth rotation, experimental and theoretical geophysical fluid dynamics, remote sensing, synthetic aperture radar, geodesy, geological applications of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and the development of new GIS techniques.

Geomatics is founded on the scientific framework of Geodesy, the Earth Science sub-field concernedGeoBIcollage1 with the determination of size, shape, physical surface and gravity field of the Earth, in three-dimensional, time-varying space. Geodesy deals with the establishment, maintenance, continuous development and enhancement of national and global four-dimensional spatial reference frames and the measurement and monitoring of geodynamic phenomena. It makes use of conventional and space geodetic techniques in a globally integrated observing system. Geomatics is the combination of several disciplines dealing with geospatial information (i.e., information tied to geographic or other spatial coordinates). It includes global positioning systems (GPS, GLONASS and others), satellite imaging and photogrammetry, remote sensing, computer vision and image processing, geographic information systems (GIS), survey engineering, land management, computer mapping, digital terrain modelling and the wireless and web-based dissemination of geospatial data.

The Department builds on a long history with the instrumentation and interpretation methods in Applied Geophysics. Several of the world’s leading geophysical instrument manufacturers including Scintrex Ltd. and Geonics Limited are located in the vicinity and now employ our graduates. In addition, major contractors who perform geophysical surveys and interpret these results including Geosoft Inc., Fugro Airborne Surveying are also located in the North York region and employ our graduates.

More recently, the expertise in geophysical methods for exploration of minerals has been extended to the modern methods of environmental assessment, and to delineation of buried infrastructure in the urban environment. This recent development suggests that future urban and environment issues will benefit greatly by the combined technologies associated with geomatics and exploration geophysics.

An Environmental Test site with a known array of buried targets has been built at York University that is contributing significantly to the external recognition of the Department of Earth & Space Science & Engineering through its activities in Applied Geophysics and Geomatics Engineering.