Geomatics involves the study of maps and space on, above, or below the surface of the earth. This field covers surveying, GPS and software development for areas including Google maps, remote sensing and legal work.
Dr. Sowmya Selvarajan, assistant professor of geomatics, said the 2010 labor statistics showed there was no job shortage for those with a geomatics degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website showed all occupations related to geomatics were experiencing a hiring increase of at least 16 percent.
“The biggest hurdle we’re facing is that most people don’t even know what Geomatics is,” said Professor Dan Perry, coordinator for the Geomatics program. “If we were in Europe, you would know what geomatics meant from grade school.”
The Geomatics program is also involved with a variety of projects, including an archeology project in Israel. Using remote sensing, those in the program were able to explore and map out an underground village.
The department has received a grant to have the campus photographed using a laser scanner. This will help create an accurate picture of the university and produce a 3-D model of campus.
Students in the geomatics program also participate in various competitions involving hand and digital mapmaking. Two students will be going to an event at the Utah State Capitol called Maps on the Hill, where they will present their maps with other colleges and professionals from around Utah.
Geomatics classes began in fall 2011, but the program had already been approved by the Utah Board of Regents in December 2010. Four students will graduate with a B.S. in Geomatics this spring.
For more information about the degree, go to www.uvu.edu/geomatics or set up an appointment to meet with an advisor at (801) 863-8648.