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Geomatics Engineering Technology

Use lasers, robots and drones to capture data and further develop your knowledge, skills and experience in surveying and mapping.

A man in a safety vest stands in a field while operating a drone.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

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If you have a background in surveying, either through the NSCC Survey Technician certificate or equivalent work experience, this program takes your skills to the next level.

In this program, you'll:

  • Spend up to 50% of your class time performing fieldwork, projects and exercises in teams using industry-standard techniques
  • Learn about legal, engineering and construction surveying
  • Learn to read plans, determine boundaries, place buildings, locate underground utilities, and design and lay out roadways
  • Practise advanced measurement skills using the latest technologies, such as autonomous airborne vehicles (i.e., drones) and LiDAR scanners
  • Hone your skills with Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), commonly known as global positioning systems or GPS, robotic and conventional total stations, geographic information systems (GIS) and computer-aided drafting (CAD) software
  • Create and analyze digital three-dimensional models of data you've acquired
  • Learn advanced concepts, like geodesy, photogrammetry and data management

This program is offered at the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS), Canada's largest geomatics-focused learning environment, and prepares you for a career in the global geomatics sector.

Explore a day in a life of a student

Get an inside look into a day in the life of Kailey – a geomatics engineering technology student and mom of two in the Annapolis Valley. Read Kailey's #DayInTheLife blog post

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience courses are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • NSCC's Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) provides a focused approach to geomatics training. COGS has earned a strong reputation among employers and geomatics professionals for the quality of the programs, hands-on training and practical learning provided to students.
  • You learn by doing. Close to half of your program time is spent working on field projects.
  • This program is accredited by the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB), a standing committee of the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT). CTAB accreditation means that this program has been evaluated against standards designed by industry leaders across Canada and is recognized internationally. Graduates may be eligible for membership with TechNova, the certifying organization for Engineering and Applied Science Technicians and Technologists in Nova Scotia.
  • You learn at a campus location that is dedicated to geomatics training and work alongside other students studying related disciplines.
  • Small class sizes provide you with lots of opportunities for one-on-one interaction and support.
  • You use the most up-to-date equipment and software and get the hands-on training that makes grads the preferred choice of employers.

Other info

  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official criminal record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Annapolis Valley Campus
Classes at COGS
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.
Seats available

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2023-24 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

Employment opportunities are available throughout Canada, the USA and abroad at:

  • Construction companies
  • Private survey firms
  • Natural resources exploration companies
  • Government organizations
  • Engineering firms
  • Environmental monitoring agencies
  • Survey equipment sales companies and other related roles in the public sector

Future study options

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

GETG 5002 - Geodesy and Map Projections
The objectives of this course are to introduce the learner to observations and computations on a solid body, to give the learner an understanding of the size and shape of the earth, the history of geodetic surveying, the concept of gravity and its use in surveying and to continue the learner's studies of map projections. Emphasis is placed on computations of coordinates, computations on the projection surface and coordinate conversions and recognition of common problems in coordinate computations.

GETG 5011 - Statistics and Adjustments
This course prepares learners for statistical analysis and quality control of surveying observations. During the course, learners will use data gathered from the field as well as standard data sets, and perform industry recognized adjustments and analysis using interactive software.

GETG 5022 - Automated Drafting I
This course is presented to Geomatics Engineering learners during term one. The course will provide learners with more advanced concepts and commands within the Surveying and Engineering CAD environment. Learners will draft and calculate projects by using a CAD-based civil engineering software package.

GETG 5024 - Precise Positioning With GNSS
In this course, students use the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) to determine the precise three-dimensional locations of features by implementing carrier-phase differential solutions in real-time, or through post-processing. Students apply GNSS theory by planning static and kinematic surveys, and collecting, processing, and analyzing static and kinematic survey data. They analyze survey results to identify the errors and biases in the GNSS solutions, and to validate the accuracy of derived coordinates. They also apply quality control procedures and develop statements of accuracy using statistical methods.

GETG 5025 - Applied Technology Project I
The objective of this course is to prepare learners to effectively communicate within a working environment. Emphasis will be placed on preparing project documentation and gathering field project data in support of Applied Technology Project II. Learners are required to generate the necessary fieldwork data for technical report on a topic of their choosing. This course provides them with time and appropriate support mechanisms for completing this task.

GETG 5027 - Fieldwork I
The learner will put into practice theory and applications discovered in the classroom. Fieldwork also focuses on the important aspect of teamwork and how teams can work effectively together to achieve a common goal.

GETG 5030 - Geographic Information Systems
This course is designed to introduce the learners to the main components of Geographic Information Systems, such as data input, data management, data analysis and output. Through the completion of practical assignments, the learners will gain an understanding of how GIS works and why it is such a powerful tool. The ArcView GIS v. 3.3 and some of its extension modules will be used in this course.

GETG 5040 - Construction Surveying
This course will introduce the learner to the aspects and applications of construction surveying. Topics include plan reading, earthworks, spiral curves and super-elevation. In addition, an industry-standard surveying software package will be utilized throughout this course.

GETG 6021 - Cadastral Studies and the Survey Profession
This course is designed to introduce the learner to fundamental business concepts to better prepare them for terminology and concepts they will encounter as surveyors. The course also provides an overview of the surveying systems and processes involved in defining land ownership and boundaries in Canada.

GETG 6022 - Automated Drafting II
The course will provide learners with more advanced concepts and commands within the Surveying and Engineering CAD environment. Learners will draft and calculate projects using a CAD-based civil engineering software package.

GETG 6026 - Applied Technology Project II
This course is designed to prepare learners to effectively communicate within a working environment. Emphasis will also be given to analyzing information, preparing high quality output, and to oral communications. Learners are required to prepare a technical report on a field experiment performed in Applied Technology Project I during the fall semester. Time and appropriate support mechanisms will be provided for completing this task.

GETG 6028 - Fieldwork II
The learner will put into practice theory and applications discovered in the classroom. Fieldwork also focuses on the important aspect of teamwork and how teams can work effectively together to achieve a common goal.

GETG 6052 - Geomatics Applications with Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems
This course introduces learners to the concepts of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS’s) and their applications as they relate to the geomatics field. Focus will be placed on the operational considerations for a UAV survey and photogrammetric concepts necessary to generate photogrammetrically derived products, such as ortho-rectified imagery, photo mosaics, digital terrain models.

GETG 6080 - Terrestrial Laser Scanning and Airborne LiDAR
This course covers principles of airborne and ground-based LiDAR systems. Learners will become familiar with their use in survey applications through examination of theory, project planning, application in fieldwork, and data processing.

GETG 6501 - Field Camp
This course provides learners with the opportunity to put into practice theory and applications discovered in the classroom. Fieldwork also focuses on the important aspect of teamwork and how teams can work effectively together to achieve a common goal.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

Geomatics Engineering Technology Elective. In addition to their required courses, learners will also complete 0.5 units (30 hours) from the following list of courses: GETG 6050, GETG 6051, GETG 6052, GETG 6100

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