The term Geomatics refers to the integration of geographic information systems (GIS) with global positioning satellite (GPS) technology, remote sensing and communication technology, (i.e., the Internet). A project involving the collection of environmental data at a site follows a series of consecutive events. The initial step is to identify project parameters and determine data needs. Data capture methods (i.e. collection and analyses) are selected and then implemented in the field. Once the data are generated, organization and communication are essential in making the data useful. The objective of using Geomatics is to facilitate the acquisition and management of data and to provide a mechanism for effectively communicating this information.
Before a field work is initiated, valuable information about the site and surrounding area can be obtained via the Internet. Homepages maintained by the US Geographic Survey, US Census Bureau and environmental organizations provide maps and other regional data in digital format, enabling a project manager to assess a wide range of regional conditions. Aerial and satellite photographs can be obtained to further understand the site and surrounding area. As site-specific data are generated, the geographic coordinates of each sampling point can be accurately and rapidly determined with GPS receivers. Using GIS software, a project manager can efficiently integrate the GPS geographic coordinate data with analytical data and the information obtained from the Internet-aerial photographs. GIS serves as the primary data management engine, organizing and providing access to all information generated as part of the project. The Internet can be utilized to disseminate the information to concerned parties.