Bachelor of Geomatics - BGEO

Short description

”GEOMATICS” is a relatively new term that is used to generally describe the handling and manipulation of geodata - all forms of information that is connected with positional definition. Geomatics therefore covers, includes and combines land surveying with satellite positioning and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies.

Put differently, one can say that Geomatics is an internationally recognised collective term for geoposition-related subjects, including digital mapping, GIS, land surveying and GNSS, satellite imagery, radar plotting, laser scanning, 3D modelling, environmental monitoring and assorted tools for acquiring, recording, preparing, manipulating and presenting information.

Geomatics is more and more becoming a part of every day life in modern and technologically advanced society. Good examples are in the field of transportation on land, at sea and in the air, and in the area of communications with the “show map” functions in Yellow Pages. Meanwhile mobile telephones, GNSS and the Internet are increasingly, both alone and in combination, offering built-in GIS options enabling users rapidly to find their desired directions.

Everyone, meanwhile, has different needs for different forms of geographic information.

The question of providing geo-information via the Internet and through mobile units such as field-portable PCs and mobile telephones has led to rapid developments, especially since many such devices have built-in geo-functions (maps, GNSS and information databases). Digitally produced paper maps nevertheless continue to be widely used.

Finding good solutions for developing modern infrastructure depends on the availability of maps, plans and 3D models. Businesses often need assistance to find out where it would be most profitable to establish their various departments – especially their sales outlets. By analysing geographic data it is possible to find out where and how far away most customers live, as well as where their competitors are based.

In the field of marketing, meanwhile, geographic information is used together with population statistics in order to design advertising to be aimed specific target customer groupings. Transport companies, for example, are heavy users of software that is able to determine the fastest delivery/collection route between customers.

National and local authorities similarly need geographic information in order to plan the development of their infrastructures and to be able to operate their many essential services. Examples are the location of hospitals, schools, residential areas, technical infrastructures (water, drainage, power supply etc) recreation areas, and areas of natural interest and preservation. Naturally, the emergency services (fire, ambulance, police and home defence) are totally dependent upon up-to-date geographic information so that they are able to deploy when called out.

Modern building and construction projects have increasingly become impossible without them first being three-dimensionally digitally modelled and graphically visualised. Only with such visualisations is it possible to consider and answer questions about the best possible placement of buildings, how much needs to excavated (or indeed dynamited out), how much needs to be filled, and perhaps most of all – how much it is all going to cost.

Clearly, geographic information first needs to be measured and collected so that these needs can be met. The terrain must be mapped by means of land surveying, satellite and aerial photography or scanning from the air. This terrain mapping process establishes a base of information known as “positional data” or “geodata”. Everything which is mapped is positioned using a system of co-ordinates (eastings, northings, and heights), and is connected with details about what is to be found at those co-ordinates in a database. Desired information can then be extracted from that database – for example property boundaries, power distribution lines, school catchment areas and so on.

Advanced satellite positioning systems, based on the current universally used GPS and Russian GLONASS global satellite navigation systems (with the European Galileo and Chinese Compass systems under development) are very rapidly coming into widespread use in the actual terrain mapping process. These systems are in use not only to find out where objects are, but also to find out where, for example, the aeroplane is that is being used to find out where objects are.

Geomatics is an essential part of all of what has been touched upon above. In essence, Geomatics concerns:

The collection, management and use of geographic information with the aid of digital and/or paper maps, the Internet, mobile telephony, database technology and advanced positioning instrumentation.


This is a full time First Degree course with a normal duration of three years giving 180 ECTS credit points. The course has two Specialisations – Land Surveying and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – and candidates select their Specialisation half way through the course.

Expected learning outcomes


  • The candidate will have sound knowledge of the collection, systematical arrangement, ordering and storage, management, analysis and presentation of spatial data (Information that is connected to a location);
  • The candidate will have knowledge of research and development in this field;
  • The candidate can independently update knowledge, by means of both literature and contact with others involved in thiese disciplines;
  • The candidate has knowledge of the history of geomatics, its practices, and its interface with other disciplines;
  • The candidate has good insight into current practices for the production and distribution of spatial data in Norway;
  • The candidate has a good overview of the technology for the distribution and presentation of spatial data over the internet;
  • The candidate has wide knowledge of applicable laws and standards in this field;
  • The candidate has knowledge of market leading geomatics equipment and software, including both commercial software and open shareware.


  • Candidates can apply academic knowledge and relevant research and development results to practical and theoretical issues, making reasoned choices;
  • Candidates can reflect on their own professional utdøvelse, and develop under supervision;
  • The candidate has basic skills in modelling, collecting, processing and analysing spatial data, including its management and presentation;
  • The candidate has excellent skills in the use of market leading geomatics equipment and software, and can argue both orally and in writing for the techniques used.

General Competence:

  • The candidate is aware of the environmental, ethical and economic implications related to his work;
  • The candidate can plan and carry out a variety of tasks and projects ranging over time, alone and as a member of a group, and in line with ethical requirements and guidelines;
  • The candidate can communicate professional geomatics knowledge to wider audiences both orally and in writing, in both Norwegian and English;
  • Candidates have a clear awareness of their own knowledge and skills, and have respect for other disciplines and professionals, and are able to contribute to interdisciplinary work;
  • Candidates can participate actively in professional geomatics discussions and can share their knowledge and experience with others and so contribute to developing good practice in this discipline.

Candidates specialising in surveying are expected to master the more advanced aspects of satellite surveying, setting out of construction sites, and the manipulation of various coordinate systems and map projections. In addition, candidates should have good knowledge related to accuracy assessment and the quality assurance of a variety of surveying operations.
Candidates specializing in GIS will have extensive knowledge of the use, analysis and management of geographic data. This includes knowledge related to the use of the internet, databases, navigation and route selection, and environmental impact assessments.

Graduates will be qualified to work in fields such as:

  • The public sector (Norwegian Mapping Authority, Public Roads Administration, local authorities, Land Consolidation Administration, defence);
  • Private mapping and surveying firms;
  • Consultants, equipment and software suppliers;
  • Oil companies (navigation, resource mapping);
  • Power supply (mapping, surveying, GIS)

The proportion of employees in the private sector is increasing, partly due to changes in legislation relating to the surveying of land property.


Arrangements have been made to provide for overseas exchanges during the autumn semester in the third year. Dissertations may also be studied for and developed overseas during the third year spring semester. Agreements for a single exchange semester are in place with:

  • The School of Construction and the Environment of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England
  • University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt", Wiener Neustadt, Austria

Exchanges with other foreign institutions can also be arranged.

Target Group

This bachelor degree course is designed for students completing high school education with science options, as well as mature applicants from the wider work market who have sufficient relevant experience. Candidates from Technical Colleges and those who have completed preliminary courses for engineering students are also eligible providing they satisfy the requirements of the Higher Education Entrance Qualification.

Admission Criteria

Candidates are required to have completed high school education with the R1 (2MX, 2MY or 3MZ) science options or their equivalents, or to be able to demonstrate that they satisfy the requirements of the Higher Education Entrance Qualification.

Applicants over 25 are also eligible on the basis of relevant vocational experience in accordance with specific regulations.

Course Structure


This degree course is focussed on serving the needs of the geomatics industry, and is arranged so that the necessary aspects of pure science are integrated with the specialised geomatics topics. This form of course content integration therefore makes it possible for students to begin learning geomatic topics immediately on beginning.

Teaching Methods

Teaching methods in general are designed to require active student participation, through, for example:

  • Supervised individual or group projects, both with or without supervision and guidance;
  • Lectures;
  • Laboratory work together with computational exercises;
  • Extensive fieldwork;
  • Excursions and visits to industry.

Every effort is made for students to use relevant and modern equipment, techniques and computers. Additionally, teaching in many of the individual course subjects is arranged around longer term projects often in connection with a variety of external agencies and companies.

Content and Structure

The course structure and content is designed around the needs of industry, and relies to an extent on cooperation with public and private geomatics agencies. The course begins immediately with geomatic topics, including pure science themes as they become necessary and relevant. In this way, mathematics, statistics and physics are covered as directly related to the needs of technical geomatic subjects.

Only obligatory subjects are taken in the first year, while optional subjects become available increasingly through the second and third years, as shown in the tables below. Individual subject classes in the first two years normally consist of students from both this degree course, and from the one-year Land Surveying and GIS courses.

The course ends by requiring students to submit an independent 20 credit dissertation on a research and development subject either in support of an external agency, or as part of on-going Geomatics Group activities.

The Geomatics degree course offers two Specialisations, with the first three semesters (half of the degree course) being common to both.

Educational quality assurance is based on:

Teaching staff’s technical and educational competence and skills;

  • Involvement in an operational quality assurance system;
  • Education based on research and development;
  • External assessment.
  • Close contact with industry

Education based on Research and Development

Students are throughout the course exposed to ideas and methods which prepare them for carrying out simpler research and development tasks. Weight is given especially to having a systematic approach, to the use of the literature, to critically reviewing sources of information, and to always presenting their source reference credits.

Students are therefore presented with tasks which are designed to contribute to on-going research and development projects within the Geomatics Group, and are then expected to document and present their activities in accordance with the best professional practices and operating standards. All of these elements come together at the end of the degree course, when students are required to carry out a more major project and present their resulting dissertations.

Weight is given in all individual subjects to research themes and to students’ individual ability to demonstrate good research techniques, with good use of literature and the presentation of source references.

Professional Opportunities
Graduates from this degree course are popular and sought after in the job market. There is currently a shortage of qualified geomatic engineers, despite the fact that geographic information and GNSS have become a natural part of every day life. Graduates can therefore look forward to a secure future with many and varied work opportunities in the private and public sectors (software developers, civil engineering, surveying and mapping, consultants, oil companies, net providers, the National Mapping Authority, the National Roads Authority, defence, land law).

Further studies  

Education at engineer levels has different qualification requirements than those for Bachelor of Geomatics. Bachelor of Geomatics students who are qualified to be accepted for education as engineers and who later wish to continue to Masters levels require certain preliminary qualifications in mathematics and statistics. These qualifications may be obtained on application and individual negotiation.

Table of subjects

1st year

Coursecode Course name C/E *) ECTS each. semester
  S1(A) S2(S) S3(A) S4(S) S5(A) S6(S) S7(A)
REA1101 Mathematics for computer science C 10            
GEO1191 Basic Land Surveying 1 C 10            
GEO1201 Basic Land Surveying 2 C 10            
GEO1271 Geographic data capture 1 C   10          
GEO2331 Laws and Cadastral C   10          
GEO2282 Practical Land Surveying C   10          
IMT2261 Information Structures and Database Systems C     10        
GEO1121 GIS Intro C     10        
GEO2311 Geographic Information Technology C     10        
IMT1441 Programming for the Web I C       10      
Sum: 30 30 30 10 0 0 0
*) C - Compulsory course, E - Elective course

2nd year Land Surveying Specialisation

Coursecode Course name C/E *) ECTS each. semester
  S1(A) S2(S) S3(A) S4(S) S5(A) S6(S)
GEO2121 Digital Terrain Modelling C       10    
GEO3061 Setting Out C         10  
GEO3071 Satellite Surveying C         10  
Elective course, 10 ECTS E         10  
Elective course, 10 ECTS E           10
TØL3901 Bachelor Dissertation 20 C           20
Sum: 0 0 0 20 30 30
*) C - Compulsory course, E - Elective course

2nd year GIS Specialisation

Coursecode Course name C/E *) ECTS each. semester
  S1(A) S2(S) S3(A) S4(S) S5(A) S6(S)
GEO3141 Spatial Data Infrastructure C       10    
GEO3101 Geographic Analysis E       10    
GEO2121 Digital Terrain Modelling E       10    
GEO2341 Geographic data capture 2 C         10  
Elective course, 10 ECTS E         10  
Elective course, 10 ECTS E         10  
Elective course, 10 ECTS E           10
TØL3901 Bachelor Dissertation 20 C           20
Sum: 0 0 0 20 30 30
*) C - Compulsory course, E - Elective course

Recommended Optional Subjects: (both Specialisations)

Coursecode Course name C/E *) ECTS each. semester
  S1(A) S2(S) S3(A) S4(S) S5(A) S6(S)
GEO2341 Geographic data capture 2 E         10  
BIM1001 Basic Intelligent Modelling E         10  
SMF1042 Basic Economics E         10  
GEO2121 Digital Terrain Modelling E           10
GEO2151 Adjustment computations and reliability analysis in land surveying E           10
GEO3101 Geographic Analysis E           10
GEO3093 Geomatics Project Assignment II E         10 10
Sum: 0 0 0 0 0 0
*) C - Compulsory course, E - Elective course

Other recommended Optional Subjects:

Coursecode Course name C/E *) ECTS each. semester
  S1(A) S2(S) S3(A) S4(S) S5(A) S6(S)
IMT1401 Information and publishing technology E         5  
IMT1003 Introduction to IT-Operations and Information Security E         10  
IMT2243 Software Engineering E           10
IMT2291 Web Technology E           10
Sum: 0 0 0 0 0 0
*) C - Compulsory course, E - Elective course