LN News

Dec 23, 2017

Know When To Call A Land Surveyor OR A Geomatics Engineer

by Marie Cusack


Land surveying and geomatics engineering are similar but different jobs in the field of land management. Know the difference so you can confidently hire the right expert for your project.

Basically, you need a land surveyor for any type of legal land survey. You need a geomatics engineer for anything else that uses technology and involves a physical location.

Both jobs start with the same education: either a university degree in geomatics engineering or a technical school diploma in geomatics technology. In Alberta, the University of Calgary, NAIT, SAIT and Lethbridge College offer these programs.

Land Surveyors

Graduates wishing to become land surveyors get their education certified by a national board. Sometimes, this means more training. They must also article for two years under a licensed Alberta Land Surveyor or ALS for short. Finally and if their application is accepted, the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association certifies them as an ALS.

Land surveyors, geomatics engineers, survey technologists, geomatics technologists and design technicians work together on a project to operate the instruments, collect and interpret the data, and prepare the documents.

However, only a land surveyor (ALS) can validate legal land survey documents. Having a land surveyor sign and stamp the documents builds trust all information is accurate and legally compliant.

Legal land survey documents may include:

  1. real property reports
  2. subdivision survey plans
  3. right-of-way survey plans
  4. wellsite plans
  5. cadastral (or boundary) surveys


Geomatics Engineer

Geomatics engineers or technologists are experts in high-tech equipment, advanced computer software and measurement sciences. They collect data to do spatial visualization for understanding the physical map or layout of a project.

Geomatic engineering documents may include:

  1. volume measurement surveys
  2. 3D laser scanning and modelling
  3. concrete scanning and modelling
  4. high precision deformation and monitoring surveys
  5. integrity surveys
  6. virtual terrain modelling

Some geomatics engineers continue on to become professional engineers or P.Eng. for short. To do this, university engineering graduates article under a licenced professional engineer for four years, then write a national exam. If their application is accepted, the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta will certify them as a P.Eng.

Although not needed legally, a professional engineer’s signature and the engineering company’s permit stamp builds trust the document is accurate and complies with engineering principles and provincial codes.

Professional engineering construction survey documents may include:

  1. construction as-built drawings
  2. site grading survey plans


LN Land Development Technologies Has Skilled Land Surveyors, Geomatics Engineers and other experts

LN  is a skilled and progressive company, with licences to practise both land surveying and engineering in Alberta. LN has all expertise your project will need no matter whether it is legal land surveying, construction surveying or geomatics engineering.

Its experienced employees include land surveyors, professional engineers, geomatics engineers, survey technologists, geomatics technologists and design technicians—all with outstanding credentials and in-depth knowledge of the industry.

To learn how LN can support your project with qualified experts, email INFO@LNLDT.CA or call 780.488.9064.

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