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School of Forest, Fisheries, & Geomatics Sciences

School of Forest, Fisheries, & Geomatics Sciences

Geomatics (GEM) Program

The Geomatics program offers an integrated approach for the study of various geospatial measurement systems and technologies

Geomatics refers to the integrated approach of measurement, analysis, and management of the descriptions and locations of geospatial data. These data come from many sources, including earth-orbiting satellites, air and sea-borne sensors and ground based instruments. It is processed and manipulated with state-of-the-art information technology. Geomatics has applications in all disciplines which depend on spatial data, including forestry, environmental studies, planning, engineering, navigation, geology and geophysics. It is thus fundamental to all areas of study which use spatially related data, such as Surveying, Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry, Cartography, Geographic Information Systems, Property or Cadastral Studies and Global Positioning.

Geomatics as a discipline encompasses many fields involved in collecting, managing, analyzing and displaying geospatial information.

The Geomatics program is available at three locations in the state of Florida: on the main campus in Gainesville, at the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC) or at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) in Plant City. The Geomatics program has been available at the main University campus in Gainesville (under different names) since 1973 and was introduced at the two Research and Education Centers at Fort Lauderdale and Plant City in 2007 under the statewide Geomatics Education initiative.

Areas of Study

  • Geodesy
  • Digital Imaging and Mapping
  • Geospatial Information Science
  • Professional Surveying and Mapping
  • Photogrammetry
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Remote Sensing
  • Global Positioning Systems
  • Land Tenure and Cadastral Systems


Our faculty in Geomatics lead research projects in precision elevation determination to monitor sea level rise, remote sensing methods for assessing agricultural crop health and the extent of invasive species, enhanced LiDAR measurements using drones, and GIS models of tourist behavior. They also address issues of land tenure in a global context such as:

  • What factors contribute to adaptive capacity of poor rural households and can they be enhanced to make these households more resilient?
  • Can we design more efficient, less costly, and more transparent methods for mapping property boundaries using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or drones?
  • What is the relationship between tenure security and human wellbeing and how can we measure this in developing countries?
  • How can tenure security in community-based customary tenure systems be enhanced?


The Geomatics program at the University of Florida School of Forest, Fisheries, & Geomatics Sciences is the oldest program of its kind in the southeastern United States. Students have the opportunity to pursue a BS in Geomatics, an MS with a concentration in Geomatics or a PhD.  The Bachelor of Science in Geomatics is accredited by the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Program Faculty

Amr Abd-Elrahman
Professor, Geomatics


Jack Breed
Adjunct Professor

Eben Broadbent
Associate Professor, Forest Ecology & Geomatics

Chunli Dai
Assistant Professor, Geomatics/Geodesy

Henry Hochmair
Professor, Geomatics

Justin Thomas
Lecturer, Geomatics

Ben Wilkinson
Associate Professor, Geomatics, Photogrammetry & Lidar