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In this section, we explain some of the concepts and expressions used on this site.


Geomatics, also known as geospatial technology or geomatics engineering, or geomatic engineering, is the discipline of gathering, storing, processing, and delivering geographic information, or spatially referenced information. In other words, it consists of products, services and tools involved in the collection, integration and management of geographic data.

Geospatial (analysis)

Geospatial means pertaining to the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features and boundaries on, above, or below the earth\’s surface; especially referring to data that is geographic and spatial in nature

Geospatial analysis is an approach to applying statistical analysis and other informational techniques to data which has a geographical or geospatial aspect. Such analysis would typically employ software capable of geospatial representation and processing, and apply analytical methods to terrestrial or geographic datasets, including the use of geographic information systems and geomatics.


To georeference means to associate something with locations in physical space. The term is commonly used in the geographic information systems field to describe the process of associating a physical map or raster image of a map with spatial locations. Georeferencing may be applied to any kind of object or structure that can be related to a geographical location, such as points of interest, roads, places, bridges, or buildings.


Infrared: 0.7 to 300 µm wavelength. This region is further divided into the following bands:

Near Infrared (NIR): 0.7 to 1.5 µm.
Short Wavelength Infrared (SWIR): 1.5 to 3 µm.
Mid Wavelength Infrared (MWIR): 3 to 8 µm.
Long Wanelength Infrared (LWIR): 8 to 15 µm.
Far Infrared (FIR): longer than 15 µm.

The NIR and SWIR are also known as the Reflected Infrared, referring to the main infrared component of the solar radiation reflected from the earth\’s surface. The MWIR and LWIR are the Thermal Infrared.

Multispectral sensor

The sensor is a multichannel detector with a few spectral bands. Each channel is sensitive to radiation within a narrow wavelength band. The resulting image is a  multilayer image which contains both the brightness and spectral (colour) information of the targets being observed.

Hyperspectral sensor

A hyperspectral imaging system is also known as an “imaging spectrometer”. it acquires images in about a hundred or more contiguous spectral bands. The precise spectral information contained in a hyperspectral image enables better characterisation and identification of targets. Hyperspectral images have potential applications in such fields as precision agriculture (e.g. monitoring the types, health, moisture status and maturity of crops), coastal management (e.g. monitoring of phytoplanktons, pollution, bathymetry changes).


Lidar (also written LIDAR, LiDAR or LADAR) is a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light. Lidar is popularly used as a technology to make high-resolution maps, with applications in geomatics, archaeology, geography, geology, geomorphology, seismology, forestry, remote sensing, atmospheric physics, airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM), laser altimetry, and contour mapping.


Magnetometers are measurement instruments used for two general purposes: to measure the magnetization of a magnetic material like a ferromagnet, or to measure the strength and, in some cases, the direction of the magnetic field at a point in space. Magnetometers are widely used for measuring the Earth\’s magnetic field and in geophysical surveys to detect magnetic anomalies of various types.

Thermal imaging

Infrared thermography (IRT), thermal imaging, and thermal video are examples of infrared imaging science. Thermographic cameras detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum (roughly 9–14 µm) and produce images of that radiation, called thermograms. Since infrared radiation is emitted by all objects above absolute zero according to the black body radiation law, thermography makes it possible to see one\’s environment with or without visible illumination.
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