Geomatics (Remote Sensing and GIS) is a cross/inter-disciplinary theme in which emphasis is placed on knowledge of existing and potential satellite, airborne, terrestrial scanning (e.g.TLS) and drone technologies and their associated applications and uncertainties.
Sensor capabilities encompass radar (e.g. SAR), optical, spectral and multispectral (e.g. Landsat) technologies and an understanding of the platforms available to service them, the organisations involved in their development/operation and the means for accessing and processing the datasets available from each sensor.
The applications of Geomatics include water resource assessment such as flood risk determination (including real-time or post-event mapping), analysis of fluvial/coastal morphodynamics and mapping of unusual surface water deposits such as oil slicks, algal blooms or other pollution. Geomatics also includes analysis such as thermal imaging used to determine changes in domestic and industrial buildings, areas of landfill, and as part of waste monitoring (e.g. fly-tipping).
Large-scale landscape monitoring also falls under the umbrella and includes areas dedicated to monitoring the effects of hydraulic fracturing or post landslide changes. Indirect impacts to the natural environment including changes to vegetation cover through land management/use variations or monitoring of urban developments over time, can also be monitored by these methods.
The need for skills in GIS-based data handling (e.g. Esri, MapInfo) and image processing is crucial and some research is already undertaken at the BGS and in EGIS. However, the proposed new research areas in the Lyell Centre will allow these to be conflated into a larger, and more collaborative research venture.