Geomatics consists multidisciplinary studies of areas and their environment, contextualizing all in a geographic dimension which allows considering existing spatial relationships. It includes both, traditional disciplines such as surveying and mapping and also the most innovative areas of geographic information systems and geo-information.

The geomatic sector offers diverse tools for acquisition, storage, analysis, distribution and use of spatial data.
The geomatic group integrates design and implementation skills of physical models for environment processes, spatial data processing and for Web service development, like GIS interfaces, spatial databases and environmental monitoring. In addition, the group is active in particular in the use and development of various open source technologies.
Among the research, the development of numerical models of physical processes and their integration in GIS environments prevails. With this background it is even possible to simulate natural events like floods, landslides, dam breaks or tsunamis. The results of these models, developed through interaction with specialists in other disciplines, generate important information related to the analysis and mitigation of the consequences of natural hazards.

Geoinformation technologies

The group applies the latest technologies for the design and implementation of interconnected geoinformatic systems. The techniques used range from programming software such as server virtualization and asynchronous communication between internet applications to the structured collection of observations, acquired by sensor networks for environmental monitoring.

Geographical information System (GIS)

The development of new data models, also referred to by the European and national legislation, requires managing large amounts of data. Through the use of proprietary and open source GIS software, the group manages different types of environmental information such as the danger zones and areas of water protection. Among other activities we report the preparation, analysis and dissemination of cartographic products as well as the extraction and conversion of geographical data in the most popular digital formats.

Internet services

For the distribution of interoperable geographic data, the group has been working for several years with the international standards set by OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium), using existing and developing new software. On behalf of the cantonal administration the group runs several services like WMS (Web Mapping Service), WPS (Web Processing Service) and SOS (Sensor Observation Service). The knowledge gained is the distributed through refresher courses and further expanded through research projects.


The growth of the internet has led to a rapid development of technologies related to Geomatics. The increased availability of spatial data and the spread of GPS sensors have prompted a reassessment of the means of access to geodata via the network. The group has studied in depth the most popular Open Source Technologies, aimed to develop advanced interfaces WebGIS. Using these interfaces, new portals for viewing and the interrogation of integrated spatial data have been developed.

Environmental modeling

The group is active in the development of integrated GIS-based numerical models for the simulation of physical processes, in collaboration with specialists from other disciplines of Earth sciences. Through their use the effects of natural events such as floods, landslides, broken dams and tsunami are evaluated. Using the results of the models allows performing spatial analysis of risks, generating important information to define strategies for the mitigation of natural hazards.

Topographic survey

The group carries out topographic surveys, using both, the traditional tools like GPS, theodolites and levels and also modern technologies like laser scanning, digital photogrammetry and radar measurements. The control of small deformations for monitoring landslides and the architectural survey, cadastral and environmental sustainability are some of the activities commonly performed. Among the areas of research, the development of methodologies for automatic filtering and analysis of LIDAR data and the testing of new technologies are emphasized.