Geo-information Technology – What It Is, How It Was and Where It Is Heading to

  • Mathias Lemmens
Part of the Geotechnologies and the Environment book series (GEOTECH, volume 5)


The imperative of measuring and monitoring our environment is increasingly surfacing as the world’s population is rapidly approaching seven billion people, natural resources are rapidly being exploited and human activities continue to challenge the quality of land, water and air as well as the Earth’s climate. Today’s technology, consisting of ground-based, airborne and orbiting sensors combined with information and communication technology enables to collect, process, analyse and disseminate data about a great variety of processes occurring on our planet. The assembly of methods, approaches and devices developed and under development for dealing with the above challenges is called geo-information technology. Geo-information technology is a rapidly evolving engineering discipline, also called geomatics. Which activities does the field of geomatics comprise and how can geoscientists and professionals dealing with the environment benefit from this sophisticated technology? Where is the technology coming from and how did it evolve over time to what it is today? Where is it heading to? This chapter aims at addressing these topics.


Global Navigation Satellite System Global Navigation Satellite System Geographical Information System Gravity Field Terrestrial Laser Scanning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Alder K (2003) The measure of all things. Time Warner Books, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Allan AL (2007) Principles of geospatial surveying. Whittles Publishing, Dunbeath. ISBN 978-1904445-21-0Google Scholar
  3. Anderson JM, Mikhail EM (1998) Surveying: theory and practice, 7th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  4. Bannister A, Raymond S, Baker R (1998) Surveying, 7th edn. Longman, Harlow, EssexGoogle Scholar
  5. Bomford G (1980) Geodesy, 4th edn. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  6. Burkholder EF (2008) The 3D global spatial data model: foundation of the spatial data infrastructure. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, London, 392 p. ISBN 978-14200-6301-1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Burnside CD (1991) Electromagnetic distance measurement. BSP Professional Books, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Garland GD (1997) The Earth’s shape and gravity. Pergamon, Oxford. ISBN 0-08-010822-9Google Scholar
  9. Haasbroek ND (1968) Gemma Frisius, Tycho Brahe and Snellius, and their triangulations, vol 14, Publication of The Netherlands Geodetic CommissionGoogle Scholar
  10. Haasbroek ND (1972) Investigation of the accuracy of Krayenhoff’s triangulation (1802–1811) in Belgium, The Netherlands and a part of North Western Germany, Publication of The Netherlands Geodetic CommissionGoogle Scholar
  11. Haunert J-H, Wolff A (2010) Area aggregation in map generalisation by mixed-integer programming. Int J Geogr Inf Sci 24(12):1871–1897CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Heiskanen WA, Moritz H (1967) Physical geodesy. Freeman and Co., San Francisco, LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. Heiskanen WA, Vening-Meinesz FA (1958) The earth and its gravity field. McGraw-Hill, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  14. Helmert FR (1880/1884) Die mathematischen und physickalischen Theorien der höheren Geodädie. Teubner, Leipzig (Reprinted in 1961)Google Scholar
  15. Jacoby W, Smilde PL (2009) Gravity interpretation: fundamentals and application of gravity inversion and geological interpretation. Springer, Berlin, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  16. Kahmen H, Faig W (1988) Surveying. De Gruyter, Berlin, New York, NYCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kavanagh BF (2006) Surveying: principles and applications, 7th edn. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, USAGoogle Scholar
  18. Keay J (2000) The great arc; the dramatic tale of how India was mapped and Everest was named. Harper Collins, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Koeman C (1970) Joan Blaeu and his grand atlas. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Amsterdam, 114 pGoogle Scholar
  20. Lemmens M (2003) Geo-information technology: changing technology in a changing society. GITC bv, Lemmer, The Netherlands, 192 p. ISBN 90-806205-6-4Google Scholar
  21. Lemmens M (2006) Scale and level of detail. GIM Int 20(9):11Google Scholar
  22. Lemmens M (2010) Lost in Italy. GIM Int 24(11):6–9Google Scholar
  23. Lillesand ThM, Kiefer RW (1999) Remote sensing and image interpretation. Wiley, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  24. Moritz H (1990) Advanced physical geodesy. Wichmann, KarlsruheGoogle Scholar
  25. Moritz H (2000) The figure of the earth. Wichmann, KarlsruheGoogle Scholar
  26. Pick M, Picha J, Vyscoch V (1973) Theory of the earth’s gravity field. Elsevier Scientific Publ. Co, Amsterdam, London, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Reuger JM (1996) Electromagnetic distance measurement. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rummel, R, Sansó, F (eds) (1993) Satellite altimetry in geodesy and oceanography. Lecture notes in earth sciences, vol 50. Springer, Berlin, NYGoogle Scholar
  29. Rushing RL (2006) Lasting impressions: a glimpse into the legacy of surveying. Berntsen International, Madison, Wisconsin, USAGoogle Scholar
  30. Sansó F, Rummel R (eds) (1989) Theory of satellite geodesy and gravity field determination. Lecture notes in earth sciences, vol 25. Springer, Berlin, NYGoogle Scholar
  31. Seeber G (1993) Satellite geodesy. Walter de Gruyter, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  32. Seidler E, Lemmens M, Jacoby WR (1983) On the global gravity field and plate kinematics. Tectonophysics 96(3–4):181–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Short JR (2003) The world through maps: a history of cartography. Firefly books, Toronto, ONGoogle Scholar
  34. Thomson MM, Gruner H (1980) Foundations of photogrammetry, Chapter 1 in Manual of Photogrammetry. Am Soc Photogramm 1:1–36Google Scholar
  35. Torge W (2001) Geodesy, 3rd edn. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, NYCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Watelet W (1994) Gerardus Mercator Rupelmundanus. Mercatorfonds Paribas, Antwerpen, België, 446 pp. ISBN 90-6153-313-9Google Scholar
  37. Wolf PR, Ghilani ChD (2006) Elementary surveying: an introduction to geomatics, 11th edn. Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. ISBN 0-13-148189-4Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations