Spatial science is about measuring, recording, managing and communicating information about land and the built environment.
There are a number of different job roles in the surveying and spatial industry:
- Land surveyors use science to gather information for land development; measuring the size, features and boundaries of land, and creating scale drawings and reports for development plans.
- Cadastral surveyors are specially licensed land surveyors who are authorised to conduct land title surveys.
- Geospatial (GIS) analysts collect, analyse and communicate information that relates to a geographical or spatial location, generally in the form of maps, which may be online and interactive.
- Hydrographic surveyors measure and map the shape and location of land features below bodies of water using high-tech equipment. Their work is used to measure erosion, guide dredging projects, explore for oil, or mark underwater hazards, and is important for the shipping industry, recreational boaties, and research and construction projects such as harbours and bridges. Regular surveys are needed in some areas, as land under water is subject to change due to currents and storms.
Spatial information is also important for urban, environmental and transport planning and civil engineering.
Key tertiary qualifications include:
- Bachelor of Surveying
- National Diploma in Surveying
- National Certificate in Surveying (Assistant)
- Bachelor of Science in Geography, Geographical Information Science or Land and Spatial Information Studies
Recommended school subjects:
- Maths, especially Calculus, Geometry and Algebra
- Digital Technologies, especially Information Management
- Design and Visual Communications
What about quantity surveyors?
Although the name is similar, quantity surveyors are quite different to surveyors. They work in the construction industry where they study architects' and engineers’ plans to work out quantities and costs, and ensure that work is completed on time and on budget.