A geomatician is an homo-sapiens², computer-assisted. E.g., he work ;-) ... His job is to manage a Geographic Information System to realize maps, analysis, or to provide geographic datas to some users.
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Commons applications domains are, for example among many others, lansdcape planning, networks management, environmental studies, meteorology, geology, gas and petrol exploitation, geomarketing, crime analysis, transportations, communication, or even electoral zone definitions :-( ...
Rare in 1960-70ies, GIS were largely developped since the 1980ies. Why ? Because 80% of informations are geographics. Adress, supplier or country code, phone or credit-card numbers, and even the use of one tongue are geographics informations.
A GIS is made with hardware, software, and datas. To use it, the geomatician must know computers, operating systems, networking, GIS software, but CAP-CAD software too, databases, SQL, geographic projection systems, geographic databases structuration, datas formats and their limits of interoperability, exchange formats, normalisations, metadatas, internet ... He must have a good knowledge of statictics, spatial analysis, graphical semiology, laws, and negociator ability ! And last but not least, a geomatician must know how to program. Using a GIS software without customizing it conduct to losts of time and decrease the interest of the job and its productivity, by a lack of automation for job-specific repetitive tasks.
Mmmmmm ... You ARE geomatician and you don't even know the half of that ? Do not worry !!! The building of a GIS or its improvements involves organisation improvements too, to get the maximal return on investments or efficiency. That is why a geomatician "should" be a specialist of so many things, for our days. The dilution of information technologies in organisations and society may enable you to just do geography, if you wish. Furthermore, at least three geomatician's specialities exists, now: developpers, administrators, and operators. Whatever your job is, in fact, it's done when peoples begin to think the GIS as a part of a strategic information system.
Technical abstract from CNIG n°48: "Géomaticien: un nouveau métier" (in french).
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