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Geological scientists use geoinformatics tools to create 3D maps of not only Earth's surface but also, as in the case of astrogeology, the surface of other planets like Mars.

Geoinformatics is a multidisciplinary field of science that uses technologies supporting the processes of acquiring, analyzing, and visualizing geospatial data.[1]

The definition of the term "geoinformatics" varies greatly, however. For example, author G. Randy Keller, focusing on the internals of our planet, explained geoinformatics as the use of "data, software tools, and computational infrastructure ... to facilitate studies of the structure, dynamics, and evolution of the solid Earth through time, as well as the processes that act upon it and within it from the near surface to the core."[2] Other definitions of geoinformatics dutifully extend its scope to the surface of the planet, causing more confusion as terms like "geomatics," "geographical information system," and "computational geography" are brought to the discussion from different regions around the world and are often used synonymously.[3][4][5] Senior lecturer Jiří Šíma of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen attempts to compare "geomatics" and "geoinformatics" using ISO standards[6]:

According to ISO Standard 19122 'geomatics is a discipline concerned with the collection, distribution, storage, analysis, processing, presentation of geographic data or geographic information.' Its range is perfectly described by activities of the Geomatics Canada: establishing and maintainace [sic] of national spatial reference system, preparing, publishing and distributing of state topographical maps, aeronautical charts, aerial photographs and gazetteers, surveys on state boundaries, property surveys on federal lands, maintainance [sic] of national bases of geographic data for the development of geographical information systems.

However, as of at least 2012, there appears to be no official definition of geoinformatics in the ISO 19100 standards.[6][7] One of the best definitions was published by Dietmar Grünreich, president of the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy in Frankfurt (Main): 'geoinformatics is a discipline concerned with theory of geospatial data modeling, their storage, management and processing as well as with development of geographical information systems and necessary information and communication technology.'"[6]


Geoinformatics can help tackle problems and tasks such as the following[2][1]:

  • the modeling and use of seismic data
  • the construction and use of other geologically realistic 3-D models
  • the production of high-quality paleogeographic maps
  • the production of astrogeological 3D maps
  • the measurement of Earth's gravity field
  • the mitigation of hazards in volcanically active areas
  • the planning and management of land use
  • the reconstruction of architecture and archeological sites
  • the creation of commercial maritime routes
  • the management of natural resources


Scientists practicing in the earth sciences increasingly rely on digital spatial data acquired and visualized from remotely sensed images analyzed by geographical information systems (GIS). Other informatics tools include geospatial analysis and modeling software, geospatial databases, and wired and wireless networking technologies. As these types of systems and tools have become more readily available, a larger global initiative to use them for greater data integration and sharing has emerged.[8] GEON, for example, was an open collaborative project for creating infrastructure for collecting 3- and 4D geospatial data.[9] OneGeology is another global informatics initiative attempting to compile digital geological map data for all to use.[8]

Further reading

  • Sinha, A.K.; Malik, Z.; Rezgui, A. et al. (2010). "Geoinformatics: Transforming data to knowledge for geosciences". GSA Today 20 (12): 4–10. doi:10.1130/GSATG85A.1. 

External links


This article reuses a few elements from the Wikipedia article.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Karimi, Hassan A. (2009). Handbook of Research on Geoinformatics. IGI Global. pp. 481. ISBN 9781591409960. Retrieved 05 June 2014. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Keller, G. Randy (2011). "Chapter 1: Science needs and challenges for geoinformatics". Geoinformatics: Cyberinfrastructure for the Solid Earth Sciences. Cambridge University Press. pp. 3–9. ISBN 9781139502634. Retrieved 05 June 2014. 
  3. ahabibi (24 December 2007). "Geoinformatics, what the bloody hell is it?". Marine geoinformatics. Retrieved 05 May 2014. 
  4. Boulos, Maged N. Kamel (14 October 2002). "Geomatics and GIS: Definitions and Scope". Health Geomatics. City University, London. Retrieved 05 June 2014. 
  5. Thurston, Jeff (12 August 2013). "Geospatial or Geomatics: The Headaches of Terminology in Canada". GoGeomatics Canada. Retrieved 05 June 2014. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Šíma, J. (June 2007). "Geomatics and Geoinformatics in Modern Information Society – Projection of New Trends into their Curricula at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen" (PDF). University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. Retrieved 20 March 2020. 
  7. Kresse, W.; Danko, D.M., ed. (2012). "Terms and Definitions of the ISO 19100 Standards". Springer Handbook of Geographic Information. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 985–1040. ISBN 9783540726807. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sinha, A.K.; Malik, Z.; Rezgui, A. et al. (2010). "Geoinformatics: Transforming data to knowledge for geosciences". GSA Today 20 (12): 4–10. doi:10.1130/GSATG85A.1. 
  9. "GEON - About". Geosciences Network. Archived from the original on 23 January 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2020.