Geomatics Industry Survey

Detailed information for 2004




One Time

Record number:


The purpose of the survey is to produce new statistical information on the firms engaged in geomatics activities in Canada.

Data release - March 15, 2006


The objective of this survey is to provide economic data on the geomatics industry, as well as data on the characteristics of the firms that make up the industry. This will allow Natural Resrouces Canada to assess through continuous surveys the evolution of the geomatics industry in Canada. The survey was a census of all known firms engaged in geomatics activities in Canada and was sponsored by Natural Resources Canada. The results provide detailed information on all geomatics activities in Canada. It covers firms from the two primary geomatics NAICS codes as well as 11 other NAICS codes which have geomatics as a secondary activity within their firm. Information on geomatics activities, employees, the competitive environment of the industry, location of clients, exports, research and development, product and process innovations, growth areas and obstacles was collected.

Collection period: May through August of the year following the reference year.


  • Business, consumer and property services
  • Professional, scientific and technical services

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population for the Geomatics Survey is all establishments that produce geomatics products and services for sale to other firms or individuals. Businesses that use geomatics tools or develop geomatics products for internal use are to be excluded.

The major disciplines of geomatics are:
- surveying (cadastral, land, hydrographic, geophysical, topographic, engineering, etc.)
- mapping and catography;
- navigation and positioning (including Global Positioning System, GPS)
- remote sensing (airborne, satellite, radar, lidar);
- geospatial data management (including Geographic Information System, GIS)
- geomatics consulting
- development of customized geospatial software

The two main NAICS codes covered by this survey are 541360 and 541370, geophysical surveying and mapping services and non-geophysical survey and mapping services (land surveying) respectively, in addition to other establishments identified by Natural Resources Canada.

Instrument design

NRCan, the survey sponsor, prepared a list of data items and suggested questions to be contained on the survey, based on other STC surveys. STC did additional research to develop questions for certain specialized data items, and also refined the questions borrowed from other surveys such that they were more appropriate to the Geomatics Industry. NRCan and STC went through several iterations of the survey in order to arrive at a version that could be tested.

Both the English and French questionnaires were tested through one-on-one interviews with questionnaire design specialists in April 2005 with several geomatics firms throughout the Ottawa-Gatineau region.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

This methodology does not apply.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

A pre-contact was done initially to confirm the mailing address of all respondents, to confirm the language of the respondents and to confirm that individual respondents were in-scope. Subsequently, all in-scope respondents were mailed a package consisting of an introductory letter and a questionnaire in the language identified during the pre-contact. This was a mail-out, mail-back survey. At least three follow-up attempts were made to all respondents in order to convince them to return their questionnaires.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Both consistency and validity edits were put in place to ensure that answers were consistent and valid, and to generally ensure the quality of the data.

Further information on this methodology can be found in the attached methodology report below.


Missing data were replaced with consistent values (were imputed) using the procedure DONOR in the BANFF system. This procedure uses a nearest neighbour approach to find, for each establishment who required imputation, the valid establishment that is most similar to it and which imputes all required variables of the establishment by transferring the corresponding values from the nearest neighbour record. The highest imputation rates are for the revenues and expenses variables and for the questions related to the obstacles for R&D and exportations.

Further information on this methodology can be found in the attached methodology report below.


Since only 1249 establishments completed the questionnaire, the individual values were weighted to represent the whole industry. The weight equals to the number of establishments in the geomatic population that each establishment who completed the questionnaire represents. The value for each respondent establishment was multiplied by the weight for that establishment, and then the weighted data from all respondent establishments belonging to a given estimation domain (e.g. NAICS 541360 in Ontario) were summed to obtain the estimate.

Further information on this methodology can be found in the attached methodology report below.

Quality evaluation

For questionnable revenue information, comparisons were made with administrative tax data for the geomatic sector that was analyzed by the Services Industry Division of Statistics Canada. In some cases, it was necessary to recontact the respondents to clarify these inconsistencies. Missing data were then replaced with consistent values (were imputed) using the procedure DONOR in the BANFF system.

The Services Industry Division of Statistics Canada prepared data tables similar to those produced for this survey from administrative data sources. A comparison was made to ensure that the information produced from those tables was consistent with that produced for the Geomatics Industry Survey. The final outcome of this comparison was that the results of the two projects were largely consistent, with differences being primarily the result of establishment vs. enterprise issues.

Further information on this methodology can be found in the attached methodology report below.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Data Sharing Agreement

Statistics Canada has entered into a data sharing agreement under Section 12 of the Statistics Act with Natural Resourcves Canada for the sharing of information from this survey. Natural Resources Canada will keep the information confidential and use it only for statistical purposes.

The microdata file to be provided to NRCan per the data sharing agreement that exists for this project had all identifiers, such as name of business removed.

In our output tables, any cell which had less than 6 respondents was suppressed. Additionally, smaller industries were collapsed into a residual category at the provincial level, such that for most industries, only national estimates were produced.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

Overall, the survey response rate was 42%, which is an acceptable response rate for Statistics Canada one time only business surveys.

Data response error may be due to questionnaire design, the characteristics of a question, inability or unwillingness of the respondent to provide correct information, misinterpretation of the questions or definitional problems. These errors are controlled through careful questionnaire design and the use of simple concepts and consistency checks.

For this survey, non-responding records were dealt with by adjusting the weights assigned to the responding records, such that one responding record might also represent other non-responding units with similar characteristics (i.e. size, province, industry) as the responding record.

Non-response error is related to respondents that may refuse to answer, are unable to respond or are too late in reporting. In these cases, data are imputed.

Processing error may occur at various stages of processing such as data entry, editing and tabulation. Measures have been taken to minimize these errors.

Further information on this methodology can be found in the attached methodology report below


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