The mission of the Alberta Geomatics Historical Society is to collect and preserve the history of land surveying in Alberta and to share the history in ways that stimulate and educate.

Surveyors have played a crucial role in Alberta’s economic and social development. From early pioneers like David Thompson, who mapped vast uncharted territories, to the advanced use of GPS and GIS technologies, surveyors have laid the foundation for organized land development, resource management and urban planning in Alberta.

Surveying the lands of First Nations and Metis settlements was critical for recognizing and formalizing indigenous land rights, shaping Alberta’s social and economic landscape. The survey grid system, dividing land into townships, facilitated systematic settlement and development. This grid system allowed for efficient land allocation and infrastructure planning, evident in Alberta’s towns and cities today. Surveys for resource development have identified and managed Alberta’s rich natural resources, driving economic growth and technological advancements.

As Alberta continues to grow, the role of surveyors remains essential, guiding sustainable development and contributing to the province’s progress.

Featured Article

2024 – The 100th Anniversary of the Completion of the Alberta – BC Boundary Survey along the Watershed Line


Richard Cautley, the
Alberta Commissioner was
responsible for surveying
the passes.

The survey started in 1913. The work was dangerous and demanding requiring great skill and judgement. The over 1000 kilometers of watershed that was mapped and surveyed was completed in 1924.


Arthur O. Wheeler, the
British Columbia
Commissioner was
responsible for mapping
the high mountain areas.


For territorial limits of First Nations or geographical limits of sparsely settled land, a boundary...

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