Geomatics engineers in literature & movies


Geomatics engineers are everywhere

  – also in literature and in the movies!

We have compiled an exemplary selection making no claim of being complete. More items, only available in German, are listed on the corresponding German version of this page.

Measuring the World: A Novel (Die Vermessung der Welt)
by Daniel Kehlmann

Daniel Kehlmann paints the portraits of two great German minds: the mathematical genius Carl Friedrich Gauß and the polymath and natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt. In the center of the novel there is a meeting of the two, at an 1828 Berlin conference of natural scientists for which Gauß only very reluctantly leaves his Göttingen. The two masterminds have devoted their lives to measuring the world, each in his very own way.

Daniel Kehlmann was number 1 on the SPIEGEL best seller list for 37 weeks with this highly successful novel. According to the New York Times it was the second best selling fiction book in 2006. The film version which was launched seven years later was not equally successful.

Measuring the World is a German-Austrian movie from 2012. It is the film version of the above novel by Daniel Kehlmann, directed by Detlev Buck.

The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World
by Ken Alder

The novel tells the adventorous story of the meridian expedition of the French astronomers Delambre and Méchain, who used church spires and mountain tops as surveying points.

Land surveyors were and will be the first to enter new land &ndash and when they stake-out "new claims" something is going to happen... The Australian geodesist John F. Brock has found more than 100 motion pictures which include geomatics in different ways. That was by 2001. And the story keeps on going. Here we are with our top six favorites:

What about the Wild West without Old Shatterhand? It would certainly lack dimension! The famous western hero had originally come to the United States of America from Germany. As a land surveyor he was doing his job at the new railway line.

The English Patient
Count László Almásy (Ralph Fiennes) undergoes dramatical experiences with a fatal end for him and his adversary. Both are working as land surveyors in Egypt during the second World War. Their data and discoveries are interesting for both the British and the German army at the same time ….

Far and away
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise as irish migrants in America of 1880. They take part in Oklahoma Land Rush, the footrace of thousands of settlers, who hope to win governmental land for themselves. With very impressive pictures and landscapes the film ends in a prime example of geomatics – the marking of the achieved claim.

Journey to the Center of the Earth
The classic fiction by Jules Verne is available in two film versions. The voyage far to the center of our planet is initiated by the message of a geodesist. The starting point of the incredible voyage is the crater of an ancient volcano.

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
The long title describes an important advantage of Geomatics: when needed, it can be very accurate. So much so that a new survey of a mountain may reveal that it is only a hill being a few meters short of what it needs for a mountain.

Seven years in Tibet
Brad Pitt represents Heinrich Harrer – one of the most famous mountaineers of the history. He wants to climb the Nanga Parbat in Himalaya together with an expedition team, but ends up in an internment during the confusion of second World War. An adventurous escape brings him to Tibet. There he takes on a job as a land surveyor.