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Surveying and mapping services, 2017

Released: 2018-11-22

Surveying and mapping service industries, which includes geophysical and non-geophysical surveying and mapping, saw an increase in their operating revenue in 2017. This is the first time operating revenue has increased since 2014. Revenue rose 10.6% to $2.3 billion in 2017, following a 12.7% decline in 2016.

Retaining its top rank in operating revenue, Alberta (40.3%) saw its share of revenue edge up. However, this proportion remained well below its 2014 value (53.9%). Ontario (21.4%) came second for operating revenue, followed by Quebec (14.0%) and British Columbia (12.9%).

In 2017, surveying and mapping service industries reported $2.0 billion in operating expenses, an increase of 7.4% from the previous year. This resulted in a profit margin of 11.3%, up from 8.7% in 2016.

The largest expense item—salaries, wages, commissions and benefits—rose 5.2% to $1.0 billion in 2017, representing 49.8% of total operating expenses.

Sales to businesses accounted for 65.8% of total sales in 2017. The remaining client base was split among individuals and households (13.0%), clients outside Canada (10.7%), and governments, non-profit organizations and public institutions (10.5%).

In 2017, non-geophysical surveying and mapping services, which focus on the earth's surface (including the sea floor), accounted for 65.5% of sales. Geophysical surveying and mapping services, characterized by locating and measuring the extent of sub-surface resources, represented 25.0% of industry sales. The remaining 9.5% came from the provision of other goods and services, including geographic information system development and customization.

  Note to readers

Data for 2015 and 2016 have been revised.

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