The National School of Geographic Sciences (ENSG) was originally founded in 1941 to train technical personnel for the National Institute of Geographic and Forest Information (IGN, a public administration is currently under the joint tutelage of the Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea and the Ministry of Agriculture, Agroindustry and Forests) and other national mapping agencies around the world.
The school has since been largely opened to the public to train professionals in all the economic sectors involved in the production and use of geographic information, including the forest sector from the time the National Forest Inventory (INF) was integrated into IGN in 2012. Since 1997, the ENSG has been located just east of Paris in Marne-la-Vallée on the cité Descartes campus of the University of Paris-East, in a specially built postmodern facility, shared with Ponts ParisTech (formerly the National School of Highways and Bridges, ENPC). Over 5 000 students have already been trained at the ENSG as engineers, technicians and managers from more than 80 countries.
The ENSG offers 12 courses of study leading to degrees in Geomatics beginning from the advanced technician’s degree (BTS), to undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate diplomas (BSc, MSc, MEng) and the Specialized Masters’ (SM) in professional fields such as environment, territorial management, transportation, energy, defense, risk prevention and more generally, all the fields based on information technologies.
These courses of study focus on data acquisition and processing technologies, their integration into information systems and their applications for decision-making including Computer Science, Geodesy, Topography, Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing, Cartography, Information Systems, and especially, Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Theoretical classes are always illustrated by practical fieldwork assignments which take place in IGN’s permanent training facilities at Forcalquier in Provence, and by internships in public or private enterprises in France or abroad.
At the intersection of three cultures
- A very strong « engineering » culture: more than a third of the ENSG’s personnel are IGN engineers, having experience in industrial problem-solving in pure or applied research and development as well as project management.
- A fully developed “corporate” culture stemming from its status as a public service, the ENSG recruits for both the public and private sector. The ENSG takes advantage of IGN’s long tradition of excellence in public service and solid practice of quality control which form an integral part of the school’s corporate culture.
- A well rounded "university" culture : the ENSG’s teaching staff work closely with a great many universities and graduate schools, supervising doctoral theses, teaching at under-graduate, graduate or postgraduate levels in universities and regularly collaborating with researchers from French and international research laboratories and professional associations. Their teaching combines theoretical knowledge, technical skills and professional experience.
Networks and partnership
- The school actively participates in the University of Paris-East’s innovative cluster for scientific research (PRES).
- Its network of 4 engineering schools focused on various aspects of Geomatics (ENSG, ESTP, INSA-Strasbourg and ESGT) organizes student exchanges at M2 level, so that students can receive specialized training corresponding to their career goals.
- The ENSG is also part of the network formed by 5 schools of the Ministries of Ecology and Agriculture: the National School of Public Works for the State (ENTPE), the National School of Meteorology (ENM), Agrosup Dijon, the National School of Water Engineering and Environment of Strasbourg (ENGEES) and the ENSG. These schools have developed in similar directions to create a strong bond between establishments offering :
- Exchanges between engineering students at the M2 level
- Double diplomas (under consideration)
- Partnership with EIVP: engineering student exchanges in M2 and double diplomas
- Partnership with ESIEE: possibility of engineering student exchanges in M2
The ENSG collaborates with IGN’s 4 research laboratories (65 researchers who also teach at the school) and also has its own research laboratory: the Laboratory of Applied Geomatics (LGA) set up in 2009. Its objective is to support research by enterprises in the professional sector. Students can carry out internships and manage research projects in any of these as well as other research laboratories in partnership with the school.