Cartographers & Photogrammetrists
Also called: Cartographer, Compiler, Photogrammetric Technician, Photogrammetrist
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Mapmakers of the past may have labelled unknown territory “Here be dragons”… but today’s mapmakers rely on detailed measurements from satellite imagery to describe even those areas hidden from human eyes. Cartographers and photogrammetrists are the technologically-skilled professionals who collect and interpret geographic information to create maps. While they share many characteristics, the two fields differ in the products of their work: cartographers design accessible maps for general use, while photogrammetrists create specialized maps of the Earth’s surface features. They obtain geographic data from a variety of sources, including aerial cameras, satellites, and lasers attached to drones, planes, or cars. Some maps require gathering data about a population, including demographics or population density. Maps may sometimes be made for a particular purpose, such as regional or education planning, or emergency response. Although cartographers and photogrammetrists spend much of their time in offices, certain jobs require travel to the areas being mapped. Most work in architectural and engineering firms, local government, or technical consulting services. Full time, normal business hours are typical, though those who do fieldwork may have longer workdays. A bachelor’s degree in cartography, geography, geomatics, or surveying is the most common path of entry into this field. Courses in computer programming, engineering, math, and GIS technology are helpful. Some states require cartographers and photogrammetrists to be licensed.
What they do:Collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data. Research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for legal, social, political, educational, and design purposes. May work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). May design and evaluate algorithms, data structures, and user interfaces for GIS and mapping systems.
On the job, you would:
- Compile data required for map preparation, including aerial photographs, survey notes, records, reports, and original maps.
- Delineate aerial photographic detail, such as control points, hydrography, topography, and cultural features, using precision stereoplotting apparatus or drafting instruments.
- Prepare and alter trace maps, charts, tables, detailed drawings, and three-dimensional optical models of terrain using stereoscopic plotting and computer graphics equipment.
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- reading work related information
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- read and understand what is written
- listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- use rules to solve problems
- see hidden patterns
- quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Map creation software
Graphics or photo imaging software
Analytical or scientific software
- Boeing SoftPlotter
- Image analysis software