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Career as a Cartographer and Photogrammetrist



Cartographers and Photogrammetrists collect, measure, and interpret geographic information to create maps and charts for political, educational, and other purposes. Cartographers are mapmakers who use principles of cartographic design to make user-friendly maps. Photogrammetrists are specialized mapmakers who use aerial photographs, satellite images/, and light-imaging detection and ranging technology (LIDAR) to build models of the Earth’s surface and its features for purposes of creating maps. Both Cartographers and Photogrammetrists increasingly are responsible for creating interactive digital maps. In order to do so, they need familiarity with mapping software used to analyze geographic information system data. They will frequently work with government agencies or private entities who contract them to make maps of specific areas. The duties of Cartographers typically includes to collect and create visual representations of geographic data, such as annual precipitation patterns. They also examine and compile data from ground surveys, reports, aerial photographs, and satellite images/ and prepare thematic maps in digital or graphic form for environmental and educational purposes. They are also concerned to update and revise existing maps and charts. The duties of Photogrammetrists typically includes to plan aerial and satellite surveys to ensure complete coverage of the area in question and collect and analyze spatial data, such as elevation and distance. They also develop base maps that allow geographic information system (GIS) data to be layered on top.

Work Environment



Cartographers and Photogrammetrists spend much of their time in offices, certain jobs require extensive fieldwork to acquire data and verify results. For example, cartographers may travel to the physical locations that they are mapping to better understand the topography. Similarly, photogrammetrists may do fieldwork to plan ground control for an aerial survey and to validate interpretations. Some photogrammetrists may fly in special aircrafts to calibrate cameras and equipment that take aerial photographs. Most cartographers and photogrammetrists work full time. Those who do fieldwork often have longer workdays.

Entry Level Education


  • Bachelor's Degree in Cartography, Geography, geology, Engineering, Surveying, Computer Science, Earth Science or a Physical Science. or in a similar related fields.
  • Diploma in Cartography.

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