Cartographers and Photogrammetrists

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Science and Mathematics

Projected Growth: Much faster than average

Projected Job Openings

Considerable Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to 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.

Common job titles of Cartographers and Photogrammetrists include:

Experience and Education

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

  • 35.73% said they needed a Post-Secondary Certificate.

  • 30.02% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.


    Compile data required for map preparation, including aerial photographs, survey notes, records, reports, and original maps.

    Inspect final compositions to ensure completeness and accuracy.

    Determine map content and layout, as well as production specifications such as scale, size, projection, and colors, and direct production to ensure that specifications are followed.

    Collect information about specific features of the Earth, using aerial photography and other digital remote sensing techniques.

    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.

    Identify, scale, and orient geodetic points, elevations, and other planimetric or topographic features, applying standard mathematical formulas.

    Study legal records to establish boundaries of local, national, and international properties.

    Determine guidelines that specify which source material is acceptable for use.

    Build and update digital databases.

    Examine and analyze data from ground surveys, reports, aerial photographs, and satellite images to prepare topographic maps, aerial-photograph mosaics, and related charts.

    Revise existing maps and charts, making all necessary corrections and adjustments.

    Travel over photographed areas to observe, identify, record, and verify all relevant features.

    Select aerial photographic and remote sensing techniques and plotting equipment needed to meet required standards of accuracy.


Windows servers

Video thermal imagers

Type lettering sets


Total stations



All Tools



Remote sensing equipment



Photogrammetric scanners

Photo enlargers

Personal computers

Panoramic digital line cameras

Notebook computers

Mapping grade global positioning system GPS receivers

Laser printers

Laser imaging detection and ranging LIDAR systems

Large-format plotters

Large-format aerial digital cameras

Lamination systems

Global positioning system GPS receivers

Geodetic ground global positioning system GPS receivers

French curves

Film processors and editors

Drafting machines

Drafting instruments



Digital image printers

Digital camcorders

Computer servers


Color inkjet plotters

Color digital camera systems

Automatic levels

Analytical stereoplotters

Aerial imagery mapping-grade global positioning systems GPS


Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign

Bentley MicroStation

Computer aided design CAD software

Cosmo Software Cosmo World

Geographic information system GIS software

JavaScript Object Notation JSON

All Technologies

MultiGen Paradigm Vega Prime


Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver

Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player

Aerotriangulation adjustment software

Aldus FreeHand

Arbor Image Draftsman

Autodesk World

Bentley Systems InRoads Suite

Boeing Kork Digital Mapping

Boeing SoftPlotter

Corporate Montage CADScript

Digital databases

Digital mapping software


ESRI ArcView

ESRI software

Geomechanical design analysis GDA software

Hexagon Intergraph

IBM iSeries Access

Image analysis software

Image processing software

Intergraph ImageStation Stereo Softcopy Kit SSK



Mapping software

Mapthematics GeoCart

Master Seafloor Digital Database

Microsoft operating system

Oracle software

Precision analytical aerotriangulation pugging software

Quark Immedia

Quark Xpress

Rand McNally World Digital Database


SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise

Software development tools

Standardized general markup language SGML

Steroplotter software

Terrasolid TerraScan

World Vector Shoreline


Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

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