Career Details
Career Details
Back to top

Career Details

17-1021.00 - Cartographers and Photogrammetrists

Research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for one or more purposes, such as 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. May collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data.

Key Facts
Expand or Shrink Accordion
Bright Outlook
Career Details
Green Job
Career Details
Current Employment
Forecasted Employment
Change in Employment
Change in Employment %
Expand or Shrink Accordion
The tasks listed below can be performed to prepare you for a career in this field.
  • Identify, scale, and orient geodetic points, elevations, and other planimetric or topographic features, applying standard mathematical formulas.
  • Collect information about specific features of the Earth, using aerial photography and other digital remote sensing techniques.
  • Revise existing maps and charts, making all necessary corrections and adjustments.
  • 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.
  • Examine and analyze data from ground surveys, reports, aerial photographs, and satellite images to prepare topographic maps, aerial-photograph mosaics, and related charts.
  • Delineate aerial photographic detail, such as control points, hydrography, topography, and cultural features, using precision stereoplotting apparatus or drafting instruments.
  • Build and update digital databases.
  • Prepare and alter trace maps, charts, tables, detailed drawings, and three-dimensional optical models of terrain using stereoscopic plotting and computer graphics equipment.
  • Study legal records to establish boundaries of local, national, and international properties.
  • Select aerial photographic and remote sensing techniques and plotting equipment needed to meet required standards of accuracy.
  • Determine guidelines that specify which source material is acceptable for use.
  • Travel over photographed areas to observe, identify, record, and verify all relevant features.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Expand or Shrink Accordion

The items listed below are organized into sections that contain knowledge useful for pursuing a career in this field. Each section also contains a "Percentage of Importance" statistic that shows how relevant an item is to the occupation.
  • 90%
    Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
 Computers and Electronics
  • 84%
    Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
 English Language
  • 71%
    Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 67%
    Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • 67%
    Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
 Customer and Personal Service
  • 58%
    Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
 Engineering and Technology
  • 57%
    Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
 Education and Training
  • 55%
    Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
 Administration and Management
  • 53%
    Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
 Law and Government
  • 52%
    Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Expand or Shrink Accordion
The tools listed below include machines, equipment, tools, and software that is useful for individuals who are interested in this career.
 Aerospace location and navigation systems and components
  • Aerial imagery mapping-grade global positioning systems GPS
 Radar and sonar systems and components
  • Laser imaging detection and ranging LIDAR systems
  • Remote sensing equipment
  • Computer servers
  • Windows servers
  • Notebook computers
  • Personal computers
 Computer data input devices
  • Digitizers
  • Photogrammetric scanners
  • Scanners
 Computer printers
  • Laser printers
  • Analytical stereoplotters
  • Color inkjet plotters
  • Large-format plotters
  • Digital image printers
 Drafting supplies
  • Type lettering sets
  • Compasses
  • Dividers
  • French curves
  • Protractors
  • Scales
  • T-squares
  • Templates
  • Triangles
  • Drafting instruments
  • Drafting machines
  • Color digital camera systems
  • Large-format aerial digital cameras
  • Panoramic digital line cameras
  • Digital camcorders
 Photographic processing equipment
  • Film processors and editors
  • Photo enlargers
 Audio and visual equipment
  • Geodetic ground global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Mapping grade global positioning system GPS receivers
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Expand or Shrink Accordion
The technologies listed below include machines, equipment, tools, and software that is useful for individuals who are interested in this career.
 Business function specific software
  • Microsoft SharePointHOT
  • Microsoft OfficeHOT
 Content authoring and editing software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Fireworks
  • Adobe Systems Adobe IllustratorHOT
  • Adobe Systems Adobe PhotoshopHOT
  • Aldus FreeHand
  • Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • Image processing software
  • Steroplotter software
  • Microsoft WordHOT
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft PowerPointHOT
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player
  • Quark Immedia
  • Microsoft ExcelHOT
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesignHOT
  • Corporate Montage CADScript
  • Desktop publishing software
  • QuarkXPress
 Content management software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe AcrobatHOT
 Data management and query software
  • SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise
  • Autodesk World
  • Microsoft AccessHOT
  • Oracle softwareHOT
  • Structured query language SQLHOT
  • Digital databases
  • Master Seafloor Digital Database
  • Rand McNally World Digital Database
  • World Vector Shoreline
 Development software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Suite
  • Microsoft Visual BasicHOT
  • Software development tools
  • Standardized general markup language SGML
  • Extensible markup language XMLHOT
  • PythonHOT
  • JavaScript Object Notation JSONHOT
 Industry specific software
  • Autodesk AutoCADHOT
  • Bentley MicrostationHOT
  • Computer aided design CAD softwareHOT
  • Cosmo Software Cosmo WorldHOT
  • MultiGen Paradigm Vega PrimeHOT
  • Boeing Kork Digital Mapping
  • Boeing SoftPlotter
  • Image analysis software
  • Terrasolid TerraScan
 Network applications software
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
 Networking software
  • IBM iSeries Access
 Operating environment software
  • Microsoft WindowsHOT
  • Microsoft operating system
 Information exchange software
  • Email software
  • Microsoft OutlookHOT
  • Aerotriangulation adjustment software
  • Bentley Systems InRoads Suite
  • Digital mapping software
  • ERDAS ER Mapper
  • ESRI ArcGIS softwareHOT
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • ESRI ArcView
  • ESRI software
  • Geographic information system GIS softwareHOT
  • Geomechanical design analysis GDA software
  • Hexagon Intergraph
  • Intergraph ImageStation Stereo Softcopy Kit SSK
  • MapInfo
  • Mapping software
  • Mapthematics GeoCart
  • Precision analytical aerotriangulation pugging software
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Expand or Shrink Accordion
The certifications listed below are useful to pursue if you are interested in a career in this field.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Expand or Shrink Accordion
The licensing information below is organized into sections and is useful for pursuing if you are interested in a career in this field.
No specific licensing information is listed for this occupation in the area you have selected.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Related Programs
Expand or Shrink Accordion
Programs related to this career, offered by participating institution(s), are listed below.

Clicking on the Degree programs in the list below will take you away from the Careers page.
Brightpoint Community College
Mountain Empire Community College
Northern Virginia Community College
Paul D. Camp Community College
Southside Virginia Community College
Tidewater Community College
Expand or Shrink Accordion
Jobs related to this career may be found on or on the Google Job Search page.