Both cartographers and photogrammetrists gather and analyze detailed geographic information to design and create general, thematic, or highly specialized models and maps of the earth's surface. Cartographers compile geographic, population, and weather-related data to create thematic maps for business and educational purposes. Photogrammetrists utilize technology including aerial photography, satellite imaging, and light-imaging detection and ranging technology (LIDAR) to create 3-D models for the purpose of cartographic output. Some job responsibilities of cartographers and photogrammetrists include:
- Collect and analyze a land area's geographic, spatial, population, and environmental data
- Review and compile data from ground surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite images
- Create base maps, including 3-D models, to help produce cartographic output needed to create thematic maps
- Review and correct existing maps
The BLS reports that the increased use of maps for local government planning and national security is fueling above-average job growth for cartographers and photogrammetrists. Many cartographers are fast approaching retirement age, which will also create more job opportunities in this category. Computer technology is also stimulating job growth, as social media and other Internet-based platforms provide cartographers with data that can be incorporated into new types of earth models and maps.Read More
Job Growth for
Cartographer and Photogrammetrist
Becoming a Cartographer or Photogrammetrist
Cartographers and photogrammetrists typically hold a bachelor's degree in geography, cartography, or geomatics. Geomatics refers to the collecting and managing of geographic data. Coursework in surveying, engineering, forestry, computer science, or physical science is also applicable toward a cartographer or photogrammetrist career.
Many on-campus and online geography degree programs include courses in cartography and geomatics. Outside of bachelor's and master's degree programs, many schools offer separate certificates in cartography and geographic information system (GIS) technology. Typical courses in degree programs in geography with a cartographer and GIS track may include:
- Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
- Introduction to Human Geography
- Cartography and Graphics
- Applied Spatial Statistics
Some states require cartographers be licensed as surveyors and some states have specific licenses for photogrammetrists. Licensing requirements will vary state-to-state. Additional career certification based on experience, education, and successful completion of an exam is available from the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).