Summary Report for:
17-1021.00 - Cartographers and Photogrammetrists
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.
Sample of reported job titles: Cartographer, Compiler, Digital Cartographer, Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GIS Specialist), GIS Analyst (Geographic Information Systems Analyst), Photogrammetric Technician, Photogrammetrist, Production Manager, Stereo Compiler, Stereoplotter Operator
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Inspect final compositions to ensure completeness and accuracy.
- 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.
- Prepare and alter trace maps, charts, tables, detailed drawings, and three-dimensional optical models of terrain using stereoscopic plotting and computer graphics equipment.
- 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.
- Examine and analyze data from ground surveys, reports, aerial photographs, and satellite images to prepare topographic maps, aerial-photograph mosaics, and related charts.
- Identify, scale, and orient geodetic points, elevations, and other planimetric or topographic features, applying standard mathematical formulas.
- Determine guidelines that specify which source material is acceptable for use.
- Collect information about specific features of the Earth, using aerial photography and other digital remote sensing techniques.
- 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.
- Travel over photographed areas to observe, identify, record, and verify all relevant features.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Aircraft guidance systems — Aerial imagery mapping-grade global positioning systems GPS
- Compasses — Dividers
- Computer servers — Windows servers
- Curves — French curves
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital camcorders
- Digital cameras — Color digital camera systems; Large-format aerial digital cameras; Panoramic digital line cameras
- Digital image printers
- Drafting kits or sets — Drafting instruments; Drafting machines
- Film editors — Film processors and editors
- Global positioning system GPS receiver — Geodetic ground global positioning system GPS receivers; Global positioning system GPS receivers; Mapping grade global positioning system GPS receivers
- Infrared imagers — Video thermal imagers
- Laminators — Lamination systems
- Laser printers
- Levels — Automatic levels
- Map measurers — Planimeters
- Notebook computers
- Personal computers
- Photographic enlargers — Photo enlargers
- Plotter printers — Analytical stereoplotters; Color inkjet plotters; Large-format plotters
- Radarbased surveillance systems — Laser imaging detection and ranging LIDAR systems; Remote sensing equipment
- Scanners — Digitizers; Photogrammetric scanners
- Stencils or lettering aids — Type lettering sets
- T squares — T-squares
- Theodolites — Total stations
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — Boeing SoftPlotter; Kork digital mapping system KDMS software; RSI ENVI; Terrasolid TerraScan (see all 5 examples)
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley Microstation ; Cosmo Software Cosmo World; MultiGen Paradigm Vega Prime
- Data base management system software — Oracle software; Sybase SQL Server
- Data base user interface and query software — Autodesk World; Microsoft Access ; Structured query language SQL
- Data compression software — Arbor Image Draftsman
- Desktop publishing software — Corporate Montage CADScript; QuarkXPress
- Development environment software — Microsoft Visual Basic
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software
- Flight control software — Leica AEROPLAN LiDAR flight planning software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Aldus FreeHand; Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite; Steroplotter software (see all 7 examples)
- Information retrieval or search software — Digital databases; Master Seafloor Digital Database; Rand McNally World Digital Database; World Vector Shoreline
- Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software ; ESRI ArcView; Mapthematics GeoCart; Precision analytical aerotriangulation pugging software (see all 12 examples)
- Object or component oriented development software — Python
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver ; Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player; Quark Immedia
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Geography — 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 — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Customer and Personal Service — 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.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Detailed Work Activities
- Gather physical survey data.
- Calculate geographic positions from survey data.
- Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
- Operate computer systems.
- Select tools, equipment, or technologies for use in operations or projects.
- Create maps.
- Inspect finished products to locate flaws.
- Analyze physical, survey, or geographic data.
- Determine design criteria or specifications.
- Determine operational methods.
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 87% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 92% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 71% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 60% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 61% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Electronic Mail — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 69% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 43% responded “Some freedom.”
- Telephone — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 57% responded “Some freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 45% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Contact With Others — 31% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 46% responded “Important results.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 42% responded “Very important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 34% responded “High responsibility.”
- Letters and Memos — 27% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Degree of Automation — 40% responded “Moderately automated.”
- Physical Proximity — 50% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Level of Competition — 41% responded “Highly competitive.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|19||High school diploma or equivalent|
|9||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: RIC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$29.75 hourly, $61,880 annual|
|Employment (2014)||12,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Much faster than average (14% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||7,400|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Cartographers and photogrammetrists . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- American Association for Geodetic Surveying (AAGS) , 5119 Pegasus Court, Suite Q, Frederick, MD 21704. Phone: (240) 439-4615. Fax: (240) 439-4952.
- American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) , 5410 Grosvenor Ln., Suite 210, Bethesda, MD 20814-2160. Phone: (301) 493-0290.
- National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) , 5119 Pegasus Court, Suite Q, Frederick, MD 21704. Phone: (240) 439-4615. Fax: (240) 439-4952.