Cartographers and Photogrammetrists
17-1021.00

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Aerial Photogrammetrist, Cartographer, Cartographic Designer, Digital Cartographer, Mapper, Photogrammetric Technician, Photogrammetrist, Stereo Compiler, Stereoplotter Operator

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Compile data required for map preparation, including aerial photographs, survey notes, records, reports, and original maps.
  • 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.
  • Study legal records to establish boundaries of local, national, and international properties.
  • Inspect final compositions to ensure completeness and accuracy.
  • Revise existing maps and charts, making all necessary corrections and adjustments.
  • 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.
  • Examine and analyze data from ground surveys, reports, aerial photographs, and satellite images to prepare topographic maps, aerial-photograph mosaics, and related charts.
  • Build and update digital databases.
  • 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.
  • Determine guidelines that specify which source material is acceptable for use.
  • 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.

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Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software — Boeing SoftPlotter; Image analysis software; RSI ENVI; Terrasolid TerraScan; 1 more
  • Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Microsoft SharePoint Hot technology
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology ; Bentley MicroStation Hot technology ; Cosmo Software Cosmo World; MultiGen Paradigm Vega Prime
  • Data base management system software — SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise
  • Data base user interface and query software — Autodesk World; Microsoft Access Hot technology ; Oracle software Hot technology ; Structured query language SQL Hot technology
  • Data compression software — Arbor Image Draftsman
  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign Hot technology ; Corporate Montage CADScript; QuarkXPress
  • Development environment software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Suite; Microsoft Visual Basic Hot technology ; Software development tools; Standardized general markup language SGML
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML Hot technology
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — SAP business and customer relations management software
  • Flight control software — Leica AEROPLAN LiDAR
  • Geographic information system — ESRI ArcGIS software Hot technology ; ESRI ArcView; ESRI software; Geographic information system GIS software Hot technology ; 1 more
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Fireworks; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator Hot technology ; Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite; Steroplotter software; 3 more
  • 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 — Geomechanical design analysis GDA software; Mapping software; Mapthematics GeoCart; Precision analytical aerotriangulation pugging software; 7 more
  • Object or component oriented development software — Python Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office Hot technology
  • Operating system software — Microsoft operating system; Microsoft Windows Hot technology
  • Platform interconnectivity software — IBM iSeries Access
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver; Quark Immedia
  • Web platform development software — JavaScript Object Notation JSON Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word Hot technology
Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • 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.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • 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.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 98% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail — 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 87% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 83% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Telephone — 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 55% responded “Very important.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 56% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others — 56% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 51% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 32% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Time Pressure — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 27% responded “Very important results.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 11% responded “Less than 40 hours.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 30% responded “Not important at all.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 53% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 37% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Letters and Memos — 38% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Physical Proximity — 50% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 24% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 24% responded “Every day.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

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 real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range
2-4 years of preparation (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Knowledge

  • 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.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 36%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 30%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required
  • 11%
     
    responded: Some college, no degree requiredmore info

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • 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.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • 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).
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • 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.

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Interests

Interest code: RIC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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.

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Work Values

  • 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.

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Work Styles

  • 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.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$33.12 hourly, $68,900 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
13,200 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
1,200
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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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.

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