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Mapping Technicians Career

Career Description

Calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.

What Job Titles Mapping Technicians Might Have

  • Mapping Technician
  • Photogrammetric Compilation Specialist
  • Photogrammetric Technician
  • Stereoplotter Operator

What Mapping Technicians Do

  • Check all layers of maps to ensure accuracy, identifying and marking errors and making corrections.
  • Design or develop information databases that include geographic or topographic data.
  • Monitor mapping work or the updating of maps to ensure accuracy, the inclusion of new or changed information, or compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Produce or update overlay maps to show information boundaries, water locations, or topographic features on various base maps or at different scales.
  • Determine scales, line sizes, or colors to be used for hard copies of computerized maps, using plotters.
  • Identify and compile database information to create maps in response to requests.
  • Analyze aerial photographs to detect and interpret significant military, industrial, resource, or topographical data.
  • Enter Global Positioning System (GPS) data, legal deeds, field notes, or land survey reports into geographic information system (GIS) workstations so that information can be transformed into graphic land descriptions, such as maps or drawings.
  • Research and combine existing property information to describe property boundaries in relation to adjacent properties, taking into account parcel splits, combinations, or land boundary adjustments.
  • Calculate latitudes, longitudes, angles, areas, or other information for mapmaking, using survey field notes or reference tables.
  • Compare topographical features or contour lines with images from aerial photographs, old maps, or other reference materials to verify the accuracy of their identification.
  • Trace contours or topographic details to generate maps that denote specific land or property locations or geographic attributes.
  • Research resources such as survey maps or legal descriptions to verify property lines or to obtain information needed for mapping.
  • Trim, align, and join prints to form photographic mosaics, maintaining scaled distances between reference points.
  • Answer questions and provide information to the public or to staff members regarding assessment maps, surveys, boundaries, easements, property ownership, roads, zoning, or similar matters.
  • Compute and measure scaled distances between reference points to establish relative positions of adjoining prints and enable the creation of photographic mosaics.
  • Train staff members in duties such as tax mapping, the use of computerized mapping equipment, or the interpretation of source documents.
  • Redraw or correct maps, such as revising parcel maps, to reflect tax code area changes, using information from official records or surveys.
  • Produce presentations of surface or mineral ownership layers by interpreting legal survey plans.
  • Identify, research, and resolve anomalies in legal land descriptions, referring issues to title or survey experts as appropriate.
  • Create survey description pages or historical records related to the mapping activities or specifications of section plats.
  • Lay out and match aerial photographs in sequences in which they were taken and identify any areas missing from photographs.
  • Complete detailed source and method notes describing the location of routine or complex land parcels.
  • Supervise or coordinate activities of workers engaged in plotting data, drafting maps, or producing blueprints, photostats, or photographs.
  • Form three-dimensional images of aerial photographs taken from different locations, using mathematical techniques and plotting instruments.

What Mapping Technicians Should Be Good At

  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • 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.
  • 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).

What Mapping Technicians Should Be Interested In

  • 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.

What Mapping Technicians Need to Learn

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Engineering and Technology - 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.
Median Salary: $42,450

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.