daily life of a Cartographer and Photogrammetrist
are Cartographers and Photogrammetrists happy with their job

Cartographers and Photogrammetrists

Other names for this job might include Aerial Photogrammetrist, CAD Draftsman (Computer-Aided Design Draftsman), CAD Technician (Computer-Aided Design Technician), Cadastral Mapper, Cartographer, Cartographic Designer, Cartographic Drafter, Cartographic Editor, Cartographic Technician, Cartography Supervisor

  • $65410
  • 97%
    Job satisfaction
  • Quite Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


Being A Cartographer: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Cartographers and Photogrammetrists do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Cartographer and Photogrammetrist or not.

Job summary

Cartographers 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.

We asked Cartographers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


97% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 80% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Cartographers Compile data required for map preparation, including aerial photographs, survey notes, records, reports, and original maps. They Inspect final compositions to ensure completeness and accuracy.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Cartographer is to 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.

Some may also Delineate aerial photographic detail, such as control points, hydrography, topography, and cultural features, using precision stereoplotting apparatus or drafting instruments.

In a normal work day, another thing that Cartographers do is they Build and update digital databases.

In addition to that, they Prepare and alter trace maps, charts, tables, detailed drawings, and three-dimensional optical models of terrain using stereoscopic plotting and computer graphics equipment..

A typical day for A Cartographer look like this:

Gather physical survey data.
Inspect finished products to locate flaws.
Create maps.

We asked some Cartographers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?48% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?65% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?38% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?72% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?37% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?16% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?27% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Cartographers do, they Collect information about specific features of the Earth, using aerial photography and other digital remote sensing techniques. They might also Revise existing maps and charts, making all necessary corrections and adjustments.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Cartographers Examine and analyze data from ground surveys, reports, aerial photographs, and satellite images to prepare topographic maps, aerial-photograph mosaics, and related charts. and Determine guidelines that specify which source material is acceptable for use.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
Create maps.
Analyze physical, survey, or geographic data.
Determine design criteria or specifications.

Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Cartographer, you can expect to work More than 40 hours per week.

Do Cartographers work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Cartographers work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Cartographers work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

You also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Additional resources

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