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Mapping Technician

Help create maps of the land, water and air.

What does a Mapping Technician do?

Remember how as a kid you drew make-believe maps, with X marking the spot where treasures are supposed to be hidden? Well, a Mapping Technician makes maps, too. But instead of revealing buried treasures, the maps you make as a Mapping Technician show the lay of the land, helping everyone from a lost Driver to a Construction Worker building a new home.

As the Mapping Technician, you help create maps of areas of land, water or air—pretty much any space a company or person would want to explore. You use notes, photographs and satellite information, combined with what can be seen by the naked eye, to determine boundaries and to draw these areas of land. Companies of all kinds rely on your maps, using them to make boundaries, find space for construction projects, and plan where railroads will go.

You’re an assistant working underneath Cartographers or Surveyors not the sort of assistant who makes copies or grabs coffee for them. Instead, you’re an assistant in the sense that you serve as their eyes in the field. You fill in whatever blanks there may be in the information that they have. Say, there’s a blurry spot on the photograph taken from an airplane. You go out into the field, figure out what’s exactly there, and report back.

“In the field” is a nice way of saying outside, and that’s where you spend most of your time. You walk a lot, in all sorts of weather, and often have to carry heavy backpacks full of equipment. Once you’ve collected the information, you help interpret it by making calculations and using computer programs specialized in drafting to make a more complete picture.