What is a cartographer?
A cartographer is someone who will measure, analyze, and interpret geographic information to create maps and graphics for political, cultural, and educational purposes.
The first maps were built manually with brushes and parchment, from the 15th to the 17th century, during the Age of Exploration, cartographers used maps that had been handed down for centuries, to create new ones based on new survey techniques and observations of the explorers. Of course, the invention of the telescope, the sextant, and the compass increased precision.
What does a cartographer do?
Cartographers spend most of their time using computers while working in offices. They usually do field work to collect and verify the data used in creating maps.
A cartographer can also:
- Collect and analyze geographic data, such as population density, demographic characteristics, and annual precipitation patterns.
- Examine and compile data from ground surveys, reports, aerial photographs, and satellite images to prepare thematic maps.
- Prepare thematic maps in digital or graphic form to be used for social, environmental, political, commercial, educational and design purposes.
- Review existing maps and graphics for corrections, adjustments, and updates.
Cartographers use information from geodetic surveys and remote sensing systems, including aerial cameras, satellites, and technologies such as detection.
There are maps that link spatial graphical functions with non-graphical information. These maps are useful to provide support for decisions involving environmental studies, geology, engineering, land use planning, and business marketing.
A cartographer will also work from existing maps, surveys, and other records. To do this, they must be able to determine the thematic and positional precision of each characteristic that is being assigned. They must make decisions about the accuracy and reliability of the final map. In addition, they must decide what additional information they need to meet the customer’s needs. They must focus on the details when including the necessary features in a final map, and they must be able to identify and solve problems with the tools available to them.
What is the workplace of a cartographer like?
Cartographers spend much of their time in offices using computers with large monitors, so they can easily study and extract information from aerial photographs and other sources. However, certain jobs require extensive field work to acquire data and verify results. They usually do field work to collect and verify the data used in creating maps.