Cartographers produce and develop detailed geographical information in the form of maps, graphs, charts, diagrams and spreadsheets for use in various areas such as conservation, surveying, publishing and government.
This involves collecting and collating data provided by means such as remote sensing techniques and geographical information systems (GIS) and presenting information mainly by generating and manipulating images on computer.
Senior staff will also have responsibility for managing staff, projects and resources.
Cartography technicians assist cartographers in the preparation, maintenance and cataloguing of maps, and may assist in fieldwork projects.
Hours are mainly 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. The work is largely office-based.
As a cartographer, you should:
This is a small area of employment and entry is competitive.
The government employs cartographers in the Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland departments, in the Defence Geographic and Imagery Intelligence Agency Headquarters and in the Hydrograhic Office (UK). Small numbers are also employed in other departments such as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Met Office and the Department of Transport.
Other employers include planning departments in local authorities, oil companies, utilities companies, commercial map publishers, specialist cartographic and mapping companies and the British Geological Survey. The directory of corporate members on the British Cartographics Society website will give an idea of the private companies involved in this sector.
Some cartographers do freelance work, offering services to cartographic companies or publishers, but opportunities for this are small, and working on this basis will involve a large finacial outlay for equipment. Members of the British Cartograhic Society can have their details entered on the society's freelance directory.
If you would like to know anything about Cartographer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Society of Cartographers
Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society