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Cartographers and Photogrammetrists - 17-1021.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Cartographer
  • Compiler
  • Digital Cartographer
  • Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GIS Specialist)
  • GIS Analyst (Geographic Information Systems Analyst)
  • Photogrammetric Technician
  • Photogrammetrist
  • Production Manager
  • Stereo Compiler
  • Stereoplotter Operator

SOC Occupation Groups

Related Occupations


  • Build and update digital databases.
  • Collect information about specific features of the Earth, using aerial photography and other digital remote sensing techniques.
  • Compile data required for map preparation, including aerial photographs, survey notes, records, reports, and original maps.
  • Delineate aerial photographic detail, such as control points, hydrography, topography, and cultural features, using precision stereoplotting apparatus or drafting instruments.
  • Determine guidelines that specify which source material is acceptable for use.
  • 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.
  • Examine and analyze data from ground surveys, reports, aerial photographs, and satellite images to prepare topographic maps, aerial-photograph mosaics, and related charts.
  • Identify, scale, and orient geodetic points, elevations, and other planimetric or topographic features, applying standard mathematical formulas.
  • Inspect final compositions to ensure completeness and accuracy.
  • Prepare and alter trace maps, charts, tables, detailed drawings, and three-dimensional optical models of terrain using stereoscopic plotting and computer graphics equipment.
  • Revise existing maps and charts, making all necessary corrections and adjustments.
  • Select aerial photographic and remote sensing techniques and plotting equipment needed to meet required standards of accuracy.
  • Study legal records to establish boundaries of local, national, and international properties.
  • Travel over photographed areas to observe, identify, record, and verify all relevant features.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Analyze physical, survey, or geographic data.
  • Calculate geographic positions from survey data.
  • Create maps.
  • Determine design criteria or specifications.
  • Determine operational methods.
  • Gather physical survey data.
  • Inspect finished products to locate flaws.
  • Operate computer systems.
  • Select tools, equipment, or technologies for use in operations or projects.
  • Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Afloat Imagery Manager (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Air and Missile Defense (AMD) Crewmember (Army - Enlisted)
  • Cartographer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Common Ground Station (CGS) Analyst (Army - Enlisted)
  • Common Ground Station Operator (Army - Enlisted)
  • Counterintelligence/Human Intelligence (CI/HUMINT) Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Digital Imagery Workstation Suite Afloat (DIWSA) Operator/Analyst (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Engineer Assistant (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Engineering Aid (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Engineering Aid Basic (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Field Artillery Fire Control Man (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Fire Support Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Geographic Intelligence Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Geospatial Engineer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Geospatial Engineering Technician (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Geospatial Intelligence Apprentice, Analyst (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Geospatial Intelligence Apprentice, Targeteer (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Geospatial Intelligence Craftsman, Analyst (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Geospatial Intelligence Craftsman, Targeteer (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Geospatial Intelligence Helper, Analyst (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Geospatial Intelligence Helper, Targeteer (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Geospatial Intelligence Imagery Analyst (Army - Enlisted)
  • Geospatial Intelligence Journeyman, Analyst (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Geospatial Intelligence Journeyman, Targeteer (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Geospatial Intelligence Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Imagery Analysis Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Imagery Analysis Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Imagery Analysis Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Imagery Analysis Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Imagery Analysis Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Imagery Analyst (Army - Enlisted)
  • Imagery Intelligence Analyst (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Imagery Intelligence Technician (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Intelligence Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Intelligence Specialist (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Operations/Fire Direction Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Naval Imagery Interpreter (Navy - Enlisted)
  • PATRIOT Fire Control Enhanced Operator/Maintainer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Special Forces Engineer Sergeant (Army - Enlisted)
  • Strike Warfare Intelligence Analyst (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Technical Engineer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Terrain Analysis Technician (Army - Warrant Officer only)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Drafter, Cartographic
  • Geospatial Specialist

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Drafter, Cartographic
  • Field-Map Editor
  • Photogrammetrist
  • Supervisor, Cartography