What is a Cartographer?

The job of a Cartographer is to collect, analyse, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data.

A Cartographer researches, studies, and prepares maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic format for legal, social, political, educational and design purposes.

What does a Cartographer do?

  • collects information about specific features of the earth, using aerial photography and other digital remote sensing techniques
  • revises existing maps and charts – making all necessary corrections and adjustments
  • compiles data required for map preparation, including aerial photographs, survey notes, records, reports, and original maps selecting aerial photographic, remote sensing techniques and plotting equipment needed to meet required standards of accuracy
  • outlines aerial photographic detail, such as control points, hydrography, topography, and cultural features, using precision stereo-plotting apparatus or drafting instruments.
  • builds and updates digital databases
  • prepares and alters trace maps, charts, tables, detailed drawings, and three-dimensional optical models of terrain, using stereoscopic plotting and computer graphics equipment
  • studies legal records in order to establish boundaries of local, national, and international properties
  • travels over photographed areas in order to observe, identify, record and verify all relevant features

Are you … ?

  • passionate about maps and the drawing up of maps?
  • good at processing information such as compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data?
  • computer literate?
  • observant?
  • good at monitoring processes
  • good at communicating with people?
  • a critical thinker
  • logical?
  • problem solver?
  • mathematical?
  • good at time management ?

How do I become a Cartographer?

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Minimum entry requirements:

National Senior Certificate meeting diploma entry requirements
National Senior Certificate meeting degree entry requirements

Required schools subjects:  Mathematics and Physical Science


You can do your National Diploma, BTech and MTech at these institutions:




  • NELSON MANDELA METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY,-diplomas—certificates/details.aspx?appqual=2B&qual=21517&faculty=1200




OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Meteorologist and Graphic Designer

Is becoming a Cartographer the right career choice for me?



29.01.2015 Posted on Facebook



Maths Required Qualification Required Science Required