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Occupation Details

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Cartographer

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€18k > 50 
Cartographer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 50 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Designs maps and other detailed geographical charts and surveys for a range of purposes, from everyday use by individuals to large-scale industrial development.


The Work header image

Cartographers design and prepare maps, plans, charts, models and globes that represent the surface of the Earth or other planets. They collect and use data from a range of sources such as:

  • Aerial photographs  
  • Images produced by electrostatic mapping and seismic sensing  
  • Existing maps and statistics  

Generally map making comprises the following skills:

  • Photogrammetry - The interpretation of aerial photographs  
  • Field Survey - Investigation on the Ground or by Flight Crews  
  • Graphics - Creation of maps  
  • Spatial Data Management - Maintenance of Mapping Database and production of Large Scale Products  
  • Geodesy - the science of where we are in the world   
  • Cartography Design - Production of Maps mainly for the Tourist and Leisure Market or Special Requests  
  • Geographic Information Systems - GPS and Geographic products like OSI/An Post's Address Database  

Cartographers analyse and interpret information from a range of sources and prepare reports. The cartographer evaluates this data and specifies lines, tones and symbols for a cartographic draughtsperson to use to produce maps and charts.  
 
As well as preparing new maps, cartographers change existing maps. Cartographers deal with a range of mapping projects. They may prepare maps showing population distribution, the layout of ancient cities or even the Moon's surface and they may specialise in areas such as topographical maps. The type of map depends on the employer's or customer's requirements. The mapping database at Ordnance Survey Ireland is entirely electronic and Field Revisers use digital tablets to record changes in the topographic structure.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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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.

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Inspect final compositions to ensure completeness and accuracy.

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Revise existing maps and charts, making all necessary corrections and adjustments.

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Compile data required for map preparation, including aerial photographs, survey notes, records, reports, and original maps.

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Prepare and alter trace maps, charts, tables, detailed drawings, and three-dimensional optical models of terrain using stereoscopic plotting and computer graphics equipment.

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Delineate aerial photographic detail such as control points, hydrography, topography, and cultural features using precision stereoplotting apparatus or drafting instruments.

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Build and update digital databases.

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Examine and analyze data from ground surveys, reports, aerial photographs, and satellite images to prepare topographic maps, aerial-photograph mosaics, and related charts.

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Identify, scale, and orient geodetic points, elevations, and other planimetric or topographic features, applying standard mathematical formulas.

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Determine guidelines that specify which source material is acceptable for use.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Interacting With Computers:  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Documenting/Recording Information:  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Geography:  Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

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Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Design:  Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Instructing:   Teaching others how to do something.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a cartographer you need to have patience, as it may take many months to complete a single sheet map. You need a sense of design, an interest in geography and ability in mathematics. They need the knowledge and interest in symbols with the ability to visualise the world in an abstract and scaled down form. A flare for Maths and Science is favourable to this job, with attention to detail and neat work also desirable.  
Travel is quite popular within this profession to get information.


Entry Routesheader image

A degree in Geography, Geomatics, Earth Sciences, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Marine Science. 

Courses in surveying and measurement or drafting are also useful. 

Postgraduate qualifications are valuable in this competitive field.

Last Updated: August, 2015


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Cartographer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Cartographer - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Cartographer - from:  GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Public Appointments Service
  Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
  Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: Ordnance Survey Ireland
  Address: Phoenix Park, Dublin 8
  Tel: (01) 8025300 or Lo-Call 1890 674627
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

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