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Cartography is the science of developing maps to symbolically demonstrate geography. Cartographers are skilled in drawing up various kinds of maps and charts. They are employed by various organizations such as construction companies, state agencies, utility companies, surveyors, architects, engineers etc. Additionally, they also work on topographical maps, as well as maps related to town planning, military, travel and tourism, weather forecasting and geological exploration.

Career Opportunities in Cartography

  • Digital Cartographer
    They compile large quantities of data found in visual images, and represent the areas under study in the form of maps. One of the major applications of their work is in GPS and Google earth using Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System.
  • Town/District planning
    Cartographers are employed for systematic planning of towns and districts. In this work they incorporate their knowledge of soil, climate, natural resources and the environment.
  • Weather forecasting
    Cartographers also work to trace the variations in the weather. This data is employed to predict future disasters and developing strategies to manage them.
  • Construction companies
    Cartographers also work with construction companies as essential members to help identify lands suitable for construction, taking account of the area, it's climate, and the environment.

How to Become a Cartographer

Stream Graduation After Graduation After Post Graduation
Path 1
Clear Class XII in Science streamPursue B.Sc. Geography/ Geology/ Chemistry/ Mathematics for 3 yearsPursue M.Sc. Geography/ Geoinformatics/ Applied Geography/ Geology for 2 yearsM.Phil Geography/ Geology/ Ph.D./ Post Graduate Diploma in Remote sensing and GIS/Digital Cartography for 1-4 years
Path 2
Clear Class XII in Science streamPursue B.Sc. Geography/ Geology/ Chemistry/ Mathematics for 3 yearsPursue Post Graduate Diploma in Remote sensing and GIS/Digital Cartography for 1 years-
Path 3
Clear Class XII in Science streamPursue B.Tech for 4 yearsPursue M. Tech Geoinformatics/ Geotechnical Engineering for 2 yearsPh.D./ Post Graduate Diploma in Remote sensing and GIS/Digital Cartography for 1-4 years

Important Facts

  • Most college have eligibility criteria of minimum 50% aggregate marks in Class XII with Physics as main Subject.
  • These courses are available only in select colleges.
  • Most of the institutes for post-graduation require a degree in Mathematics, Economics, Geography or Geology to be eligibile to apply for these courses.

Leading Institutes

Top Cartography Institutes in India
College Location Website
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay Mumbai
Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad
Indian Institute of Surveying and Mapping Hyderabad
Mahatma Jyoti Rao Phoole University Jaipur
Osmania University Hyderabad
Utkal University Bhubaneswar
Annamalai University Chennai
Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi
University of Madras Chennai
North Orissa University Odisha
Sam Higginbotom Institute of Agriculture Technology & Sciences Allahabad
Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda Gujarat
Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology Bhopal
Top Cartography Institutes in the World
Institution Location Website
University of California-Los Angeles United States
Ohio University United States
University of Wisconsin-Madison United Kingdom
University of Glasgow United Kingdom
University College London United Kingdom
Newcastle University United Kingdom
Technical University of Munich Germany

Work Description

  • Involved with the scientific, technological and artistic aspects of developing and producing maps
  • Present complex information like diagrams, charts and spreadsheets, as well as information in the form of conventional maps
  • Work within a variety of areas, including publishing, government, the military, surveying and conservation
  • Reproduce and update old maps
  • Operate a photogrammetric plotting instrument or a digital photogrammetric workstation (DPW), which views the photographs stereoscopically, or in a 3D format
  • Product diagrams, charts and spreadsheets apart from creating OS maps, satellite images, political maps and physical maps
  • Design, maintain and manipulate geographical information (GI) databases
  • Work with geographical information systems (GIS) to see and design, models and analyze landscape features

Pros & Cons of a Career in Cartography

  • Professionals continually integrate new and different technologies in their work.
  • The work integrates knowledge from many different disciplines such as geography, GIS, engineering etc.
  • It is suitable for those who enjoy indoor work.
  • The career can be hard to get into, requiring a considerable amount of knowledge, experience and skills.
  • The nature of work is very precise, and can stretch to long hours.
  • Professionals are required to work with and keep track of a large amount of data.
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