Cartography is the art of studying and making maps. It is an interesting career because it is a true blend of art, science, and technology. Cartographers collect, analyze, and interpret both spatial (latitude, longitude, elevation, distance) and non-spatial data (population density, land-use patterns, annual precipitation levels, demographic characteristics). Maps are prepared either in graphic or digital form with information from satellites, light-imaging detection and ranging (LIDAR), aerial cameras, geodetic surveys and remote sensing systems.
Mapping business could grow by 30% annually, geoinformatics is a growing field and a special type of IT. It will solve all spatial problems – from those of villages to those of the highest level of policy-makers, of NGOs, industries, higher education. It is a field that employs advanced digital technology tools like QGIS, Inkscape, GIMP, Scribus, colorbrewer. These save time and gift you with beautiful, well-composed maps. Cutting-edge digital technology is used in Geographical Information Systems, web mapping technology, spatial database, photogrammetry, remote-sensing, GPS, geo-spatial intelligence.
Making professional-quality maps requires strong education in geography with a focus on cartography and remote sensing, mathematics through basic calculus and statistics, introductory computer science including programming and database management and basic graphic design.
As for academic qualifications, you could get a B.Sc Geography, M.Sc Geography, M.Sc Applied Geography, M.Sc Spatial Information Technology, M.Sc Cartography, M.Sc Geographic Information System, M.Sc Remote Sensing, M.Sc Geoinformatics, M.Tech Geoinformatics, P.G.Diploma in GIS, Cartography, Surveying and mapping/topographic/earth sciences or urban and land studies before applying for jobs.
- Excellent computer/mathematical/design skills
- Spatial awareness
- Ability to analyse information from different sources
- Logical approach
- High level of accuracy and attention to detail
- Hands-on experience is necessary
- Cartographers are at least partially self-taught
- M.Tech in Geoinformatics
- M.Sc. Applied Geography
- M.Sc Geoinformatics
- M.Sc International Environmental Management
- M.Sc/Diploma in Geographical Information Science and Systems
Colleges Offering Cartography Courses:
- IIT, Mumbai
- Osmania University, Hyderabad
- Andhra University, Vizag
- Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar
- Annamalai university, Tamil Nadu
- Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi
- Anna University, Tamil Nadu
- NIC, Census, PWD, Agriculture, Agriculture Engineering, Power companies, Electricity companies/Boards,Telecommunications
- Higher Education institutions, research institutes
- Space Research Organisations.
- National survey and mapping organisations
- NASA, US Geological survey, Land Management, Fish and wild life services, National parks, forest service.
- The United Nations
- Any public/private organisation that does surveys, geo-information production organisations.
- Information technology industry, Mineral exploration, hazard mapping and disaster management, Crime mapping, Transportation and infrastructure
- Newspapers, TV channels, Election Commission
- Traffic management
Remuneration depends on qualifications and who you work for – a qualified person can expect a starting salary of around Rs. 10,000 – 15,000 per month. Overseas organizations pay around Rs.5 lakh to 10 lakh per year. With experience of two years, one can earn Rs.50,000 per month or more.
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