Surveying & Mapping Technicians collect data and make maps of the Earth’s surface, usually under the direction of an engineer, surveyor, cartographer, or photogrammetrist. They obtain data for use in construction, mapmaking, boundary location, mining, or other purposes, and may calculate mapmaking information and create maps from sources such as surveying notes, aerial photography, satellite data, or other maps to show topographical features, political boundaries, and other features. Surveying technicians work outside extensively and can be exposed to all types of weather, while mapping technicians work primarily indoors on computers. Most surveying and mapping technicians work for firms that provide engineering, surveying, and mapping services on a contract basis. Local governments also employ these workers in highway and planning departments.
Other responsibilities typically include:
- Visit sites to record survey measurements and other descriptive data.
- Operate surveying instruments, such as electronic distance-measuring equipment.
- Enter data from surveying instruments into computers, either in the field or in an office.
- Produce maps showing boundaries, water locations, elevation, and other features of the terrain.
- Assist photogrammetrists by laying out aerial photographs in sequence to identify areas not captured by aeriel photography.