Geographic Specialists

  1. Description

Science and Technology

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How high is Mount Everest? To find out, you need only turn to the nearest encyclopedia or computer. But the answer wasn’t always so easy to come by. It wasn’t until 1852, during the Great Trigonometric Survey of India, that the mountain was recognized as the world’s highest peak. As you can guess from the survey’s name, math played a key role in the work of the surveyors.

Geographic specialists (including surveyors, cartographers, surveying technicians, and photogrammetrists) use math as well as computers, aerial photography, and even satellites to measure and map the globe. They also help construction teams and property owners find the best places to build.

Surveyors use measurements to determine land, air, and water boundaries. Surveying technicians help them by making measurements out in the field. Cartographers make maps using physical, social, and historical information. Photogrammetrists use aerial photos to fill in details on maps.

“Pretty maps are often the output, but good data and proper analyses are essential to communicating information effectively through a map.” Jae, GIS/GPS Consultant

Are You Ready To...?

  • Work outdoors
  • Use computers
  • Analyze field notes
  • Pay attention to details
  • Work as part of a team
  • Keep up with new technology
  • Write reports

It Helps To Be...

Outdoorsy, curious about the world, and a fan of math and computers. Geographic specialists work with a lot of precise information, so it helps to have a good eye for detail.

Make High School Count

  • Go for challenging math courses, such as trigonometry and calculus.
  • Pay special attention in physics and earth science classes.
  • Study history to see how the search for and ownership of land has affected the world.
  • Get a head start building computer skills by studying computer science and computer-assisted drafting.
  • Take an art class to get a feel for turning ideas and information into images.
  • Try for a summer job or internship working with your town or county surveyors.

Did You Know?

New technology makes it possible for one person to act as both surveyor and cartographer, gathering data and then using that data to create maps.