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Details for Mapping Technicians


Calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.


  • Check all layers of maps in order to ensure accuracy, identifying and marking errors and making corrections.
  • Determine scales, line sizes, and colors to be used for hard copies of computerized maps, using plotters.
  • Monitor mapping work and the updating of maps in order to ensure accuracy, the inclusion of new and/or changed information, and compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Identify and compile database information in order to create maps in response to requests.
  • Produce and update overlay maps in order to show information boundaries, water locations, and topographic features on various base maps and at different scales.
  • Trace contours and topographic details in order to generate maps that denote specific land and property locations and geographic attributes.
  • Lay out and match aerial photographs in sequences in which they were taken, and identify any areas missing from photographs.
  • Compare topographical features and contour lines with images from aerial photographs, old maps, and other reference materials in order to verify the accuracy of their identification.
  • Compute and measure scaled distances between reference points in order to establish relative positions of adjoining prints and enable the creation of photographic mosaics.
  • Research resources such as survey maps and legal descriptions in order to verify property lines and to obtain information needed for mapping.
  • Form three-dimensional images of aerial photographs taken from different locations, using mathematical techniques and plotting instruments.
  • Enter GPS data, legal deeds, field notes, and land survey reports into GIS workstations so that information can be transformed into graphic land descriptions, such as maps and drawings.
  • Analyze aerial photographs in order to detect and interpret significant military, industrial, resource, or topographical data.
  • Redraw and correct maps, such as revising parcel maps to reflect tax code area changes, using information from official records and surveys.
  • Train staff members in duties such as tax mapping, the use of computerized mapping equipment, and the interpretation of source documents.
  • Research and combine existing property information in order to describe property boundaries in relation to adjacent properties, taking into account parcel splits, combinations, and land boundary adjustments.
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in plotting data and drafting maps; or in producing blueprints, photostats, and photographs.
  • Create survey description pages and historical records related to the mapping activities and specifications of section plats.
  • Calculate latitudes, longitudes, angles, areas, and other information for mapmaking, using survey field notes and reference tables.
  • Identify, research, and resolve anomalies in legal land descriptions, referring issues to title and survey experts as appropriate.
  • Complete detailed source and method notes detailing the location of routine and complex land parcels.
  • Answer questions and provide information to the public and to staff members regarding assessment maps, surveys, boundaries, easements, property ownership, roads, zoning, and similar matters.
  • Trim, align, and join prints in order to form photographic mosaics, maintaining scaled distances between reference points.
  • Produce representations of surface and mineral ownership layers, by interpreting legal survey plans.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.

Related Careers

  • Appraisers, Real Estate
  • Cartographers and Photogrammetrists
  • City and Regional Planning Aides
  • Civil Drafters
  • Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers
  • Range Managers
  • Surveying Technicians
  • Surveyors
Wages for this career
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