Mapping Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Performs surveying and mapping duties, usually under the direction of an engineer, surveyor, cartographer, or photogrammetrist to obtain data used for construction, mapmaking, boundary location, mining, or other purposes. May calculate mapmaking information and create maps from source data, such as surveying notes, aerial photography, satellite data, or other maps to show topographical features, political boundaries, and other features. May verify accuracy and completeness of maps.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Design/Pre-Construction pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Checks all layers of maps to ensure accuracy, identifying and marking errors and making corrections.
  • Designs or develops information databases that include geographic or topographic data.
  • Monitors mapping work or the updating of maps to ensure accuracy, the inclusion of new or changed information, or compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Produces or updates overlay maps to show information boundaries, water locations, or topographic features on various base maps or at different scales.
  • Determines scales, line sizes, or colors to be used for hard copies of computerized maps, using plotters.
  • Identifies and compiles database information to create maps in response to requests.
  • Analyzes aerial photographs to detect and interpret significant military, industrial, resource, or topographical data.
  • Enters Global Positioning System (GPS) data, legal deeds, field notes, or land survey reports into geographic information system (GIS) workstations so that information can be transformed into graphic land descriptions, such as maps or drawings.
  • Researches and combines existing property information to describe property boundaries in relation to adjacent properties, taking into account parcel splits, combinations, or land boundary adjustments.
  • Compares topographical features or contour lines with images from aerial photographs, old maps, or other reference materials to verify the accuracy of their identification.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Cartographer -- Collects, analyzes and interprets geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data.
  • Topographical Drafter -- Draws maps, diagrams, profiles, cross sections, directional surveys, and subsurface formations to represent geological or geophysical stratigraphy.
  • Aerotriangulation Specialist --
  • Agricultural Global Positioning System Mapper (Agricultural GPS Mapper) --
  • Geographical Information System Technician (GIS Technician) --
  • Photogrammetric Technician --