Our seafarers would quite literally be lost without accurate maps of the world’s seas and oceans. These charts, as they are known, give detailed geographical information of coastal land and sea and are an invaluable aid to safe navigation.
Cartographers produce these charts using the latest high-tech equipment and techniques to collect geographic information, using graphic design and image manipulation software to convert the data into visual images and graphs. Sometimes the work will be on regions that have not been mapped before, or else on existing maps to bring them up-to-date.
A cartographer’s work could include collecting and analysing data from remote sensors, satellites and other sources, liaising with surveyors and designers, using digital photogrammetric equipment to plot the heights and positions of geographical features from aerial photographs and carrying out hydrographic (marine) surveys. Entry to the cartography business usually requires a geography-based degree, although surveying, civil engineering, oceanography and computing could also be useful. However, that said, mapping is a small industry and competition for jobs is usually fierce for this 9-to-5 office-based job.