Mapping scientists or cartographers are professionals who deal with the precise measurements of the earth. With the help of mathematical concepts, specialized equipment and graphing tools, these professionals are able to demarcate the edge of properties and other pieces of land that need to be plotted on official maps and records. Due to the improvements in technology, a mapping scientist is now also expected to be well versed with the use of computers.
Good technical skills with the use of devices and tools would help a prospective mapping scientist in his future career. Manual dexterity in manipulating equipment and drawing can probably go a long way as far as making the job easier. The level of precision expected from these professionals is so high that the tolerance for errors is usually only within a fraction of an inch. Also, familiarity with laws concerning properties and land would also be a great asset in becoming a good mapping scientist. It also goes without saying that a certain level of aptitude for spatial relations and abstract reasoning is required to make sense of the complex dimensions that are measured in the profession.
Education and aptitude. A person who wants to be a mapping scientist is required by law to have a high school diploma. The experience and knowledge at this level would allow you to get skills in geometry, trigonometry and other mathematical sub-specialties that may come in handy later on. These subjects lay down the foundation of critical thinking and conceptualizing the shapes required for the execution of the future job. Some high schools also offer courses on technical drawing and drafting that can potentially help you familiarize yourself with drawing techniques and the general skill of sketching.
Higher education. After graduating from high school, you may enrol at a college or university of your choosing. Most mapping scientists are degree holders in the fields of geography, forestry, geodetic engineering, land surveying or other similar disciplines. Due to the advancement in technology and changes in the field itself, people who have degrees in computer science have also increasingly become more common in the industry.
Licensing. After finishing college, graduates usually have to go through a licensing process held by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Most states require cartographers and mapping scientists to be licensed as surveyors as well.
Certification and continuing education. Certification paves the way for possible employment. Continuing education is also quite important for those in the field of mapping science. Every day, new programs and software are being developed for use in computers, and this would definitely be more apparent as the industry becomes more and more dependent on computers. Likewise, the actual tools and equipment used on the ground are also getting better and more user-friendly, so familiarity with these refined machines would also be a great advantage to a mapping scientist.
Guilds and associations. Mapping scientists may also join guilds and professional associations to forward their careers and pursue further training and education.
Being a mapping scientist is very similar to being a surveyor. Many professions depend on you to make the right measurement. Popular online tools like Google Maps and Google earth make this career all the more exciting, because you know there is a future in store for this industry. If you have an aptitude in spatial reasoning, this could be a good career path for you.