What they do
Cartographers research, collect, collate and present information about geographical forms in visual representations such as maps, graphs, charts, plans and images. They analyse field surveys, land use and land management data, aerial photographs and other geographic information to prepare these representations. They consult with clients to determine their mapping needs, collect data, compile and transfer it into the required format, edit and revise the documents, and prepare these documents for presentation or publication. Cartographers work all over the State, carrying out tasks such as mapping potential mine sites to surveying our coastlines and other elements of the environment.
Cartographers work in offices but may travel to survey and map sites, or to meet with clients. They usually work regular hours, but may be required to work longer hours when working to a deadline.
Tools and technologies
Cartographers use a range of different tools depending on the type of work being undertaken. They use computers, including specific imaging programs and computer-aided design (CAD) or Geographic Information System (GIS) software. They also use drawing instruments, light tables or plotting tables, cameras, and a range of electronic equipment that enables them to measure and record geographical structures.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a cartographer, you usually need to gain a qualification in surveying, geospatial science or geographic information science.
The Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Surveying is offered at TAFE Colleges throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.
You can also undertake a traineeship in surveying (level 5). The traineeship usually takes 36 months to complete.
Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.