Surveying and mapping technicians collect data and make maps of the Earth's surface. Surveying technicians visit sites to take measurements of the land. Mapping technicians use geographic data to create maps. They both assist surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists.
Surveying technicians typically do the following:
Visit sites to record survey measurements and other descriptive data
Operate surveying instruments, such as electronic distance-measuring equipment (robotic total stations), to collect data on a location
Set out stakes and marks to conduct a survey
Search for previous survey points, such as old stone markers
Enter the data from surveying instruments into computers, either in the field or in an office
Surveying technicians help surveyors in the field on teams known as survey parties. A typical survey party has a party chief and one or more surveying technicians. The party chief, either a surveyor or a senior surveying technician, leads day-to-day work activities. After data is collected by the survey party, surveying technicians help to process the data by entering the data into computers.
Mapping technicians typically do the following:
Select needed information from databases to create maps
Edit and process images that have been collected in the field
Produce maps showing boundaries, water locations, elevation, and other features of the terrain
Update maps to ensure accuracy
Assist photogrammetrists by laying out aerial photographs in sequence to identify areas not captured by aerial photography
Geographic Information System (GIS) technicians use GIS technology to assemble, integrate, and display data about a particular location in a digital format. They also use GIS technology to compile information from a variety of sources. GIS technicians also maintain and update databases for GIS devices.