Surveying and mapping technicians help surveyors measure and map land.
Surveying and mapping technicians use technology, such as:
- Global positioning systems (GPS)
- Earth resources data satellites
- Aerial photography
- Geographic information systems (GIS)
Surveying technicians inspect, clean, and pack survey tools and instruments. They also set up, operate, and adjust these instruments. They take and record measurements and help prepare survey reports. They measure vertical and horizontal angles using an instrument called a theodolite. Technicians measure distances between surveying points with a tape or electronic equipment. In addition, they use satellites to gather data. They set up instruments to measure the position and elevation of land. They compile notes, make sketches, and enter collected data into computers. Technicians also supervise laborers who clear brush, drive stakes, and carry equipment.
Surveying technicians are part of a team, called a survey party. The team is made up of a party chief, survey technicians, and laborers. The party chief may be an engineer, a licensed land surveyor, or a surveying technician.
Mapping technicians use a variety of information to create maps. They use photographs, data from surveys, and other information. Some data, such as elevation and distance measurements, are spatial. Other data, such as population density and land use patterns, are non-spatial.
Mapping technicians use drafting equipment and computers to make maps. They analyze aerial photographs to find data. They may join several photos together. Technicians also research old maps and verify data points by visiting sites. They combine the information and draw a basic map. They add boundaries, elevations, and color. They may supervise workers who draft maps or produce blueprints and photographs.