Cartography: A career in making maps

By Shweta

For those who can understand a map in seconds, there is a good news. If you are the one who can understand the navigation in a given area and make a map out of it, then you can very well make a living out of this skill.

Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. These maps are used in tourist's navigation, weather reports, making railway lines and many other ways.

What is Cartography?


Cartography is the study of making maps. It is a combination of scientific and artistic elements. Cartography or mapmaking is the application of image processing, data capture, data manipulation and visual display.

A cartographer can be defined as a professional who ca draw various types of maps. There are scientific, technological and artistic aspects of cartography and a cartographer should be knowing all these aspects. The data is collected through surveys, satellite images, aerial images and other such sources to create maps.

Where to learn cartography?

All those who have done their Bachelor's in Geography can pursue post-graduation in Cartography.

The top institutes offering Cartography course are:

The courses will be named as M.A (Geography), M.Sc. (Geoinformatics) and M.Tech (GIS).

What is Cartography?

How much does a cartographer earn?

Salary will depend on various factors such as organization, work location, experience and educational qualification. Initial package will not be that high in India but for overseas organizations, the pay package may go up to 10 lakh per annum.

Books to learn Cartography:

If you are a student of Geography and interested in starting learning Cartography, here are some books for you:

  • Elements of cartography
  • Great Maps by Jerry Brotton
  • Maphead by Ken Jennings
  • Strange Maps by Frank Jacobs
  • Designing Better Maps by Cynthia Brewer

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