For those who love Geography and want to pursue a career in this field, working as a cartographer is an ideal choice. With an advent of digital and visual format, mapping is the next big thing for those who have good communication skills and ability to recreate reality. SRIYA REDDY tells you about job prospects in this sector
Presenting the world on a sheet of paper is not only what a cartographer does. The art of analyzing and evaluating, gathering and processing, researching and selecting the reality into ways that can convey spatial information easily is what we call as cartography. The term can be defined as the study of maps or an art of graphically representing a geographical area on a flat surface or simply as mapping.
“Cartography is nothing but preparing maps and laying the working systems graphically,” Mohammed Ishtiaque, Professor of Geography in Jamia Millia Islamia University says. He also tells you that a cartographer needs scientific and imaginative temper with an artistic brain. While traditional cartography has completely been sidelined, modern cartography has become big due to advent of IT. The influence of technology has not only enabled the manipulation of images on-screen, but, has also proved to be a technological advancement in the world of map-making with almost all the data now collected and transmitted electronically. In commercial cartographic publishing, the work is more in common with book publishing and requires innovative design skills.
A cartographer today, needs special design and analytical skills to be able to recreate reality. With high level of accuracy, correct logical approach and attention, details of mapping can be successfully created. One should take up this course only if he has a keen interest in topography or geography and like to explore geographical software’s.
“Cartography is a unique blend of science, social geography and physical geography with a combination of technical skills required for map-making. Therefore, if a student loves geography, a career in this field can prove to be ideal,” Usha Albuquerque, career counselor tells you.
The eligibility needed by a person to join this programme is 10+2 at school level and a graduate level degree in mathematics, economics, geography or geology. Those who have done their PG level programme in the same field can apply as well. Subjects needed for this course are geography, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), surveying and mapping science, topographic science, earth sciences and urban and land studies.
The Government today, contributes to this course with job opportunities in departments including Ordnance Survey, the Ministry of Defense, the Met Office and The Department of Transport. According to Professor Mohammad Ishtiaque: “The GIS and global positioning system have become the part and parcel of cartography. A cartographer can work in departments like weather and environment. Other than that one can also layout the directions for communication systems. Now, the Government has also come up with micro level plant, hence, all the districts require cartographers.”
Today, one of the visible examples as opportunities in cartography is the Google map. Each and every person today is accustomed to it be it searching for the right ways or a restaurant, people’s favorite — Google — knows it all. The opportunities don’t end here. With the advent of metro, metro maps have become quite popular. Businesses that deal with selling maps, producing maps for encyclopedias, reference books and atlases, publishers, planners, engineers, architects also need cartographers. Cartographers can join NGOs and other developmental agencies too that primarily engage in population studies, rural development and various environmental issues.
How to apply
A candidate who wishes to join the course needs to visit the official website of the concerned university. They can fill the downloaded application from the website and can send it along with attachments including copies of certificates to prove their educational qualification and cheque or money order of the application fee.
In case of any difficulty in downloading the form, one can contact the concerned authority for the application form. A demand draft for the application form can be sent to the office after which the application form along with the information bulletin can be obtained. The same can be obtained along with the information bulletin directly from the office.
A qualified person can expect anywhere around Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 a month. After a couple of years of experience, one can successfully earn up to Rs 50,000 per month and more. If one decides to join foreign organisation, he can expect Rs 5,00,000-Rs 10, 00,000 per year depending on the organisation one works in.
Where to study
Institutions or universities that provide this course to the students are:
Indian Institute of Technology (Mumbai), Jamia Millia Islamia. Course: diploma in Cartography D
Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University, MS University of Baroda. Course: Diploma in Cartography,
North Orissa University, Baripada. Course: Master of Science in Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System)
Osmania University. Course Diploma in Geographical Cartography
Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur. Course: Post Graduate Diploma in Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System)
Sam Higginbotom Institute of Agriculture, Allahabad. Course: Post-graduate Diploma in Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System
Delhi University. Course: Undergraduate programme in geography which includes Cartographic Techniques.
Apart from the Indian universities and institutions, students can also apply in foreign institutions. Institutions like Brigham Young University, USA (Bachelor in Cartography), Florida State University, USA (Master in Cartography), Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK), Texas A & M University, USA, States (Bachelor in Cartography), University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA (Bachelor in Cartography and Master in Cartography) offer programmes in this field.
(This article was taken from The Pioneer)