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NOC Code: NOC Code: 2255 Occupation: Mapping and Related Technologists and Technicians
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Mapping and related technologists and technicians gather, analyze, interpret and use geospatial information for applications in natural resources, geology, environment and land use planning. This unit group includes technologists and technicians who design and prepare maps, interpret aerial photographs, operate interpretative and airborne remote sensing equipment, and develop and operate geographical information systems. They are employed by all levels of government, the armed forces, utilities, mapping, computer software, forestry, architectural, engineering and consulting firms and other related establishments. Mapping and related technologists and technicians gather, analyze, interpret and use geospatial information for applications in natural resources, geology, environment and land use planning. This unit group includes technologists and technicians who design and prepare maps, interpret aerial photographs, operate interpretative and airborne remote sensing equipment, and develop and operate geographical information systems. They are employed by all levels of government, the armed forces, utilities, mapping, computer software, forestry, architectural, engineering and consulting firms and other related establishments.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3 4
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3 4
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3 4
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read descriptions in work orders and notes on files to learn about new projects and understand the purpose and type of mapping work requested. (1)
  • Read memos and email from supervisors, co-workers and clients. For example, read to learn about changes to work-in-progress such as new data which must be incorporated into mapping projects. (2)
  • Read trade publications such as Imaging Notes and Directions Magazine to learn about industry-wide trends, changes and technological advancements to apply to your work. For example, read articles on recently-developed software enhancements that may save them time on future projects. (3)
  • Read reports and contracts when preparing for new projects to understand how finished products will meet clients' objectives, learn about new mapping topics and to identify the challenges which staff encountered on similar projects. Read research reports to understand how the mapping process works, and what the product will need to capture. For example, technicians and technologists who map demographic data may read census reports outlining growth predictions for municipalities. (4)
  • Read articles in journals such as Cartographica, Geomatica and Journal of Remote Sensing to extract formulas, procedures, and data collection methodologies for use in course of your work. Read case studies to learn how mapping technologies were used to solve problems and gather ideas and approaches to new projects. (4)
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Writing
  • Write notes in job files to record work accomplished to date and to remind yourself of what to work on next. (1)
  • Compose email to clients, co-workers and supervisors. For example, request supplementary data or ask questions to clarify job requirements. (2)
  • Write job reports describing completed work. Record clients' original specifications, software used, data processing required and all other aspects of the work carried out. Note problems encountered and detail the solutions used to overcome them. (3)
  • Write procedures for creating particular mapping products. Provide detailed and lengthy instructions, including technical information on software applications. (4)
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Document Use
  • Scan lists to locate information necessary to proceed on projects, such as data sets, maps and project files. (1)
  • Enter information on forms to order materials from suppliers and record project tracking data such as hours worked and tasks accomplished to date. For example, enter hours worked on dockets and schedules. GIS technicians may complete order forms to purchase satellite imagery from Canadian distributors. (2)
  • Scan a variety of forms such as client requests, work authorizations and reports for information about new jobs. Extract information such as dates, job specifications and references to data which must be used. (2)
  • Scan project schedules to identify timelines and tasks you have been assigned. (2)
  • Compare features on previous versions of maps and scale drawings. Compare previous versions to work requests, analyze new data, take measurements, make notes and sketch directly on outdated map versions to indicate where changes are required. (4)
  • Locate topographical and built features in remote sensing imagery such as aerial photographs and satellite images to gain understanding of landscapes. Evaluate the quality of imagery, verify land use classifications against field survey data, and take on-screen measurements to confirm distances and elevations. (4)
  • Interpret graphs when manipulating and analyzing data. For example, GIS technicians mapping land use classification may review bar or line graphs that display traffic counts and other land use data. Extract disease occurrence rates from histograms for the purpose of mapping disease distribution across a geographical area. Interpret histograms in computer software showing tonal or colour density when making colour, grey-scale, or other adjustments. (4)
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Computer Use
  • Use word processing. For example, enter text into a variety of form templates, compose letters and write job reports using word processing software such as Word. Create documents using formatting features such as document sections, headers and footers and pagination. Import tables and graphics from spreadsheet software. (2)
  • Enter text, data and formulae, sort and manipulate data in spreadsheets. Access positional data in spreadsheet or table format in order to plot coordinates in mapping software. (2)
  • Exchange email with clients with dataset or image files attached. (2)
  • Perform searches on software such as Oracle or Access to obtain base mapping data and aerial photographs from government sources. Enter and access attribution and location information from data sets using database features of geographic information system (GIS) software. (2)
  • Use computer-assisted design, manufacturing and machining software. For example, use computer-assisted design software such as MicroStation to view, draw, and manipulate images. Use software features to take measurements of topographical features, distances, elevations and slopes. Export files from computer-assisted design software into geographical information system software. Use computer-assisted design software to transform geospatial data into topographical maps and three-dimensional models. (3)
  • Browse software manufacturers' user websites to access software manuals and help pages and to download updated software. Browse industry and professional association websites to download academic journal articles and industry publications. Use the Internet or intranet to retrieve or deposit large map or survey files using file transfer protocols. (3)
  • Use computer and software applications. For example, use geographical information system software such as ArcGIS and Map Info to manipulate remote sensing imagery, organize and assign location data and produce images which are geographically referenced to real world locations. Analyze and integrate multiple layers of geographic information to produce map products for different users and purposes. Use image processing software such as PCI Geomatics to enhance resolution and classify features on remote sensing imagery. For example, mapping technologists and technicians involved in land use classification may use image processing software to find all woodlots within given geographical area. (4)
  • Use graphics software such as Imagemaker and Illustrator to resize or sharpen photographs, layer spatial information, manipulate satellite and aerial imagery, adjust colours and crop images. Use colour to code elevation gradients or other identifying features of maps. (4)
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Oral Communication
  • Discuss products' technical specifications and pricing with suppliers and service providers. For example, photogrammetric technicians may order source data such as satellite images and aerial photographs from suppliers. (1)
  • Consult programmers about modifying or adapting mapping software. Describe data processing requirements to the programmers, review detailed technical specifications and discuss data processing approaches and methods. (2)
  • Talk over the telephone with customer service representatives from software help lines to seek assistance using specialized software. For example, ask for instructions or clarification in using software for unique or unusual mapping applications. (2)
  • Discuss all aspects of cartographic projects with clients and supervisors. For example, discuss project requirements and timelines, confirm which source data is to be collected and analyzed, and may request new or better quality data to meet project objectives. (2)
  • Interact with co-workers to seek advice, coordinate work activities and discuss quality concerns. Ask questions to learn how to approach tasks and confer on establish timelines and workflow for large-scale projects. Discuss errors encountered on each other's work as part of on-going quality control processes and may assign project tasks to other technicians or technologists. (3)
  • Present project updates to staff and managers at meetings and provide status updates on projects, answer questions and negotiate particular aspects of the work which may affect other staff members' workloads and schedules. Negotiate extensions and work reorganizations so you have sufficient time to complete projects. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Monitor the hours you work on tasks and projects to ensure the hours coincide with project allotments. (1)
  • Determine work schedules for technicians involved in projects you manage. Identify, sequence and assign job tasks, track hours and make adjustments to accommodate changes to projects' timelines. (3)
  • Create budgets for small mapping projects, including costs for source data and staff time. For example, cartographers may determine budgets for new mapping products and monitor project costs and make adjustments to ensure they stay within budget. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Tally the number of like objects that appear on maps. For example, aeronautical cartographers may count the number of aerodromes in a geographic region. Geographical information system technicians may count numbers of built features such as highways and utility lines. (1)
  • Convert between longitude and latitude coordinates and other formats, including decimal degrees and geographic positioning system coordinates. In some cases, employ computer software to make conversions. (2)
  • Identify appropriate scales for maps. Maximize the size of the features you want to display given the size of the paper to determine required scales. (2)
  • Locate the centre points of geographical areas being studied. Draw a box to define outer dimensions of areas and intersecting lines from corners of the box to determine centre points. Express geographical locations as latitude and longitude coordinates and in Universal Transverse Mercator notation, converting frequently between the two. (4)
  • Calculate areas and perimeters of large, irregular geographic divisions such as sections of forests and flood plains on digital maps. For example, calculate areas covered by tree stands when mapping land use classification. (4)
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Data Analysis
  • Interpret error readings generated by computer software programs to identify whether data entered is within acceptable ranges and whether adjustments or corrections are required. For example, monitor error readings which tell you how accurate you have been in assigning location coordinates to satellite imagery and aerial photographs. (3)
  • Sort and compare features and thematic information displayed on maps. For example, mapping technologists who work in land use classification may calculate the average widths of buffer zones between proposed highways and lakes, and express specific land usages as fractions of all lands available. (3)
  • Compare geographic coordinates, elevations, distances, and the relationship between these on newly created maps. Compare newly mapped information with source data and older versions of maps. Cross-check all numerical values to ensure new and updated maps are accurate. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate distances between points and dimensions of objects using photographs and radar images. (2)
  • Estimate the time required to analyze and process data for mapping projects. Consider the quantity of data and the complexity of processing requirements. (2)
  • Estimate numbers of technicians needed to carry out projects. Consider projects' specifications, timelines, types of data and collection methods required. (3)
  • Estimate the number of products that will need to be updated when you receive new source data. Use your knowledge of map catalogues and understanding of which products are constructed using the same data sets to determine what needs to be updated simultaneously. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Mapping and related technologists and technicians receive work assignments from project leaders and supervisors. When tasks are assigned, they have discretion to assign priorities and sequence tasks in order to meet project timelines. They sequence their own work to ensure maximum efficiency, particularly during data analysis stages. For example, they may run lengthy computer processing tasks at night. In this way, they can use their workstations for other tasks during the day. They often work on many concurrent projects, sharing project responsibilities with other team members. This requires that they coordinate schedules and negotiate priorities. Shifting priorities or changes to deadlines can disrupt their schedules. Mapping and related technologists and technicians alter their own work plans and rework project schedules with co-workers or supervisors. They may organize source data and plan processing requirements when leading a project with other technicians. They plan timelines and completion dates, and assign work activities to meet project requirements. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide to request additional source data when that received is incomplete or inaccurate. (1)
  • Decide which computer hardware and software will suit the project's objectives. Consider the types of source data available, the end products desired and the types of processing which will be required. (2)
  • Choose map scales, colours and the sizes and locations of display features such as legends, text labels and symbols on finished products so that information is optimally displayed. Work within industry standards but use your discretion to ensure maps are readable. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Face unrealistic project timelines. Deadlines can move up unexpectedly because of shifting customer demands or new work requirements. Adjust your own workloads to meet new timelines or request extensions from supervisors. (1)
  • Face cost overruns on projects as a result of high source data costs or unexpected delays in data processing. Consider ways to reduce expenses and staff time. Document the causes of cost overruns to use as reference for future projects. (2)
  • Receive inaccurate or incomplete source data. Approach clients, suppliers or co-workers to find data that meets project requirements and work on other projects or tasks until good quality data arrives. (2)
  • Encounter computer hardware failures and software malfunctions. Troubleshoot equipment and software, using error codes and messages to guide your search of manuals and online technical information. Adjust timelines to make up for any time lost as a result of failures and malfunctions. (2)
  • Encounter inconsistencies and conflicting results when processing data. Review source data to locate any errors which may have been overlooked and study all previous data results to identify indicators of problems with data processing. Then work independently or with co-workers to perform root cause analysis and make all the necessary adjustments. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Find background information about clients by visiting company websites and talking to co-workers. (1)
  • Find information about computer software or hardware by reading manuals and industry publications, accessing customer service help lines, participating in online user fora and speaking with co-workers. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Judge the suitability of software for given tasks. Consider the types of data supplied, processing required and the finished products requested. (2)
  • Assess the appropriateness of source data for given purposes. Consider job specifications, data quality and processing requirements and the applications of finished products. For example, photogrammetric technicians evaluate the clarity and composition of aerial photographs to be used in creating topographical maps while GIS technicians may assess the impact of cloud cover on satellite images. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality and integrity of your own and co-workers' finished products. Use established criteria to judge the accuracy and readability of the products and the extent to which they conform to clients' specifications. (3)
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