Maps open up new worlds to us. Whether they be topographical, aeronautic charts, or nautical maps of the oceans, maps are an indispensable tool necessary to our way of life. Various careers and jobs use maps for a variety of reasons. Some careers are responsible for the creation of the maps we use.
Cartographers make maps. A career in cartography will see you engaged in a variety of tasks including geographical research and compiling data to produce maps. Cartographers analyze spatial data such as latitude, longitude, elevation and distance; non-spatial data such as population density, land-use patterns, annual precipitation levels and demographics are studied and used to make specialized maps for city, state and federal use.
Search and Rescue
Professional search and rescue crews employ maps in their quest to find injured, stranded, lost and missing people. Topographical maps, ocean charts and aeronautical maps are all used depending on search location and need. In addition to hard-copy maps, search and rescue teams will use electronic maps and GPS to drop waypoints, establish points last seen and work out logical paths the lost may have followed to hasten the search.
Backcountry Guides and Instructors
Backcountry guides, leaders and instructors all use maps as part of their jobs. Organizations and schools including the National Outdoor Leadership School teach proper map and compass use and expect their leaders to be experts in using this technique. Mountain guides, sea kayak leaders and even heli-ski guides all employ the use of various charts and maps to ensure they and their clients return home.