Old Rome and the tradition of having maps of it
Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the Ancient Romans were among the first to attempt to have town planning when the emperor Augustus embarked on an ambitious building program. Yet further elements of town planing were used in Rome after most of the city had to be rebuilt after the fire of AD 64. So Rome and the Romans were actually used to the idea of their city being planned, and also that there were maps of Rome available. The Romans were generally really good at planning things, and they had a highly effective road network, hence the old saying that all roads lead to Rome. When there is a complex road network system and town planning system then there will be maps. Rome had both these features as well as people capable of drawing maps. Indeed at some point the Romans made maps of most parts of the Roman empire.
As engineers and military planners the Romans were among the best in the Ancient world, so it is no surprise that they had some very details maps for the city of Rome itself. Such maps were really useful when the Roman authorities wanted to expand the city, or an emperor wanted to have a new palace or temple built.
Somethings were forgotten after the Roman empire ended
There are maps and plans of Rome that have survived from the Roman empire and even the Roman Republic. The surviving buildings and ruins also show what the city would have looked like in the past. There are paintings and mosaics that provide further evidence of what Rome was like in the past. It was actually after the fall of the Roman empire that it became rarer for maps of the city to get produced or made.
As the Middle Ages wore on some of the lost skills of the Romans were regained, yet regained over the course of centuries instead of over night. Town planning and well thought out building projects did not happen in the Middle Ages, or indeed in the Renaissance. Often builders and architects took stone or bricks from the old Roman buildings instead of buying or making their own.
Medieval maps of Rome look far less organized and far more crowded than those dating back to the imperial and republican eras. They started to show ruined buildings, ruins caused by the laziness of newer builders and architects rather than the ravishes of time.
It was the Renaissance that saw an increase in the number of the maps of Rome being made, to cater for the increased number of visitors that aimed to learn from the ways in, which the Romans had done things. Of course these were new maps at the time. However those maps that have survived are now our old maps of Rome as opposed to their brand new guide to tourists. The number of tourists increased again in the 18th century, again causing an increase in the availability of maps.
Cartographers specialise in making maps, scale drawing of a location and charts. They use data from surveys, aerial pictures and satellite systems. To get into this profession, you have to go to school, qualify and get a job.
Know What it Takes
As a cartographer, you should be able to use analytics and a creative mind. You need to be attentive to detail and accurate in order to relay data on to a map. The skills that this job needs most are some mathematical and computer programming. A majority of the cartographers spend most of their time on a computer in an office.
Cartography has a wide scope and touches on engineering, geography, design and programming. There are cartographers who are mostly conservative and use little of programming. They mainly make maps and rely on mechanical skills and geography. There are photogrammetrists who rely on aerial surveys’ and remote sensing maps. They mostly use mathematical and programming skills.
There are also geographic information systems specialists who rely on GIS technology to make maps. They use visual digital databases for this.
What to Study
Start as early as high school to study subjects such as trigonometry, algebra, geometry, statistics and calculus. Also, any type of programming at this stage will be helpful.
In college, choose a cartographic technician program. It will take you about three years to complete these studies. It is important to pay attention to the practical skills.
You can become a cartographer with or without a bachelor’s degree. A technical program gives you a better chance when you choose to do your degree. You can also get a degree. Degrees are less technical, and have more coursework and theory.
Some of the degrees to study in college include forestry, computer science, civil engineering and geography. Choose course work that gears towards cartography, and classes that tend towards maps and data collection for maps.
Some of the best universities for cartography include UC Los Angeles, Clark University and UC Santa Barbara.You can also do certification from government bodies and professional organisations.
Work as a Cartographer
To get a job, have a portfolio of the work you have done as a student or intern. Keep practising after school through improving on old maps. At work, accept lower level positions. They will help you grow your expertise.
You can become a project cartographer or a cartographic technician. Also, apply for government, state, federal and provincial government jobs. They are the main generators of maps and need these skills. Cartographers mostly work with county assessors, city planners and public works department.
There are also jobs in the private sector in civil engineering businesses, environmental consulting and surveying firms. Software companies also need cartographers or GIS professionals. In addition, there are job openings at insurance and publishing companies.
There is projected growth in cartography as a profession. It is a prestigious profession which has an average income of $58,840 per year. The numbers of jobs in this field also keep on growing and increase the need for such skill. It is important that you develop an interest in geography and the environment before venturing into cartography.
Cartography is a field that really interests some people and seems to really bore others. I know because I talk to people about it all the time. Some of them are really just gripped the entire time and they can’t listen to me talk about maps enough. Other people are more or less bored the very minute that I even mention the word ‘maps.’ This website is not for them. It’s difficult to get people interested in even the best parts of cartography if they aren’t even willing to give it a chance in the first place. However, even some of them might be won over if I can manage to get them to read even a few of the really interesting facts about cartography.
Cartography really is fascinating. It has been historically and it still is today.
I go into detail about just how cool it is on this website.
People will get to learn all sorts of interesting cartography facts on this website. I hope that people link to it. That way, they’ll be able to really spread around the joy of cartography so I won’t have to, since there’s only so much that any one person can do for one field. I give people some of the background of cartography in general, so people can get a sense of the history of map-making. However, many of these facts are modern ones that people can share without having to provide too many background details.