How do I Become a Photogrammetrist?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2018
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A photogrammetrist helps survey land using aerial photographs and computer technology. If you want to become a photogrammetrist, you will need to dedicate time to understanding geography and mapmaking. This interesting job is used in a variety of industries, ranging from cartography to civil engineering and government work.

The basic job of a photogrammetrist will have you looking at photographs taken from planes or satellites and determining what is featured. These pictures can be of a body of water, a housing neighborhood, a desert floor, mountains or many other things. In order to become a photogrammetrist, you must sharpen your skills so that you can identify plant life, manmade structures, distance, geography and anything else that needs to be identified from the photographed.

There normally are few educational requirements to become a photogrammetrist, but there are many educational fields of study that can help you in this profession. Studying geography and biology will be useful in determining various landscapes and plant life in photos. A strong background in mathematics will be useful in determining distances and scale in the photo. And, of course, knowledge of photography can be helpful for a variety of reasons.


To become a photogrammetrist, you must have a number of skills in addition to the educational foundation. Attention to detail is the top talent that will help you deal with mapping systems. A photogrammetrist must pull out small, often inconspicuous, details about a photo that might look like a speck to most viewers but could be an important form of plant life, for example. Focus is another essential skill, because you will be viewing photographs — often extremely similar photos — all day, and you must have the ability to look at each one with fresh, focused eyes. Technical expertise also can be useful, because the job normally requires you to control sensitive computer equipment, not simply to look at a physical photo.

If you become a photogrammetrist, you could find yourself working in a variety of professional environments. Mapping technicians who work for cartography companies are often trained in the ways of a photogrammetrist and use these skills to look at overhead surveys to draw a map. Civil engineering and architecture firms often utilize the skills of a photogrammetrist in order to be prepared for any natural dilemmas when building on a specific piece of land. Many governments also employ photogrammetrists as surveyors and more, for jobs in organizations as varied as transportation departments, environmental departments and military organizations.



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