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catographer demand, fuel scarcity

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#1
sean

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What do you think the prospects are for cartography work in regards to a global economy that is affected by fuel scarcity?
5 years from now?
10yfn?
25yfn?

#2
natcase

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What do you think the prospects are for cartography work in regards to a global economy that is affected by fuel scarcity?
5 years from now?
10yfn?
25yfn?


Well, it sure makes fieldwork more of a challenge <_< .

Seriously, I think there are too many variables to make any firm predictions:

If an economically viable single-driver alternative to the internal combustion engine comes out of it, then that form will drive navigational mapping. If not, we'll probably need better transit/pedestrian planning tools, including maps.

If global warming continues to wreak havoc internationally, then emergency relief work and the massive public works associated with massive population relocation will need cartography to help them along.

If there is resulting global conflict, then I suppose the military will be looking for a few good cartographers, if there's anything left to map...

And if society breaks down, and I'm left scrounging for food in the ruins of Minneapolis, well... didn't Mad Max need a navigator?

Nat Case
INCase, LLC

Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
maphead.blogspot.com



#3
Derek Tonn

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Related to the original question, I think it depends upon what type of mapping work you are talking about. The key to surviving (and thriving?) situations such as the ever-decreasing supply of fossil fuels is positioning. Put yourself in a good, forward-thinking place, you and your family survive and/or thrive. Put yourself in the wrong place, and you'd better find another line of work...eventually. What is a "good place?" Depends upon your experience/expertise, your location, your connections, etc.

The short answer to your question though is this: Rising sea levels....rapid climate changes....new political boundaries via impending conflict, etc., etc. will all but guarantee the need for the world's bevy of maps and satellite imagery to be continually modified.
Derek Tonn
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#4
merft

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Considering maps have been around at least 5,000 years, I don't think petroleum shortages will affect cartography. I agree with Derek, you need to adjust for the times. To take the question directly on point, one of my major clients is a wind farm company. I've been extremely busy with them, but I do not expect it to last much more than 3-5yrs. If you watch the markets, keep diversified, and take advantage of opportunities when they come up, you'll do fine.

On a more gloomy note, I also would not be surprised to see an increase in the request for cartographers over the next 20-200 years. If you look historically at environmental changes affecting populations, they tend to destabilize governments. If you combine the potential affects of global warming and decreases in natural resources, I would not be surprised to see the world enter a turbulent conflict phase in the very near future. Armies always need to know where they are going.




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