Jump to content


Cartography Experience Questions

  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic




  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • United Kingdom

I have 15 yrs GIS skills, starting off as a geomorphology graduate (MSc) and working for AUSLIG (Australia's Ord Survey) for a few years before properly moving into GIS. I want to move (freelance) back into cartography and was wondering what I need to do, and learn. Mainly in terms of software skills, and the associated hardware I need. I'm really interested in joining a virtual Cartographic agency - if one exists in the UK - whilst I may not have very good design skills I have excellent GIS skills, and very good relationships with the OS. I would appreciate any advice that anyone has.
Thanks, Katie

Boundary Maven

Boundary Maven


  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 28 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Portland, Oregon
  • United States

Many, if not most, map designers use Illustrator for the finished product. There are online and real life classes that will get you started in Illustrator.

Several members of this forum recommend MAPublisher as well. I haven't used it yet, but if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.

As for hardware, I would purchase whatever you're most comfortable using. There are Mac and PC adherents and each group will try to convince you that theirs is the best operating system. I think the best operating system is the one that works for you. Make sure you have tons of RAM because some of your files will be quite large. Otherwise, get what you know and what you like.

Good luck! You're embarking on a voyage that I've often fantasized about.

James Hines

James Hines

    James Anthony Hines

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 558 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Centreville, Nova Scotia
  • Interests:Cartography, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Secret Mystery Schools
  • Canada


Unless you have a specific niche that you can offer a clientele that will bite, be in a very good market of prosperity & give you a lot of contracts. For most freelancers the job may only be a part time job, & at the same time continue to work at your current job see what happens. Keep your mouth shut; in many countries employers have the right to fire you especially if you are freelancing in a similar field that would in effect put you in competition with them.

Chose your software & hardware wisely based on your current skill set & the niche you are pursing. Get memberships in organizations such as NACIS when applicable & based on affordability. And network which you have already started based on the fact you are posting on CartoTalk. For many cartographers freelancing is a side income while others luck out & go at it alone & become successful. Now as I have been told business in cartography is one of the subjects that has or will be discussed in Sacramento this year. I'm sure Hans, or Derek may start a topic based on what was discussed so please make yourself at home & stand by.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users