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Want to fulfill lifelong dream of becoming cartographer


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#1
David Kendall

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Hello, all! I've already introduced myself to the group, stating how when I was a child I wanted to be a cartographer when I grew up (and I used the term "cartographer" back then too.) Now, 30+ years later, I'm looking at unemployment in a few months and I realized I've never fulfilled my childhood dream. While I had some interest in studying cartography when I got to university at the time I was in Junior high, by the time I actually got into university, I "wasted" my time on a theatre degree (although I did take some geography courses - always been a geography geek going back over 30 years!)

I've though about finally getting into cartography, but I realized all I have is an almost obsessive interest with maps and geography, and computer skills (been using computers as long as I have been interested in geography, coincidentally!) I don't have any formal schooling relating to cartography (I don't even know what "GIS" that I keep reading about here is (which is very embarassing, as among my friends and family I'm known as "Mr. Geography Knowledge", but having just admitted the above here I'm probably looked upon as a rank newbie)), and don't know if I can afford to take some schooling either. I'm curious as to what I could at least get into that's remotely cartographical here in the Winnipeg area. Anything I could do to start making my own maps (that doesn't involve tracing them from atlases, which was the way I made my maps at the height of my geekery in my school-age days)? (The closest thing I've done to making a computer designed map is this world map that I made (I'm "Canuckguy") and put on Wikimedia Commons that seems to be well-recieved and much-used there, which does give me some joy.)

#2
James Hines

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Post your resume on this site & let us see what your other skills are. The reason is if you want to get into cartography perhaps the field you have worked in could be your niche. BTW if you want to know what GIS, (Geographic Information System), is start thinking spatial IT, spatial databases, & research the topic GIS.

Here is a brief explanation: http://www.gis.com/whatisgis/

You should also know that cartography is not just GIS technology, there are some that work straight out from the graphics sector & use only Adobe Illustrator to trace & design maps. That could help you get a job as a graphics designer & do some freelance work but if you want to work at a GIS firm you have to go back to school & obtain an education. Geographically speaking Sir Fleming College in southern Ontario is your best bet.

"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."


#3
David Kendall

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This is my resume currently - as I said, I don't think there's many skills transferrable to the cartographic realm. :(

Attached Files



#4
David Kendall

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Post your resume on this site & let us see what your other skills are. The reason is if you want to get into cartography perhaps the field you have worked in could be your niche.


Trying, but since I'm a new member all my posts are moderated. Sent it on Friday, but it hasn't shown up yet.

if you want to work at a GIS firm you have to go back to school & obtain an education. Geographically speaking Sir Fleming College in southern Ontario is your best bet.


I remember when I was younger and thought of pursuing a career in cartography, a friend of my parents who knew about such things said that Simon Fraser U in BC would be the best to go to for cartographic studies (this was back in the 1980s).

#5
David Kendall

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This is my resume, attached. Short on actual geographic experience, as you can see, but eager to learn.

I think another thing working against me is that I'm in Winnipeg currently, and don't really want to move (family is ensconced here, would be too much to move them) - Winnipeg ain't exactly the hub of the cartographic scene, y'know. ;)

Attached File  resume.doc   27.5KB   53 downloads

#6
DHissemGISCARTO

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This is my resume, attached. Short on actual geographic experience, as you can see, but eager to learn.

I think another thing working against me is that I'm in Winnipeg currently, and don't really want to move (family is ensconced here, would be too much to move them) - Winnipeg ain't exactly the hub of the cartographic scene, y'know. ;)


Hello all, this is my first posting to CartoTalk and wanted to say hello to a fellow Canuck that has had aspirations of being a Cartographer, I just recently have finished my Cartographic Specialist training after waiting 38 years to do it, (mostly delayed for medical reasons, but I digress). I am finding it particularly hard to get into the field of employment since the economy has placed a stop order on new employee hiring... Dave you have got a up-and-coming province next to you in Saskatchewan since the mining industry is starting it's hiring. You may also want to check into the Metis Federation in Winnipeg too they hire occasionally for Cartographers/GIS folk.

I'm hoping that making an introduction to the CartoTalk world can help me network into my career (after taking 38 years to get here). I guess I should post a resume in this area myself.

CIAO all ;)

Darryl H
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"The virtue of maps, they show what can be done!"

#7
Esther Mandeno

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Short on actual geographic experience, as you can see, but eager to learn.


Hey David,

You're famous! I wish I could claim to have invented a word. ;)

I would suggest taking a couple of online classes in GIS if you are interested. You can also start playing around with either the Google API or the ESRI API. They are relatively easy to grasp and that should get you started producing simple maps.

If you want to be a cartographer...I suppose pick a project with a local non-profit organization and start making maps for them. Pick a software package you like and just go for it. That'll get you started in the experience department.

Good luck. :)
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Esther Mandeno
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. - Albert Einstein

#8
James Hines

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I've noticed that you have web experience, what's your programing & flash experience? If you can list your programing experience then I know what you should be specializing in.

"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."


#9
James Hines

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I am finding it particularly hard to get into the field of employment since the economy has placed a stop order on new employee hiring...


I've been looking for employement in GIS since 2004 with no luck. And to be honest with you too many employers expect at least 2 years experience working with ArcGIS technology. The only employment I have had other then my freelance work as a cartographer has been in the service based industry. You might want to do some freelance work but be warned with no experience it's incredibly hard to find your niche & therefore most likely will only be making a side income.

You may also want to check into the Metis Federation in Winnipeg too they hire occasionally for Cartographers/GIS folk.


I would ask is the Metis Federation looking for cartographers or cartographers with a proven First Nations heritage?

BTW before anyone accuses me my great great grandfather was a Miqmac chief.

"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."


#10
David Kendall

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I've been looking for employement in GIS since 2004 with no luck. And to be honest with you too many employers expect at least 2 years experience working with ArcGIS technology. The only employment I have had other then my freelance work as a cartographer has been in the service based industry. You might want to do some freelance work but be warned with no experience it's incredibly hard to find your niche & therefore most likely will only be making a side income.


Grrr, I hate that Catch-22 of the working world, they want experience, but how are you going to get experience unless you're hired? :angry: :huh:

You may also want to check into the Metis Federation in Winnipeg too they hire occasionally for Cartographers/GIS folk.


I would ask is the Metis Federation looking for cartographers or cartographers with a proven First Nations heritage?

BTW before anyone accuses me my great great grandfather was a Miqmac chief.


No First Nations heritage in my background, sadly (although I did grow up in Gillam, MB, in northern Manitoba and plenty of Natives from the nearby reserve there.)

I don't even know if you'd qualify, Hasdrubal, my wife also has a great great grandmother who was a chief ("princess" she says) (she thinks she may be one generation off, not sure), but she was told that is not enough to qualify as Metis. (She doesn't even identify as "First Nations" anyways.)

Hello all, this is my first posting to CartoTalk and wanted to say hello to a fellow Canuck that has had aspirations of being a Cartographer, I just recently have finished my Cartographic Specialist training after waiting 38 years to do it, (mostly delayed for medical reasons, but I digress). I am finding it particularly hard to get into the field of employment since the economy has placed a stop order on new employee hiring... Dave you have got a up-and-coming province next to you in Saskatchewan since the mining industry is starting it's hiring. You may also want to check into the Metis Federation in Winnipeg too they hire occasionally for Cartographers/GIS folk.

I'm hoping that making an introduction to the CartoTalk world can help me network into my career (after taking 38 years to get here). I guess I should post a resume in this area myself.


Congrats and best of luck yourself! Myself, I don't know if I'd want to move to Sask, been there many times, have several relatives there, my mom was even born there (but moved to Winnipeg as an infant), but if I had to become a Roughriders fan, then it's not worth it. :D

You're famous! I wish I could claim to have invented a word. ;)


Well, only famous to other anthematologists, sadly. That and $20 will get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks ...

If you want to be a cartographer...I suppose pick a project with a local non-profit organization and start making maps for them. Pick a software package you like and just go for it. That'll get you started in the experience department.


Would the map I made for Wikipedia that I mentioned in the original post in this thread count for anything? It's widely used and much complimented, and I'm frankly, quite proud of it.

I've noticed that you have web experience, what's your programing & flash experience? If you can list your programing experience then I know what you should be specializing in.


Unfortunately, no Flash experience (I'm one of those web designers who think Flash is *way* overused nowadays. <_< ) Self taught on HTML and CSS.

#11
Hans van der Maarel

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Would the map I made for Wikipedia that I mentioned in the original post in this thread count for anything? It's widely used and much complimented, and I'm frankly, quite proud of it.


I've often wondered about that myself. Would Wikipedia be a good way to get some experience in maps? I think it could. Find an article that is in need of a map, or has a map that can be improved upon, then take some time and do it. You get experience, you get something that you can use for your portfolio and you're giving something back to the community.
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