Geospatial scientists can take on many different tasks and roles during their careers, depending on their qualifications and level of experience.

When you are just starting out in the industry – either while still undertaking study, or as a recent graduate – you will likely work as a geospatial operator or cartographic technician. Once qualified, you can move into a GIS officer role if you have completed a TAFE course, or a graduate geospatial analyst role if you have just completed university study.

Spatial coordinator

A spatial coordinator is concerned with the where – AKA, location-based data. They collect and dig through data that cross-references location with things like population, land use, environmental impact and more.

They perform the following tasks:

  • Produce paper and electronic maps using a variety of software
  • Take part in design and management of Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Design interactive mapping products for computer systems and the web
  • Work with cartographic technicians and other production team members

GIS Analyst

Satellite imagery, aerial photos, sonar… the GIS analyst takes time out to pore over all of them.

GIS analysts offer technical support to wildlife management, urban planning and market research projects. They do this by making maps, develop software and so much more

They perform the following tasks:

  • Undertake complex computer functions such as 3D modelling to create visual representations of data
  • Use GIS software and processes to perform spatial analysis in order to produce data layers, map tables and reports
  • Prepare technical documents, reports and summaries using GIS applications
  • Carry out quality control on final data

GIS officer, graduate (GIS) and GIS assistant

If you are adept spatially and enjoy computers and problem solving, one of these roles could be suitable for you. GIS professionals develop and customise geographic information systems (GIS), which can then be used to address all manner of problems and queries.

They can do the following:

  • Map physical and manmade features
  • Take measurements and make observations from aerial photographs
  • Create complex models to assist councils, government and land professionals
  • Study the natural and urban environment
  • Store data in geographic information systems (GIS)

Geospatial engineer

It’s the job of geospatial engineers to look at the big picture. Drawing on the latest technology, geospatial engineers sift through huge volumes of geospatial data to measure up large-scale and highly dynamic geographic features.

Here are some of the tools at the geospatial engineer’s disposal:

  • Global navigation satellite positioning systems, including GPS
  • Airborne LiDAR
  • Terrestrial laser scanners
  • High-resolution mobile laser scanning
  • Robotic total stations
  • UAVs