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|What Can You Do With A Geography Certificate? by GeoAfrikana(m): 10:44pm On Jul 18|
Were you 'given' geography in a university or polytechnic? Are you wondering what else you can do with your geography certificate asides teaching?
Once upon a time, people believed that all geography graduates will end up as teachers. That isn't the case anymore. In this post, I'll share with you few modern job roles you can occupy with your geography certificate.
A cartographer is a map maker. While traditional maps were made on paper and were static, most modern maps are interactive web-based maps. That said, static maps in jpeg and PDF formats are still in use today. Although some PDF maps now have some level of interactivity.
You may ask, "who makes maps in today's world?"
Maps are used in many applications today than ever before. Last year, the chieftains of a town in southwest hired me to make a map of all family houses and notable places.
I went to the field with my sidekick and we collected the coordinates and attributes of each family house and I created.
Tools and Skills
A cartographer is half scientist and half artist. Therefore, you must posses both scientific and aesthetic qualities to excel in cartography. Here are some skills you must master to be a successful cartographer:
a. Basic Statistics - before you freak out, you don't need to learn ANOVA, chi-square and all that stuff. You only need to very comfortable with levels of measurement, mean, median, mode. Also, a good understanding of data normalization will save you from committing fallacies with your maps.
b. Graphic Design - You must get comfortable with a vector graphic design software. Common ones are Inkscape, Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator. I use Inkscape because it's free and open-source.
c. Coordinates and Projections - You must understand map projects and coordinate reference systems; why they are needed in the first place, the different types available, the pros and cons of each type and how to choose the right one for your project.
d. Desktop GIS - You must be comfortable with one or more desktop GIS. Unlike what you might think, your data will mostly be messy and scattered. You'll need a desktop GIS to clean the data and perform joins.
The two most common ones are ArcGIS and QGIS. I love QGIS because it's very powerful yet free and open-source. If you must use ArcGIS then use ArcGIS Pro not ArcMap. ArcMap is the old generation and is no longer supported officially.
This is a lot longer than I expected so I'll stop here for now. Hopefully, I'll have the time and motivation to write on some other fields of expertise on modern geography.
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