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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 541I
Category: Science & Engineering

Class Series Concept

See Cartographer 1


Independently performs complex professional GIS and cartography projects and/or activities for a division or region in order to provide geographic products, services and/or information using conventional and/or computerized methods.


Supervises a cartography or geography program and unit of three or more Cartographers who are responsible for geographic or mapping information systems and services.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Performs senior-level work for a division or region with full authority to independently plan, prioritize, and handle all duties requiring the consistent application of advanced knowledge requiring a skilled and experienced practitioner. Positions independently devise methods and processes to resolve complex or difficult issues that have broad potential impact and typically involve competing interests, multiple clients, conflicting rules or practices, a range of possible solutions, or other elements.


Positions direct the work of a unit of Cartographers who are responsible for performing map, chart, graph, and display work and establish and implement unit workloads, standards, processes and procedures. Provides leadership guidance, mentoring, and support to lower-level professional staff.

Typical Work

Administers the production of maps and/or digital data;

Devises methods and processes to gather and develop GIS data using applications;

Independently plans, prioritizes, analyzes and develops methods to research, design, compile and produce spatial data sets, reports, and maps from various electronic and manual source materials;

Designs, manages, and responsible for the input of data into geographic databases;

Designs, compiles and produces new county, city, administrative and township data sets, reports, and maps utilizing field reports, engineer's plans and plats, aerial photographs, U.S.G.S. quadrangles, Coast and Geodetic charts and other reliable sources;

Supervises, schedules and reviews the work of personnel engaged in the preparation of maps and digital data;

Recommends, develops and implements policies regarding cartographic activities; establishes cost effective goals, objectives and action plans; develops and manages the section/unit budget;

Represents the agency concerning cartographic activities at various state coordinating committees and participates in related conferences; recommends, develops and implements policies and procedures for application of computer aided mapping, geographic information collection and digital data base management;

Develops, reviews and approves map designs, specifications, and production techniques and schedules;

Responsible for identifying current and future geographic information system support needs and or tools, implementing the needed support/tools and evaluating their effectiveness;

Evaluates, researches, and implements technical solutions to improve the delivery of systems related to data management, GIS applications, and GIS reporting systems;

Ensures customers and staff understand how to use GIS applications and products;

Performs project cost analysis and writes status reports;

Performs work as a Cartographer 3;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Core GIS principles including data types; data layers; geographic, analytic, and statistical functions; geographic coordinate systems; and data formatting, and practices; principles of cartography, map projections, national map standards and/or special map standards as established by the Federal Highway Administration; reproduction methods; reference and source materials including color and symbology theory; thematic and statistical mapping, topographic and reference mapping, display hierarchies, typography, and data generation..

Ability to: use software, hardware and platforms necessary for cartographic, graphic, and web/mobile production, such as some of the following: GIS, ESRI ArcGIS, HTML, Programming languages, Avenza MAPublisher, Intergraph GeoMedia Pro, Microsoft Office, Adobe software such as Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and Acrobat.
Supervise, train and evaluate staff; program workload; estimate costs; develop policy on methods and procedures.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

A Bachelor's degree in cartography, geography, photogrammetry, geographic information systems, computer sciences, remote sensing, land survey, civil engineering, natural resources or closely related field that includes at least one course in cartography and one course in computer sciences or geographic information systems


Four years of professional cartography experience or geographic information systems production experience.

A Master's degree with major study in cartography may be substituted for two years of experience.


Technical or additional professional cartography experience may be substituted, year for year, for education.


Two years’ experience as a Cartographer 3.

Class Specification History

Revised definition and minimum qualifications, effective April 23, 1973.
Revised definition and minimum qualifications, effective February 9, 1979.
Revised definition, effective June 11, 1982.
Revised definition, minimum qualifications, title change (formerly Cartographer 5), effective February 9, 1990.
New class code: (formerly 65610), effective July 1, 2007.
Revised typical work, adopted 06/13/2016, effective 07/01/2019.
Revised definition, distinguishing characteristics, typical work, knowledge and abilities, desirable qualifications, title change (formerly Cartography Supervisor), adopted June 22, 2023, effective July 1, 2023.