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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 541E
Category: Science & Engineering

Class Series Concept

Positions in this series are responsible for designing, creating and preparing maps, plans, charts and models representing the surface of the Earth. Positions are responsible for gathering data using a variety of methods. Positions within this series use geodetic surveys and remote sensing systems to measure, analyze and create maps and charts using techniques to manipulate, extract, locate and analyze geographic data. Positions use spatial analysis to buffer, clip and explore relationships between features. Modeling, data integration & conversion, geocoding and geomatics.
Positions in this series are distinguished from the IT professional structure as they are not directly involved in developing, implementing, configuring, delivering, or supporting IT systems and services.


Performs technical cartographic drafting assignments for geographic or mapping information systems and services, publications, classroom presentations and research projects.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Derives, calculates, or determines technical geographic or mapping information, encodes and enters into a geographic or mapping information system. Uses standard technical processes to produce maps or map/data products. Receives instruction and supervision from higher level cartographic professional.

Typical Work

Evaluates a variety of source information such as for Public Land Survey and selects the most accurate or resolves differences and encodes, digitizes and plots into the geographic information system; sources for land survey information include original Government Land Office records, U.S.G.S. Quadrangle Maps, current land survey records, photo maps and other sources; edits the system; performs similar derivation and entry of technical information for data layers such as county boundaries, department management unit boundaries and ownership information;

Creates new data layers such as land cover and activities, soils mapping, habitat classification mapping and prescriptions, and stream and road nets and places into the geographic information system by processing technical map/data information from a variety of sources using processes and procedures prescribed by standard operating procedures;

Produces map/data products assigned when standard procedures exist such as planimetric and topographic maps; may use a variety of system layers;

Draws maps using conventional cartographic drafting, calculations, and information collection and evaluation methods; uses Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to collect and compile data for the visual representation of geographic areas;

Operates and maintains cartographic and research equipment;

Ensures the accuracy and integrity of data collected;

Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: technical cartography including land survey, map projections and standards, drafting, geography, land uses, biological demographics, etc.; digitizing and editing methods and techniques for geographic information; geometry, trigonometry and arithmetic calculation and problem resolution.

Ability to: evaluate and resolve differences between a variety of technical information sources; encode and enter geographic information into a computer drafting, mapping or geographic information system, follow standard procedures and resolve technical differences to produce map/data products.

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 two-year 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.

One college level course in cartography and one college level course in either computer sciences or geographic information systems AND any combination of two years of: 1) related undergraduate college education and 2) full-time experience in technical cartographic or geographic information systems production will substitute for the two-year degree.

Class Specification History

New class, 65520 Cartographic Technician, effective February 9, 1990
Revise minimum qualifications, effective July 15, 1994.
Revise minimum qualifications, effective January 13, 1995.
Revise class. Revises title (formerly Cartographic Technician), class code (formerly 65520), definition, and distinguishing characteristics; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.
Revised typical work and desired qualifications, adopted June 13, 2019; effective July 1, 2019.
Added class series concept; adopted June 22, 2023, effective July 1, 2023.