Geographic Information Systems Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Assists scientists, technologists, and related professionals in building, maintaining, modifying and using geographic information systems (GIS) databases. May also perform some custom application development and provide user support.

This career is part of the Information Technology cluster Information Support and Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Recommends procedures, equipment or software upgrades to increase data accessibility or ease of use.
  • Provides technical support regarding the maintenance, development, or operation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases, equipment, or applications.
  • Stays current with developments in Geographic Information through literature, colleagues, continuing education, professional organizations or conferences.
  • Analyzes, configures, or troubleshoots applications.
  • Selects cartographic elements needed for effective presentation of information.
  • Transfers or rescales information from original photographs onto maps or other photographs.
  • Reviews existing or incoming data for currency, accuracy, usefulness, quality, or completeness of documentation.
  • Interprets aerial or ortho photographs.
  • Analyzes Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data to identify spatial relationships or display results of analyses using maps, graphs, or tabular data.
  • Performs geospatial data building, modeling, or analysis using advanced spatial analysis, data manipulation, or cartography software.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Cartographer -- Collects, analyzes and interprets geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data.
  • Geographic Information Systems Analyst (GIS Analyst) -- Works with large databases containing spatial information, such as satellite images and aerial photographs, using this information to make maps or develop specialized software or analyze data for scientific, commercial or planning purposes.
  • Geographic Information Systems Coordinator (GIS Coordinator) --
  • Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GIS Specialist) --
  • Technical Support Specialist --