top of page

Aerial Mapping & Photography

Missions 103-303

aerial photo.jpg

Key Question: What are the real world career applications for Aerial Mapping and Photography skills?

Objectives- By the end of this lesson, students will be able to: 

  • Understand the real world applications of Aerial Mapping and Photography skills

  • Describe some of the careers that utilize Aerial Mapping and Photography

  • Explain the educational requirements for a career in Aerial Mapping and Photography

  • Know which STEM skills are critical for a career in this field

  • Understand a day in the life of an Aerial mapping and Photography  pilot 

  • Evaluate job prospects in a chosen field

STEM standards: STEM Career Exploration; Research; non-fiction writing

Terms and Definitions: Aerial Mapping; land survey

Reading and Resource Links: 

Aerial mapping, photography, and geographical analysis is a critical service used in countless business and government applications. It can include wide-area surveying, topographical mapping, natural resource management, archeological exploration, commercial & residential building planning, and almost any other project that can benefit from the “big picture” view that aerial surveying can provide.  

Businesses that use aerial mapping & photography services include everyone from large corporations to private individuals and many civil & federal government agencies.  Projects range from hundreds of miles of fiber optic line layout to surveys of a single home or farm plat.  Most work is done with civil engineers, land surveyors, land developers, municipalities and government agencies. Tasks can include projects like utilities right-of-way acquisition planning, designing shopping centers and housing developments, creating roadways, laying gas and water lines, designing solar and wind farms, performing hydrology studies, assessing wildfire damage, mapping wildlife habitat, and so many other still-emerging applications. Even Google uses extensive aerial photography for its visual database of the world.

There are many websites that will assist you in understanding the complex world of aerial mapping & photography.  For a comprehensive look at aerial photography & environmental science check out Environmental Science, a non-profit specializing in aerial photography and it's applications.  STEM Flights will introduce you to the basic principles of aerial mapping and photography with an on-line course of instruction.  Then you will plan and fly an actual mission that maps a specific target area for analysis.

Pre- Flight Activity: Read about one of the Aerial Mapping and Photography Careers using the linked resources above or other sources.  Write a 2-3 paragraph summary of your findings, including the information below (at a minimum).  Use complete sentences, proper punctuation and capitalization.  

  • Which career did you choose to explore? 

  • What are the educational requirements to be considered for this career? 

  • What types of STEM skills could you focus on now, to be able to do this job in the future? 

  • What is the average salary of a pilot in this job? 

  • Is the job market for Aerial Mapping and Photography careers currently strong? Is it projected to change in the next 10 years? 

  • Describe a typical work day for this career.

          After selecting your Mission, please complete your assignment by clicking on the Google Doc            link below.  Select 'Make a Copy' and complete the task.  Then, SHARE your assignment                      with so that our team is able to mark your Pre-Flight Mission as                    complete.  Please reach out to us directly if you have any questions.  Thank you! 

          Link to complete and upload activity:  Click Here


Conclusions and Takeaways:  There are many options for careers in Aerial Mapping and Photography.  It is important to develop strong science and math skills now, in order to be able to pursue a career in this field in the future.

bottom of page