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Topographic Analyst (21U)

Construction and Engineering Army MOS Information
  • Enlisted
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve

The Army is always building and repairing airstrips, docks, barracks and roads. Surveying, mapping and drafting technicians, such as a Topographic Analyst, conduct land surveys, make maps and prepare detailed plans and drawings for construction projects. They’re also called upon to provide maps and surveys that locate military targets and help plot troop movements.

Topographic Analysts are primarily responsible for supervising and performing cartographic and terrain analysis duties. They’re also involved in collecting and processing military geographic information from remote sensed imagery, digital data, intelligence data, existing topographic products and other collateral data sources.

Some of your duties as a Topographic Analyst may include:

  • Extracting terrain data from collateral data sources such as remote sensed imagery and field reconnaissance
  • Recording analysis results into a graphic database
  • Drawing, scribing, digitizing and scanning cultural, topographic, hydrographic and/or other features on overlay/scribing surfaces or in digital formats
  • Performing digital manipulation of topographic information
  • Drawing maps and charts using drafting tools such as easels, templates and compasses
  • Making scale drawings of roads, airfields, buildings and other military projects
  • Conducting land surveys and computing survey results
  • Drawing diagrams for wiring and plumbing of structures
  • Building scale models of land areas that show hills, lakes, roads and buildings
  • Using aerial photographs to form large photomaps


Job training for a Topographic Analyst consists of nine weeks of Basic Training, where you’ll learn basic Soldiering skills, and 18 weeks of Advanced Individual Training, including practice operating topographical equipment. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and in field. You’ll learn:

  • Surveying and drafting techniques
  • Aerial photo interpretation
  • Architectural and structural drawing

Helpful Skills:

Helpful atrributes include:

  • An interest in algebra, geometry and trigonometry
  • An ability to convert ideas into drawings
  • An interest in maps and charts
  • An ability to print and draft neatly
  • An interest in working with drafting equipment

Advanced Responsibilities:

Advanced level Topographic Analysts supervise and train the other Soldiers. As an advanced level Topographic Analyst, you may be involved in:

  • Analyzing collected geographic information in order to produce tactical decision aids
  • Predicting terrain and weather effects as applied to control, communication, computer and intelligence systems
  • Performing database management for the storage of aerial photographs, maps, digital databases and collateral source materials
  • Performing quality assurance during all stages of topographic operations

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