Brian Martinez: NOAA Cartographer

Brian Martinez

Brian Martinez outside at the NOAA Silver Spring campus.

Brian Martinez: A Day in the Life Donut chart showing the typical work duties of Brian Martinez, NOAA Cartographer. Reviewing charts Pink chart segment spanning 50% of the whole: the percentage of time Brian Martinez spends on reviewing charts. Helping NOAA Customers Green chart segment spanning 40% of the whole: the percentage of time Brian Martinez spends on guilding other cartographers. Managing special projects Blue chart segment spanning 25% of the whole: the percentage of time Brian Martinez spends on managing special projects. Daily Duties

Donut chart showing how Brian Martinezt, NOAA Cartographer, spends his time.

A cartographer measures, analyzes, and interprets geographical information to create maps and charts.


In college, Brian started out studying biology. He didn’t discover his love for geography until he took a course in it as an elective. While working on his degree, he interned at a few different places, but he didn’t find a good fit. After Brian graduated, he found his way to the Office of Coast Survey where he compiled hydrographic data from various sources to update NOAA’s nautical charts. He thought the work was interesting and fun: like when he worked on updating charts in Jacksonville, Florida, so large cruise ships could enter the port for Superbowl XXXIX.

In addition to being fun, the work is also rewarding. A lot of people don’t realize how cartographers have an impact on everyday life, Brian says. Now, as a lead cartographer at NOAA, he mainly reviews the work of other cartographers who are updating charts and creating new ones. Helping people out makes his day, he says.

  • Name: Brian Martinez
  • Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Education: B.S. Geography and Environmental Systems with a certificate in Cartography, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)

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Last updated:
11/21/19

Author: NOAA

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