Meet Richard Freeman


Cartographer for the National Topographic Office within Land Information New Zealand.

Job description

Being a cartographer in the National Topographic Office means that I’m one of a team that updates our database of features like roads, buildings, streams and lakes so that our data and maps are as up-to-date as we can make them. We do this using a GIS (Geographic Information System) and imagery. The imagery is either specifically flown aerial photography or specialised satellite imagery.

Work background

I have been working for Land Information New Zealand for six years and became a cartographer in 2011 after working for Information Technology at LINZ.

Favourite parts of the job

Seeing our maps used by rescue services to help people in all parts of New Zealand. Plus the satisfaction in seeing my work printed on paper as well as being used on-line.
And of course, working with a great team of people who really understand the history and importance of our dynamic Topographical database.

Least favourite parts of the job

Trying to add topographic features and make corrections to existing features on the Topo Database using imagery that is laden with cloud cover. Frustrating..


Although no formal qualifications as of yet I am midway through a Geography/Geology degree. And have a healthy interest in the outdoors of New Zealand.

Interests outside of work

Spending time with my wife Roz and our children Peta and Duncan. And in my own time I enjoy acting, drawing and love most sports but particularly tennis. I’m always up for a game if you’ve brought your racket.

Watch the video where Richard talks about his work (6Mb mp4 file).