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A geodesist is a scientist or a technician who engages in inquiry or applies research in the field of geodesy. Geodesists study the size, shape and gravitational field of the earth to set up and determine the precise location of points on the earth's surface. Geodesists use surveying and geodetic instruments such as transits, theodolites and other engineering instruments to set up and improve necessary measurements for the purpose of providing fixed points for making maps. These measurements can also be used to detect crustal shifts and polar movement, rate of movement, measure average ocean depths, measure height of mountain peaks, track movement of objects on the surface and measure abnormalities in the surface of the earth.

A geodesist may perform the following tasks:

  • Collect geodetic and geophysical data and reduce it to highly precise positions and gravity measurements;
  • work with scientists to collect and reduce these highly precise position and gravity measurements with various pieces of survey equipment;
  • populate geospatial databases, archive data, and review database;
  • maintain, use, and inventory a variety of survey equipment used in data collection;
  • compute, adjust, and evaluate data acquired;
  • provide training and expertise;
  • provide data from their database and archives to a variety of customers.