The official topographic mapping authority in Argentina is
the Instituto Geográfico Militar (IGMA), Buenos Aires,
which is a technical branch of the Argentine Army. It has
its origins in the Military Topographic Bureau created in
1879. The principal tasks of IGMA are to undertake the
geodetic and topographic survey of the national territory and
to coordinate all geo-topographic work required by the
state. IGMA has also carried out mapping of areas claimed
by Argentina in the Antarctic and South Atlantic.
There are four official topographic map series. The 1:500,000
scale series is complete in 70 sheets for the whole country,
and 1:250,000 scale mapping is almost complete; about 60
percent of the country has been covered at 1:100,000 scale;
while 1:50,000 scale mapping is 26 percent complete,
covering principally Buenos Aires province and adjacent
areas to the north. A Gauss-Krϋger projection, International
ellipsoid, is used for all these series, and the country is
divided into seven zones, each 3 degrees of longitude wide.
The sheet system of these series is graticule-based, with the
sheet lines of the larger series nesting within those of
the smaller. The 1:500,000 scale sheets each cover 3 degrees
of longitude and 2 degrees of latitude. 1:250,000 scale sheets
each cover one-quarter of this area, while the 1:100,000 scale
sheets fit nine to a 1:250,000 sheet.
The 1:500,000 scale sheets vary in quality. Relief is layer-colored
or shaded, and a graticule and grid is printed on
the maps. The current series of 1:250,000 scale sheets was
initiated in 1952. Sheets are in six or more colors with a
contour interval varying from mountain to plain, and there
is a 10 km grid. A few sheets were issued in the PAIGH
Hemispheric Mapping Program. The 1:100,000 scale
series is in three to five colors with a contour interval
varying from 2.5 m to 100 m, and a 4 km grid, while the
1:50,000 series has a 1 km grid spacing and the more
modern sheets are in five colors. The contour interval again
varies, and may be as close as 1.25 m in areas of low relief.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Argentina is available at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (26 sheets, complete coverage, published 1962-1990);
1:500,000 (79 sheets, complete coverage, published 1965-1991); 1:200,000 (362 sheets, western country coverage, published 1980-1985) and city (1:10,000 to 1:25,000) topographic
mapping of 9 major cities from Bahia Blanca to Tucuman published between 1978 and 1985. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS
formats from East View Geospatial.
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