As the birthplace of Mercator, who produced a map of
Flanders in 1540, Belgium has a long and eminent tradition
of topographic mapping, and large-scale cover had been
achieved by Fricx and by Ferraris in 1744 and 1778 respectively.
The national survey authority, located in Brussels, owes its
origin to the Depôt de la Guerre, founded in 1831, which
became successively the Institut Cartographique Militaire
(1878), and the Institut Géographique Militaire (1947).
Finally, the military authority became a semi-civilian one in
1976, under the trusteeship of the Ministry of Defence, and
the present title of Institut Géographique National
(IGNB) (or Nationaal Geografisch Instituut in Flemish) was
adopted. The Institute is responsible for geodetic survey, official
mapping and air photography. It is not, however, responsible
for cadastral mapping.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Belgium exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (2 sheets, complete coverage, published 1986-1990);
1:500,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published 1985-1995); 1;200,000 (15 sheets, complete coverage, published 1966-1989); 1:100,000 (39 sheets, complete coverage,
published 1978-1991); 1:50,000 (129 sheets, complete coverage, published 1986-1990) and city (1:10,000) topographic mapping of 12 major cities from Aalst to Verviers published
between 1965 and 1987. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
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