The Republic of Benin (formerly Dahomey) was mapped by
the French Institut Géographique National (IGN) in
three West African series in the 1950s and 1960s. The sheets
in these series are all graticule-based with International map of
the World (IMW) sheet numbering, and the projection is UTM,
Clarke 1880 ellipsoid. The 1:200,000 scale series was compiled
from aerial photography flown during the period
1949-1963, and all 19 sheets had been issued by 1972.
The map is in four colours, with 40 m interval contours. The
sheets are now very out-of-date, and a new series was planned
in the 1980s on rationalized sheet lines which reduced the
number of sheets to nine. Only one sheet, Abomey, has so far
been published. 1:500,000 scale cover was completed in 1969.
The 1:50,000 scale map requires over 160 sheets for
complete coverage, but only 77 have been published, mostly
before 1980. These sheets are also in four colours, and the contours are at 20 m intervals.
Although Benin became fully independent in 1960,
mapping continued to be carried out by the IGN from Paris
and from its center at Dakar. In 1978, however, Institut
National de Cartographie was created in Benin, and assumed
responsibility for geodetic, topographic and cadastral survey
and cartography. The organization is now called the Institut
Géographique National du Bénin (IGNB), Cotonou. All
recent mapping activity has been substantially dependent on
overseas aid, principally from France, but there has also been
technical assistance from Nigeria and World Bank support
for large scale urban mapping.
A 48 sheet series of 1:25,000 scale maps of the coastal zone was initiated
in 1991 as a joint project with IGN, Paris. The maps
are in six colours with 5 m interval contours, and are on a
Soviet military topographic mapping for Benin exists at the the following scales;
1:1,000,000 (3 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1986);
1:500,000 (7 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1985) and
1:200,000 (27 sheets, complete coverage, published 1981-1982). These products are
available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
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