The official topographic mapping organization in Chile is
the Instituto Geográfico Militar (IGMC), Santiago,
founded in 1922 and responsible for all matters relating to
the geography, survey and mapping of the national territory.
Although some large-scale topographic mapping had been
undertaken in the early decades of the twentieth century,
the first complete topographic cover of the country was at
1:500,000 scale, completed in 1945, and 1:250,000 achieved
in 1955. The latter series in 102 sheets, the Carta prelimmar,
was compiled from trimetrogon photography flown
in 1944. Since 1976, this series has been progressively
replaced by a new Carta regular in 75 sheets, and apart from
a few sheets in the far south, this is now complete.
The principal topographic map scale, however, is 1:50,000.
Sheets are printed in seven colors and each covers 15' latitude
by 15' longitude. Contours are at 50 m intervals. The
projection is UTM, International (Hayford) ellipsoid. This
photogrammetric series was started in 1958 and almost all
the planned 1,243 sheets in the series are now complete. A
parallel program of 1:25,000 scale mapping has also been
in progress, covering areas of socio-economic importance,
and all the intended 780 sheets in this series are also now
available. They cover much of the central part of the country
and some of the north. Maps in this series are also on UTM
projection and contours are at 25 m and 50 m intervals. Sheets
have a 7.5' format and use the same designation as the
1:50,000 sheets with the addition of a compass point.
There is also a 1:100,000 scale series. This covers only the
southern and northern parts of the country. The contours are at 50 m or 100 m intervals, and sheets are
in a 30' format.
The contemporary 1:500,000 scale map, started in 1989,
has been replacing an earlier series published between 1970
and 1975. The new series will cover the country in 22 sheets,
of which 17 have so far been published.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Chile exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (16 sheets, complete coverage, published 1962-1979);
1:500,000 (42 sheets, complete coverage, published 1965-1991); 1:200,000 (133 sheets, northern two-thirds of country covered, published 1980-1985) and city (1:25,000)
topographic mapping of Antofagasta, Concepcion, Santiago and Vina del Mar published between 1977 and 1979. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital
vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
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