A survey department was established by the British in Cairo
in 1898 and was renamed the Survey of Egypt in 1919.
Official topographic mapping of Egypt had started in 1909
with series compiled at 1:25,000 scale serving as a source
for 1:100,000 scale mapping of the Nile Valley. 1:100,000
was the largest scale for other settled parts of the country.
These series were all based upon ground survey with very
inadequate depiction of relief and by the 1950s about 50
percent of the country was covered. In 1954 the Military
Survey Department was set up as a separate agency, with
the Survey of Egypt subsequently taking responsibility for
all aspects of civilian production. The two organizations have
collaborated in the production of new topographic series
based upon photogrammetric methods and a new mapping
framework was started in 1959 using sub-divisions of the
International map of the World. Four 1:500,000, 24 1:250,000,
16 1:50,000 and 64 1:25,000 scale sheets comprise a single
1:1,000,000 scale map.
The current national mapping authority was reformed in
1971 as the Egyptian Survey Authority (ESA) and incorporates
all aspects of official surveying and mapping into a
single organization. Current responsibilities include the
establishment and maintenance of a modern geodetic network,
cadastral surveying and mapping, acting as the
national land authority responsible for taxation and registration,
as well as topographic surveying and mapping.
The basic scale for many developed areas of the country is
1:25,000, which covers the Nile Delta, the Red Sea Coast,
Oases and the Suez Canal in about 600 six-color photogrammetric
sheets. 1:50,000 scale mapping is, however, the
main mapping priority. There are currently about 450
published sheets. The majority of these have been produced
using conventional analogue methods, either by derivation
from 1:25,000 scale coverage or direct from aerial photographs,
but from 1992 a digital production flow line has
been established and new ARC/INFO-based mapping is
appearing for some areas. Coverage of this series is extending
from agricultural areas into desert regions with development
potential. Aerial coverage of the eastern desert was flown in
the late 1980s with British, Canadian and French aid, and
a Finnish aid project has funded the extension of geodetic
control in this area. 1:80,000 scale aerial coverage is used
as a source for map compilation. 1:100,000 scale mapping
extends to about half the country (including the Sinai
Peninsula) and there is complete coverage at 1:500,000 and
1:1,000,000 scales. These topographic maps all have Arabic text.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Egypt is available at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (7 sheets, complete coverage, published 1973-1990);
1:500,000 (25 sheets, complete coverage, published 1972-1990); 1:200,000 (179 sheets, complete coverage, published 1969-1988);
1:100,000 (625, mostly complete coverage, published 1977-1987); 1:50,000 (37 sheets, primarily north-eastern coverage, published 1991-1993) and
city (1:10,000 and 1:25,000) topographic mapping of 23 major cities from Alexandria to Zagazig, published between 1972 and 1984.
These products are available in paper, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
Substantial investment has taken place in the 1990s in
setting up a modernized geodetic framework for the country.
A project funded through the US Agency for International
Development has installed a primary GPS network covering
all the developed parts of the country and pilot extensions
to support Land Information Systems have been developed
in Upper Egypt. The second phase of the
American project involves the adoption of the WGS84
datum and the UTM grid.
The Sinai Peninsula was mapped by Israeli agencies during
Between 1981 and 1987 an aid project funded through the
German SFB 69 program and organized from the
Technische Fachhochschule Berlin used image analysis to
update topographic coverage. Topographic information was
merged with LANDSAT image data to produce 1:1,000,000;
1:500,000; 1:250,000 and 1:100,000 scale mapping. Eighty
geometrically corrected image-supported working sheets
giving complete coverage of the country were published by
the Egyptian General Petroleum Company.
Copyright © 2014 East View Geospatial, Inc.