The national mapping organization in Ethiopia is the
Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA). It is responsible for
geodetic and photogrammetric surveying, remote sensing,
mapping and geographic services, publishes topographic and
thematic maps of the country and was first established
Ethiopia has a cover of 1:250,000 scale topographic maps,
compiled from 1:50,000 scale wide-angle aerial photography
flown in an American aid project between 1963 and 1967.
The resulting maps were issued between 1971 and 1976 on
the UTM projection with 100 m contours. Ninety-five sheets
were published each covering one and a half degrees longitude
by one degree latitude with 16 for each International
map of the World quadrangle. These maps are now published
in four-colour versions, but were originally available as six-colour
editions. Since 1993 EMA has been engaged in a
digital revision program for the 30 most important sheets
in this series.
1:50,000 scale coverage of Ethiopia is also progressing. Areas
to the south of Addis Ababa were mapped in the early 1970s
at this scale in a joint project with the British Directorate
of Overseas Surveys (now Ordnance Survey International
(OSI)). These quarter-degree sheets showed relief with 20 m
contours and were subsequently adopted as the national standard.
After the end of the British aid project the series has
progressed with UN and Swedish aid, and the long term
involvement of Swedesurvey continues to assist in the many
aspects of EMA work. New aerial coverage has been flown
since 1980 concentrating upon areas of economic importance
and maps have been published for these areas. Coverage is
best in the south and west of the country, 1,580 sheets are
required for complete national coverage, and about 50 percent of Ethiopia was mapped at 1:50,000 by 1996. About
50 maps a year were being revised in this series in the mid-1990s.
An ARC/INFO-based digital mapping system has
been tested by EMA and the introduction of digital data
capture and production is speeding up production for both
EMA also publishes 1:1,000,000 scale coverage, on IMW
sheet lines, and a single-sheet 1:2,000,000 scale map. It
issued the national atlas in 1988, incorporating 1:5,000,000
scale full-colour maps on a wide variety of themes. This includes
a basic gazetteer, and work on a more detailed national
gazetteer is well in progress. Other mapping of the country
includes larger-scale project maps for irrigation and hydroelectric
work, as well as administrative mapping. Over 100
towns are covered in large-scale plans, and a city guide map
is issued for Addis Ababa.
Soviet military topographic mapping for Ethiopia exists at the following scales:
1:1,000,000 (10 sheets, complete coverage, published 1953-1984); 1:500,000 (28 sheets, complete coverage, published 1963-1983);
1:200,000 (175 sheets, complete coverage, published 1977-1983); 1:100,000 (625 sheets, complete coverage, published 1977-1982)
and a city (1:10,000) topographic map of Addis Ababa published in 1978. These products are available in print, digital raster
and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
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