French Guiana is an overseas department of France. Although
a small military survey office was established at Cayenne in
1934 (Le Service Géographique de l'Inini), systematic
modern survey dates from 1945, and was undertaken by the
Institut Géographique National (IGN), Paris. A reconnaissance
map at 1:500,000 scale was first published in 1950
and revised in 1963. Trimetrogon photography flown by the
USAAF in World War II was adjusted by IGN to rudimentary
ground control and used to produce the planimetric
sketch maps (esquisses photogrammétriques) which formed the
early 1:100,000 scale series. The sheets were on a Gauss
projection. Those covering the northern part of the territory
were in three or four colors with form lines at 25 m or
50 m intervals; those in the south were in a provisional
monochrome edition with 50 m form lines.
A 1:200,000 scale series of mostly monochrome photogrammetric
sketch maps was based on IGN photography flown
in the 1950s. This series has not been revised, but is still
useful in the south of the country. Sheets 10 and 11 in the
series were published in 1965 and are in three colors with
contours. Projection and grid are UTM, International
In 1956, a new basic map at 1:50,000 scale was started. This was
a four color map in UTM projection, with a 20 m contour
interval. Since 1992, 14 of these sheets have been revised to the Série orange specification.
More recently, the coastal settled area has been mapped in
20 sheets to the 1:25,000 Série bleue specification. This map
is in five colors, with 5 m or 10 m contours. Projection is UTM (International Hayford ellipsoid).
Recently, new sheets have been published at 1:100,000
scale. These include a special sheet covering the coastal strip
from Cayenne to Kourou (Sheet 516), published in 1987 by
IGN, which also has street maps of both towns. In 1996,
several regular series 1:100,000 scale sheets began to appear. By
the end of 1997, six of these had been published. It is not,
however, planned to extend this series to the southern part
of the country.
Soviet military topographic mapping of French Guiana exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published 1966-1985) and
1:500,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published 1964-1987). These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats
from East View Geospatial.
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