Gabon was mapped by the French from the late 1940s in
the Cartes d'Afrique Centrale series at the standard scales of
1:200,000 and 1:50,000. The first 1:200,000 sheet appeared
in 1948 and the first 1:50,000 in 1956. After independence
in 1960, French mapping cooperation continued, initially
through the IGN center at Brazzaville and later with the
Service Topographique et du Cadastre, Libreville, and a
number of new maps appeared during the 1960s.
In 1983, the Institut National de Cartographie (INC) was
established, and assumed responsibility for topographic,
planimetric and cadastral mapping. The present aim is to
complete the 1:50,000 scale map series and to bring the
1:200,000 scale mapping up to date.
Several new sheets of République Gabonaise 1:200,000 were
published in the 1980s, but some of the older sheets are
still in provisional sketch map form, and, according to the
INC catalogue, some of the new color editions are now
available only in monochrome. In the south of the country
radar imagery has formed a base for several sheets. The full
specification sheets in this series have 40 m interval contours
and are printed in four colors. The projection is UTM,
Clarke 1880 ellipsoid. Sheets each cover one-degree of longitude
There has been considerable progress towards the completion
of the République Gabonaise 1:50,000 scale series, with
large blocks of mapping completed in the 1980s and 1990s,
and more in preparation. This map also is in four colours,
in UTM projection, Clarke 1880 ellipsoid, but with contours
at 20 m interval. A standard sheet covers 15 minutes of latitude
and longitude, so that 16 sheets are required to cover
the area of a 1:200,000 scale sheet. Nearly three-quarters of
the country is now covered by this series.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Gabon exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (6 sheets, complete coverage, published 1968-1985);
1:500,000 (11 sheets, complete coverage, published 1980-1983) and 1:200,000 (2 sheets, primarily northern coverage, published in 1979).
These products are available in paper, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
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