Topographic mapping in Guatemala is the responsibility of
the Instituto Geográfico National (IGNG) (formerly
Instituto Geográfico Militar), Guatemala City. Modern topographic
mapping began in earnest only after 1945 with the
establishment of a Department of Mapping and Cartography,
and in 1948, the initiation of Inter-American Geodetic
Survey (IAGS) involvement. First order
triangulation was completed in 1954 and tied in to
Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras. Also in 1954, the
Department was renamed the Dirección General de
Cartografía, and the first air photo sorties were flown upon
which the main topographic series were subsequently based.
There are two principal topographic map series, at scales of
1:50,000 (E754) and 1:250,000 (E503), originally prepared
in collaboration with the IAGS and the US Army Map
Service. Both series are complete. The 1:50 000 Mapa
topográfico is on a Transverse Mercator projection, Clarke 1866
ellipsoid. Sheets are in five colors, each covering an area of
10 minutes of latitude by 15 minutes of longitude. Contours
are at 20 m intervals with supplementary contours at 10 m.
Sheets covering El Petén are in the form of controlled radar
mosaics. The 1:50,000 scale series was completed in 1977,
but is currently being revised.
The 1:250,000 Mapa básico (called América Central on the
sheets) covers the country in 13 sheets in a 1.5 degrees of
longitude by 1 degrees of latitude format. Sheet NE 16-14
(Stann Creek) includes the coastal areas of NE 16-5,
ND 16-2 and ND 16-9: thus the whole of Belize, formerly
claimed by Guatemala, is also included in this series. The
sheets are in five colors and the projection is UTM.
Contours are at 100 m intervals with supplementary
contours at 50 m. The series was completed in 1969, but
some sheets have been partially revised during the 1970s and 1980s.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Guatemala exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published 1969-1990);
1:500,000 (6 sheets, complete coverage, published 1985-1988) and a city (1:10,000) topographic map of Guatemala published in 1981. These products are available
in print, digital raster and digital vector formats from East View Geospatial.
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