Jamaica, independent from the United Kingdom since 1962,
has its own Survey Department (JSD) at Kingston, which
has worked in cooperation with the former British
Directorate of Overseas Surveys (DOS) (now Ordnance
Survey International (OSI)) and other agencies in the topographic
mapping of the country. In addition to topographic
survey, JSD is responsible for hydrographic survey and
control of the cadastral plans to ensure the integrity of the
land registration system.
The original 1:50,000 scale map of Jamaica was the first
major mapping project of the Directorate of Colonial
Surveys, as it was originally called when established in 1946,
and it was based on work done before and immediately after
World War II by the Royal Marine Survey Company. The provisional
edition of this map was issued in 1952-53 (DCS 1)
and was followed by several regular editions (DOS 410), but
in spite of its scale it remained a feet and inches map.
The current metric edition (Series 1, E725) in 20 sheets is
printed in process colours and was issued between 1982 and
1991. It was prepared jointly by JSD and DOS and was
based on air photography flown in 1968 and 1980. Contours
are at 20 m intervals up to 80 m and thereafter at 40 m.
The map distinguishes many vegetation types, including the
various kinds of plantation agriculture. The Jamaica metric
grid is shown, and there is a version with overprinted UTM
grid. Currently, a digital specification for the 1:50,000
scale topographic maps is being prepared.
The modern basic scale mapping is a contoured series at
1:12,500 initiated in 1970 (Ja/DOS 201). Contours are
at 25 ft intervals. The projection is a Lambert conical orthomorphic
and the ellipsoid is Clarke 1880. Recently these 235
sheets have been converted to digital map data using ARC/
INFO and have also been converted to metric measurements.
Contours are not yet available.
Other large scale mapping includes a 1:5,000 scale series begun
in 1963, and 1:1,250 and 1:2,500 scale maps of some areas.
Kingston is covered by a 1:10,000 scale contoured map in six
sheets with an additional special sheet of the central area.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Jamaica exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (2 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1963);
1:500,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published 1983-1987) and 1:200,000 (5 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1982). These products are available in print,
digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
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