Kiribati comprises the Gilbert Islands (including Banaba),
the Phoenix Group, and the Line Islands (including
Kiritimati), formerly part of the British Gilbert and Ellice
Islands. The state became Kiribati in 1979 and its map base
is derived from British mapping carried out immediately
before and after independence. The Directorate of
Overseas Surveys (now Ordnance Survey International
(OSI)) mapped Marakei at 1:12,500 scale in 1972, and a
series of 1:25,000 scale orthophotomaps was completed for
the rest of the Gilberts in the period 1977-82. These maps
are full-color, uncontoured, and use the Transverse
Mercator projection, International ellipsoid, with UTM grid.
Other larger scale mapping of the most important islands
was carried out, with 19 sheets at 1:2,500 scale published
for southern Tarawa, and four 1:1,250 scale plans covering
Betio. There are plans to update the Tarawa 1:2,500 scale
series with new aerial coverage and to generate digital
coverage. 1:50,000 scale coverage of Kiritimati and Tarawa
was also published in the 1980s, with the main island revised
several times since and a two sheet general map of Kiribati
was issued in 1984 at 1:2,000,000 scale. A second phase of
British mapping activity in the 1990s covered unmapped
islands in Kiribati and resulted in maps of islands in the
Line and Phoenix groups at 1:25,000 or 1:10,000 scale,
Banaba also being covered in a new map at this scale.
The national mapping agency established with British aid is the
Kiribati Land and Surveys Division (KLSD), which maintains
dyeline mapping of different atolls, scales depending
upon the size of the islands, and which has jointly published
more recent maps in the photomap series. KLSD has also
started to compile digital data for the islands of Kiribati.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Kiribati exists at the following scale: 1:1,000,000 (12 sheets complete coverage, published 1964-1965). This product is available
in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
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