Previously a part of French West Africa, Mauritania gained
independence in 1960. Topographic mapping was undertaken
by the French Institut Géographique National
(IGN) and its predecessors, and IGN has continued to
support the mapping of the country, with the agreement
renewed in 1989. IGN cooperates with the Division de la
Topographie et de la Cartographie (DTC) of the
Ministère d'Equipement, at Nouakchott. The basic scale series is the
1:200,000, appearing as a Carte regulière from the early
1950s, with publication of the first edition continuing until
the late 1970s. The series is on the UTM projection, Clarke
1880 ellipsoid and is complete in 104 sheets. Most are in
the one-degree format, but some are extended in coastal or
border areas. Sheets covering the west and south are in four
to six colors with 40 m contours, while 54 sheets covering
the Saharan areas are published as four-color Fonds
topographiques without contours. Some sheets have the designation
Types régions desertiques, but all give special attention
to desert landforms and surface materials in dry areas.
1:50,000 scale mapping was undertaken in 1956-57,
but was confined to the boundary with Senegal, and comprises only 25 sheets.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Mauritania exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (12 sheets, complete coverage, published 1979-1986);
1:500,000 (29 sheets, complete coverage, published 1980-1987); 1:200,000 (175 sheets, primarily complete coverage, published 1981-1986) and
1:100,000 (137 sheet, primarily north and western coverage, published 1979-1981). These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector
formats from East View Geospatial.
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