Morocco was mapped by French and Spanish colonial agencies
prior to independence in 1956. After this, the Institut
Géographique National (IGN), Paris, continued to undertake
topographic mapping through an agreement with the
Moroccan government, and many maps were issued in standard
1:50,000 and 1:100,000 scale series throughout the
1960s and early 1970s, some published by IGN, and some,
from 1965 by the present agency, the Direction de la
Conservation Foncière et des Travaux Topographiques,
Division de la Cartographie (MDC) (formerly Division de
la Carte), Rabat.
The 1:50,000 scale series originated in 1920. Sheets were
published in the French Type 1922 style in five colors. The
earliest of the current sheets date from the 1930s, but most
were published in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1977 a modified
specification was introduced with a legend in both French
and Arabic. All sheets are in a quarter-degree format,
conforming to the International map of the World (IMW)
system, and with contours at 10 m or 20 m intervals.
A 1:100,000 scale series was started in 1924, originally
intended to cover the less settled areas, but later extended
to the whole country. Sheets cover half a degree. The latest
version originated in 1978, and incorporates a legend in
both French and Arabic, colored road classification, and
with contours at 20 m or 40 m intervals (25 m or 50 m on
the pre-1978 sheets). Many sheets are still in older Type
1922 or Carte de reconnaissance specifications.
An earlier 1:200,000 scale small sheet series on the Bonne
projection has been replaced by a 1:250,000 scale Carte du
Maroc which provides complete cover of the country in 38
available sheets. This map is generalized from the 1:100,000
scale series. It has 100 m contours and shaded relief, and a
legend in French and Arabic. Most sheets were published
during the 1980s and early 1990s, and each covers 1 degree
30 minutes longitude by 1 degree latitude.
The projection used for all the contemporary topographic
series is Lambert conformal conic, Clarke 1880 ellipsoid.
A 1:500,000 scale map with layer-tinted relief, covering
northern Morocco, was published in six sheets in 1954 and derived from the 1:200,000 scale mapping.
A new series of seven sheets at this scale was started in 1988, but only
two sheets have been published. However, a series of 16
overlapping regional tourist maps at this scale was also
launched in about 1990 by the Societé de Cartographie
et d'Imprimerie du Maroc (CARIMA). These are derived
from the official maps, but so far only six sheets, covering
the north of the country, have been published.
By 1980, Morocco had a substantially complete, high quality
cover of topographic mapping at 1:100,000 and 1:50,000
scales. The disputed territory of Western Sahara had also
been mapped in a provisional series of 1:250,000 scale maps,
and an incomplete series of 1:100,000 scale photomaps
MDC underwent a modernization program during the
early 1990s. New geodetic stations were established using
GPS, and over 340 map sheets at various scales have also been
revised in this period. Additionally, a new topographic series
at 1:25,000 scale began to appear in 1991, a five-colour
map with 5 m contours and hill shading. It is being
produced in collaboration with the Japanese agency JICA.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Morrocco is available at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (8 sheets, complete coverage, published 1975-1987);
1:500,000 (19 sheets, complete coverage, published 1979-1990); 1:200,000 (89 sheets, complete coverage, published 1978-1991);
1:100,000 (259 sheets, primarily complete coverage, published 1974-1990) and city (1:10,000) topographic maps of Casablanca, Fez, Kenitra, Marrakesh, Meknes,
Oujda, Rabat and Tangier published between 1972 and 1979. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector formats from
East View Geospatial.