The first modern mapping of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
was established after an inter-governmental agreement with
the United States in 1954. 1:500,000 scale mapping was
compiled from aerial photographs by United States
Geological Survey (USGS) and published in two parallel
series, each covering Saudi Arabia in 21 sheets. These maps
comprised a four-color geographical edition and a geological
map, prepared with ground interpretation by the
Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO), and were used
as sources for the compilation of 1:2,000,000 scale coverage
of the Kingdom. The maps have been revised and are available
from the civilian earth science and topographic mapping
agency of the Kingdom, the Deputy Ministry for Mineral
Resources (DMMR) in the Ministry of Petroleum and
Mineral Resources in Jiddah.
1:50,000 and 1:100,000 scale topographic programs were
established in the 1960s on the UTM projection,
International ellipsoid, by Clyde Surveys, Great Britain, in
a contract with the Aerial Survey Department, another
branch of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.
This work also saw the creation of numerous large scale city
and wadi maps of the country. Since 1975 topographic
coverage of Saudi Arabia has also been produced by the
Military Survey Department, in the Ministry of Defence
and Aviation. These civilian and military programs were
compiled on contract by a number of different western agencies
and published as six-color photomaps (for desert areas)
or as full-color line mapping. Maps are on the Transverse
Mercator projection, Clarke 1880 ellipsoid, with a UTM
grid. Each 1:50,000 sheet covers a 15' x 15' quadrangle,
while 1:100,000 scale sheets cover areas of 30' x 30'.
Coverage has progressively extended starting from the areas
of greatest economic interest where petroleum exploration
is taking place. Larger scale topographic mapping has been
carried out in some parts of the country, notably a 1:25,000
scale survey of the Jiddah and Riyadh region, and urban
mapping has been issued at a number of larger scales.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Saudi Arabia is available at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (17 sheets, complete coverage, published 1973-1990);
1:500,000 (46 sheets, complete coverage, published 1972-1989); 1:200,000 (314 sheets, complete coverage, published 1972-1991); 1:100,000 (314 sheets, primarily northern
and coastal coverage, published 1975-1986) and city (1:10,000 to 1:25,000) topographic mapping of Al Hufuf, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina and Riyadh published between 1978 and 1983.
These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
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