Svalbard is a group of islands belonging to Norway, and
lying between 76° and 81°N in the Arctic Ocean. The
islands are commonly known as Spitsbergen in English-speaking
countries, but the Norwegians use that name only
for the main island.
Svalbard has been extensively mapped by the Norsk
Polarinstitutt (NPI) (formerly Svalbard- og Ishavs-Undersøkelse)
since 1947, and there is a continuing program.
Triangulation and field survey began in 1911,
continuing into the 1920s and provided the original control
for the maps, which are compiled photogrammetrically from
air photos flown in 1936 and subsequently. Early photographs
were oblique, but since 1960 only vertical photographs have
been used in map compilation. New photography at 1:50,000
scale was flown in 1990. The main topographic series is at
1:100,000. Twenty-three sheets are litho printed in color;
the remainder are preliminary editions and are available as
diazo prints, some with and some without toponyms. The
contour interval is 50 m or 25 m in low-lying areas, the projection
is UTM and the more recent sheets have a UTM grid.
Horizontal datum is ED 50, but from 1997, sheets are being
adjusted to WGS 84 datum. Sheets normally cover 20' in latitude
and 2° 30' longitude.
A number of larger scale maps of specific areas have been
published by NPI in recent years. These include a set of
eight 1:10,000 scale sheets which cover the Brøgger
Peninsula (including a digital edition of the Ny-Ålesund
sheet), and four digitally-produced sheets of Longyearbyen
and its surroundings at 1:5,000 scale.
Small-scale cover of the archipelago is provided in four sheets
at 1:500,000 scale on a Lambert conformal conic projection.
These have 100 m contours with glaciers shown in white
and unglacierized areas in yellow. In 1998 a 1:250,000 scale
map in three sheets was published in aeronautical and topographic
editions. General maps of the archipelago are also
available at scales of 1:1,000,000 and 1:2,000,000.
Bear Island (Bjørnøya) was originally surveyed in 1922-31.
The 1:25,000 scale map of the island were last published in 1955, but a new map at
1:50,000 scale was published in 1992. This is on a UTM
projection, and has 20 m interval contours.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Svalbard is available at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1983);
1:500,000 (8 sheets, complete coverage, published 1980-1981) and 1:200,000 (44 sheets, complete coverage, published 1978-1979). These products are available in
print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
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