Algeria became independent of France in 1962. French colonial mapping had been carried out by the Institut Géographique National (IGN), Paris, and its predecessor, the Société Géographique de l’Armée. This involvement continued for several years after independence until in 1967, the Institut National de Cartographie, Algiers, was established and took over responsibility for mapping. The current name is Institut National de Cartographie et de Télédétection (INC).
There is a long history of 1:50,000 scale mapping; the oldest version, Type Algérie Tunisie, published from 1897 was on a Bonne projection, but after 1942, the French Type 1922 specification was used, on a Lambert conformal projection. Some sheets were published in a standard edition printed in five colors with 20 m contours, and others appeared in a provisional five-color edition (Edition provisoire). These three versions together provided complementary cover of much of the northern part of the country. Sheets in these series use a consecutive numbering system. In 1987, a new 1:50,000 scale series was launched by INC. This is a six-color edition on the UTM projection, Clarke 1880 ellipsoid, and is intended to produce a national map of consistent quality. Sheet lines and designations follow the International map of the World system. This new cartography has a planned cover of northern Algeria in 507 sheets. These have 10 m or 20 m contours and some sheets are also hill shaded. Publication has continued steadily through the 1990s and about 160 sheets have been issued.
1:25,000 scale mapping began in the coastal areas in 1961, using the specification designated Type 1960. The projection is UTM, Clarke 1880 ellipsoid. The mapping was relaunched in 1987 with sheet lines changed to conform to the IMW system, and each sheet now covers an area of 7′ 30″x7′ 30″. This map is in four colors and has 10 m interval contours. There is a planned cover of about 900 sheets for northern Algeria, and some 365 sheets have been published.
An extensive cover of the country has also been achieved at 1:200,000 scale in a series of 242 sheets. This mapping began by the French as Carte d’Afrique and continued from 1983 by INC as Carte d’Algérie. Another 1:200,000 scale version was published in the Type 1922 specification in the early 1960s by IGN, Paris, and covered much of the north of the country in 37 sheets printed in six colors with 50 m contours and hill shading.
Soviet military topographic mapping exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (19 sheets, complete coverage, published 1975-1988); 1:500,000 (54 sheets, complete coverage, published 1970-1986); 1:200,000 (372 sheets, complete coverage, published 1977-1988); 1:100,000 (232 sheets, primarily coastal coverage, published 1973-1986) and city (1:10,000 to 1:25,000) topographic mapping for the cities of Algiers (El Djazair), Annaba, Constantine and Mers El Kebir, published between 1975 and 1978. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
Some 1:100,000 scale mapping was undertaken in the 1950s, and 88 sheets were published in a four-color edition.
A 1:500,000 scale series in 43 sheets, printed in four to seven colors with 100 m contours and relief shading was published between 1961 and 1977. A three-sheet 1:500,000 scale tourist map of northern Algeria has been published by INC. The 1:1,000,000 scale International map of the World coverage is also complete.
Planimetric mapping of urban areas at 1:5,000 and larger was undertaken with assistance from the former Czechoslovakia.
The current objectives of the INC are to proceed with the completion of the 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 scale map series using classic photogrammetric mapping techniques, and to use satellite remote sensing techniques in the revision of 1:200,000 scale mapping.
Earth science mapping is carried out by the Office National de la Recherche Géologique et Minière (ONRGM), established in 1984 within the Ministère de l’Industrie Lourde. Previously, earth science mapping had been undertaken by several different departments within the Ministry, and French agencies had been responsible for geological coverage prior to independence. There is published mapping at a variety of scales, but none gives complete cover. The 1:500,000 scale Carte géologique however, provides cover as far south as 26°N. 1:200,000 scale geological mapping covers part of the north of the country using sheet lines of the Type 1960 topographic series and of earlier series. In the south, mapping undertaken mainly in the 1980s and 1990s is published on the one-degree International map of the World sheet lines. The 1:50,000 scale series sheets are numbered sequentially using the old topographic sheet system. This is an active series with about 115 sheets published so far. There are also numerous local and regional maps and map sets covering smaller and greater regions of the country, such as a 1:500,000 Carte géologique du Sahara: Massif du Hoggar in 12 sheets, published by the French Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) in the early 1960s. An energy map has been published by Petroleum Economist (PE).
Several vegetation maps have been published by the Institut de la Carte Internationale du Tapis Végétal, Toulouse, and are based on the principles of H. Gaussen. They include 1:1,000,000 scale vegetation map of the area around Algiers, a 1:50,000 scale map of Ghardaia and 1:200,000 scale maps of Oran and Guelt-es-Stel-Djelfa. All maps are accompanied by booklets.
Cadastral mapping is the responsibility of the Agence Nationale du Cadastre, while the Office National des Statistiques is responsible for demographic and socioeconomic data.
Small-scale tourist maps are published by INC and by several overseas commercial map publishers, including Michelin, Cartographia, and GEOprojects.