The Himalayan mountain kingdom of Bhutan is poorly mapped and smaller scale coverage from adjacent countries and world series offers the most useful available coverage. Official mapping is carried out by the Survey Department (SB) in the Department of Trade and Industries, which has inherited mapping systems from Survey of India. A 1:50,000 scale series is in progress, and sheet lines follow the Indian hierarchical sheet division practice. This six-color map is on a polyconic projection, Everest ellipsoid, and shows relief with 40 m contours. It covers the country in 78 sheets, but only the maps around the capital Thimpu have so far been published. SB has also recently published small scale administrative and physical maps of the country.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Bhutan exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1973); 1:500,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published 1970-1987); 1:200,000 (13 sheets, complete coverage, published 1977-1989) and 1:100,000 (22 sheets, partial country coverage, published 1985-1986). These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
A project funded through UNDP/UNCHS is establishing an urban GIS for the capital Thimpu and the second largest settlement Phuentsholing. Indian GIS consultants RMSI have established vector and raster databases for the cities, at 1:1,000 and 1:5,000 scales and captured from aerial coverage flown in 1997. Multi-layered city mapping has been generated and is held in an ARC/INFO database by the Urban Development and Housing Division, Thimpu.
The earth science mapping agency in Bhutan is Department of Geology and Mines the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Power. Small scale earth science mapping of Bhutan is provided in the Atlas of mineral resources of the ESCAP region published by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and by the Schweizerische Naturforschungsgesellschaft, now Schweizerische Nationalfonds.
General mapping of Bhutan includes a 1:600,000 scale German map, from the Technische Fachhochschule Karlsruhe, and 1:500 000 scale coverage from the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research (SfAR).