Formerly a territory of French Equatorial Africa, the Central African Republic became independent in 1960. Topographic mapping was undertaken by the French Institut Géographique National (IGN), and continued after independence by agreement with the Central African Republic. Complete cover of the country was produced at 1:200,000 scale, the first sheets appearing in 1956. Almost all these one-degree sheets are now in the regular edition format in four or five colours, and a few sheets were produced in revised editions, the most recent being the Bangui sheet published in 1984. The projection is UTM, Clarke 1880 ellipsoid, and contours are at 40 m intervals.
Soviet military topographic mapping of the Central Africa Republic exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (8 sheets, complete coverage, published 1957-1987); 1:500,000 (18 sheets, complete coverage, published 1962-1989); 1:200,000 (102 sheets, complete coverage, published 1979-1986); and a city (1:10,000) topographic map of Bangui published in 1981. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
Some 1:50,000 quarter-degree topographic sheets have also been published. The first sheets were issued in 1954, and the most recent, four sheets around Bangui, in 1988. They are in four colours with 20 m contours.
A small scale general map in the IGN Pays et Villes du monde series was published in 1993, but while the inset map of administrative areas has been updated, the main map is essentially a reprint of the 1980 edition. Currently, there is little cartographic activity in the Central African Republic.
Geological mapping is the responsibility of the Direction des Mines et de la Géologie, Bangui and a new 1:1,000,000 geological map has been in preparation. Earlier mapping by the French Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) is still available, including the 1:1,500,000 geological map by J-L. Mestraud and three sheets in the 1:500,000 scale Carte géologique de reconnaissance de l’Afrique équatoriale.
Soils mapping was undertaken by the Institut Français de Recherche Scientifique pour le Développement en Coopération (ORSTOM). A general soil map at 1:1,000,000 scale as well as some other resource mapping at this scale have been published. A few soils sheets at 1:200,000 scale were also published in the 1970s. Subsequently, soil mapping became the responsibility of the Bureau National de Pédologie et de Conservation des Sols (BNPCS). In 1986, a 1:1,000,000 map of land capability was published with the support of UNDP and FAO. ORSTOM has also continued its program of 1:1,000,000 scale thematic mapping, and a geomorphological map was published in 1996.
A small atlas of the country published in 1984 by Editions Jaguar.
A 1:10,000 scale street map of Bangui was published by IGN in 1972, and a 1:20,000 scale photomap was published in 1987.