Prior to 1961, mapping of the Ivory Coast was undertaken by the French Institut Géographique National (IGN) and its precedecessor, the Service Géographique de l’Afrique Occidentale Française. The country was mapped in the three Carte de l’Afrique de l’Ouest series. After independence, responsibility for the topographic, geodetic and other survey and mapping requirements was assumed by the Institut Géographique de la Côte d’Ivoire (IGCI). In 1975, IGCI acquired its own printing facilities, and in 1976 became a fully autonomous public body.

A further change took place in 1990, when the agency was merged with the Direction et Contrôle des Grandes Travaux, acquiring a wider remit, which includes the production of thematic maps using remotely sensed imagery and GIS. It is now called the Centre de Cartographie et de Télédétection (CCT).

The basic topographic map, initiated by the French, is the 1:50,000 scale series, and more than 400 sheets are required to cover the country. After independence, the IGCI continued to extend the cover of this series, publishing many new sheets in the north and east during the 1970s and 1980s. The series is believed to be about 80 percent complete, but most of the early sheets, which date from the 1960s, have not been revised. The map is in four colours with a 20 m contour interval and is on a UTM projection, Clarke 1880 ellipsoid. Sheets are graticule-based, each covering a quarter-degree quadrangle. Early sheets appear under the Carte de l’Afrique de l’Ouest title.

The 1:200,000 scale series is complete in 34 sheets. It was published between 1952 and 1970 as part of the Carte de l’Afrique de l’Ouest series, but since then, new sheets have been published under the title given in our listing. The map is in four or five colours with 40 m interval contours. There is also a series of departmental road maps at this scale, printed in 1992 and produced by the Direction et Contrôle des Grandes Travaux.

1:500,000 scale sheets were also compiled by the French in the 1950s and 1960s, but have not been updated since the 1970s. Two single-sheet maps of the country at 1:1,000,000 scale exist, one published by IGN, Paris, in its Pays et villes du Monde series, the other a road map published by CCT.

As part of a new road management program, the Ivory Coast government has recognized the need for a thorough overhaul of its basic scale mapping, much of which is out of date, as a preliminary to the production of accurate departmental digital road maps at 1:200,000 scale. A feasibility study was undertaken into the use of panchromatic SPOT imagery for the production of 1:50,000 scale base maps, and to mosaic the required vector data for the production of the digital road maps. The 1:50,000 scale image maps can be produced very quickly using SPOT scenes and GPS position fixing, and it is estimated that the 468 sheets required to provide complete cover of the country could be produced in as little as two years.

Soviet military topographic mapping of the Ivory Coast exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1986); 1:500,000 (11 sheets, complete coverage, published 1984-1985); 1:200,000 (60 sheets, complete coverage, published 1981-1985) and city (1:10,000) topographic mapping of Bouake published in 1977. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.

Some small scale earth science mapping was carried out in the 1960s and 1970s by the Societé pour le Développement Minièr de la Côte d’Ivoire (SODEMI), and a few black and white 1:50,000 scale maps were published in the SODEMI report series. A 1:2,000,000 scale geological map is included in the Atlas de Côte d’Ivoire, and a small scale map of mineral occurrences, together with text and tables, was published in 1981. A 1:2,000,000 scale geological map covering the Ivory Coast, Togo and Dahomey in the Carte géologique de l’Afrique occidentale series was published by the French Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) in 1960. Aeromagnetic mapping of most of the country was carried out in the period 1976-7.

The current official geological mapping agency is the Direction de la Géologie (DG) of the Ministère des Ressources Minières et Petrolières. In 1993, a collaborative 1:200,000 geological mapping program began with BRGM, France and 10 sheets have been published covering the eastern part of the country, with fieldwork completed for several more in the north and west.

A variety of thematic mapping of the Ivory Coast was carried out by the French Institut Français de Recherche Scientifique pour le Développement en Coopération (ORSTOM) prior to 1985. This included soil mapping at scales of 1:500,000, 1:200,000 and 1:50,000, and the production of a national atlas, compiled jointly with the Institut de Géographie Tropical at the University of Abidjan between 1970 and 1979. The atlas contains 46 plates, with many maps at 1:2,000,000 scale. Other ORSTOM mapping includes bathymetric surveys of the continental shelf, insect distribution maps, vegetation maps, and some geomorphological mapping.

A number of forestry and land use maps have been produced. They include a monochrome land use series at 1:100,000 scale, and a 19-sheet, 1:200,000 scale forest series of the southern part of the country in color.

Urban maps at 1:5,000 scale covering some 27 towns have been produced with Japanese aid and issued as ozalid prints.

IGCI published an 18-sheet city plan of Abidjan. In the late 1980s new plans of Abidjan were being prepared by the Direction Centrale de l’Urbanisme at 1:5,000 and 1:10,000 scales from IGN photography flown in 1986-87. A detailed, privately-published street map of Abidjan was produced in 1988, and updated in 1991 by Gambo Printers.

Michelin publishes a good general road map of the Ivory Coast, and a small thematic atlas was published in 1978 by Editions Jaguar.

The Direction de la Statistique has a cartographic unit which prepares maps to support the census, including many town plans.

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