Djibouti became an independent republic in 1977. Previously it was called the Territoire Française des Afars et des Issas, and before that the Côte Française des Somalis, names which are still found on its mapping.
Topographic mapping was carried out by the French Institut Géographique National (IGN), and a 12-sheet series of topographic maps at 1:100,000 scale was started in the 1940s and completed in the 1960s. This map was on a UTM projection, Clarke 1880 ellipsoid, with 25 m interval contours, and was printed in five colors.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Djibouti exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (3 sheets, complete coverage, published 1981-1984); 1:500,000 (3 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1980); 1:200,000 (9 sheets, complete coverage, published 1978-1979); 1:100,000 (23 sheets, complete coverage, published 1978-1986) and a city (1:10,000) topographic map of Djibouti published in 1980. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
A port map of Djibouti is published by the Port Autonome International de Djibouti.
A series of 1:100,000 scale geological maps was begun by the Université du Bordeaux III, Centre d’Études Géologiques et de Développement, under the title Carte géologique duTerritoire Française des Afars et des Issas and three sheets were published in the 1970s, each folded inside a folio text.
Although Djibouti has no official topographic or geological mapping agency, the Institut Superieur d’Études et de Recherches Scientifiques et Techniques (ISERST), has become the country’s principal mapping and environmental research institution. In the 1980s it began a new series of 1:100,000 scale geological maps, of which four sheets have so far been published, complementing the earlier sheets mentioned above. A 1:100,000 scale hydrogeological series was also started, while a magnetic map was compiled by the Institut du Globe de Paris in 1983. Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) published a 1:50,000 scale geological map of the Rift d’Asal.
A USAID project in the 1980s produced a series of 1:300,000 scale maps showing physiography, slope, grazing, climate-soil relationships, land capability, drainage and potential irrigation.
Urban mapping is undertaken by the Ministère des Travaux Publics, de l’Urbanisme et du Logement, and is mapping urban centers at scales of 1:5,000 and 1:1,000. Maps of Djibouti city were produced in 1989 by the French IGN at 1:5,000 (6 sheets) and 1:10,000 (3 sheets). A 1:10,000 scale street map of the capital was published on a photomap base by IGN in 1985, and includes an index of buildings and streets. A new 1990 edition is published by the Office National de Tourisme et de l’Artisanat (ONTA).
The most useful general map of the country was published as a single 1:200,000 scale Carte générale by IGN France in their Pays et villes du monde series. This sheet has been compiled from SPOT imagery and is on UTM projection, WGS 84 datum. It has 80 m interval contours.