The Faroe Islands were mapped by Danish surveyors, who began work in 1895 with a 1:20,000 scale series which was completed in 1901. A derived map at 1:100,000 was published in 1916. The 1:20,000 sheets were compiled using plane table techniques, and although undergoing major revision in the 1940s and 1970s, continued to serve as the basic topographic map until the 1980s, when they began to be superseded by an entirely new survey. The new mapping has been compiled, using analytical photogrammetric methods, from 1:15,000 and 1:30,000 scale aerial photographs flown in 1982─84, with help from the Faroese Cadastral Office and the University of the Faroe Islands. Special attention has been given to the reinstatement of Faroese place names. The projection is UTM, European Datum 1950, and the maps are in six colors, with relief shown by contours at 10 m or sometimes 5 m intervals and with relief shading. The series was completed in 1998.
Smaller scale maps are published at 1:100,000 and 1:200,000. The former appeared in a two-sheet edition in 1983, followed by a single-sheet edition with an extensive place name register in 1986. It is now available in the form of a small booklet, including the gazetteer.
Soviet military topographic mapping of the Faroe Islands exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (1 sheet, complete coverage, published in 1969); 1:500,000 (2 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1968); 1:200,000 (2 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1967) and 1:100,000 (5 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1964). These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
Geological mapping has been undertaken by the Danish Geological Survey (now Danmarks og Grønlands Undersøgelse (GEUS)), Copenhagen. Bedrock geological maps at 1:50,000 (six sheets) and 1:200 000 were published in 1969 and 1970. These maps are accompanied by substantial monographs. More recently, a map of quaternary ice movements was published. In 1992, responsibility for mineral resources was transferred to the Faroese Home Rule authorities, and currently geophysical surveys of the Faroese shelf are being undertaken by the oil industry.
The most recent version of the 1:200,000 scale general map was published in a revised edition in 1995. It has shaded relief but no contours and is primarily a map of roads and ferry routes. There is also a gazetteer of place names. The legend is in Faroese, Danish and English.
All the above maps are published by the Danish Kort og Matrikelstyrelsen (KMS) (formerly Geodætisk Institutt), Copenhagen.
A 1:243,200 scale colored bathymetric map of the Faroe shelf, with isobaths at 10 m intervals, but the land surface in outline only, was published by the Faroese Geological Museum in 1977. Nautical charts of Faroese waters are published by the hydrographic department of KMS.
The Faeroe Islands topographic atlas, is a joint production of the Kongelige Danske Geografiske Selskab (KDGS) and KMS, and forms a volume in Series II of the Atlas over Danmark. This volume, which is in English, describes the physical and human geography of the Faroes, illustrated by numerous extracts of topographic maps and aerial photographs. Legends to the topographic map series are included, and there is a useful glossary of Faroese words incorporated in place names.