The current national topographic survey organization is the Hellenic Military Geographical Service (HMGS), Athens. A military survey was first established in Greece in 1889 and triangulation was initiated in the same year. Topographic mapping proceeded between the two World Wars with sheets being published at 1:100,000 scale.
The current map series were established after World War II, the basic series being the 1:50,000 scale NATO Series (M708), originally produced in cooperation with the United States Army Map Service. This photogrammetric series covers the country in 387 sheets, and is revised on a 6-7 year cycle. The sheet system is graticule-based, with each sheet covering 15′ latitude and longitude. The projection is UTM and sheets are in seven colors with contours at 20 m intervals. The legend is in Greek and English. There is also a 1:100,000 scale series in 128 sheets, with 100 m contours and a 1:25,000 scale series, for military use only, is in course of issue. Smaller scale topographic and general reference maps at 1:250,000, 1:500,000 and 1:1,000,000 are available. A topologically structured digital vector data set has been created from 1:1,000,000 scale map data.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Greece is available at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (9 sheets, complete coverage, published 1987-1990); 1:500,000 (13 sheets, complete coverage, published 1981-1992); 1:200,000 (73 sheets, complete coverage, published 1973-1992); 1:100,000 (235 sheets, complete coverage, published 1969-1990); 1:50,000 (676 sheets, complete coverage, published 1971-1991) and city (1:10,000 to 1:25,000) topographic mapping of 8 major cities from Athens to Volos published between 1963 and 1986. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
A digital National Atlas of Greece with scale resolution 1:1,000,000 and 11 data layers was published in 1990. It is available on diskettes in ARC/INFO, DXF or ASCII formats.
There is also a digital Gazetteer of Greece, published in 1993. This is available in a three-volume printed version or on a single diskette. The gazetteer contains 90,000 geographical names in the romanized edition, transliterated according to the Greek specification ELOT 743.
Hydrographic survey is undertaken by the Hellenic Navy Hydrographic Service (HNHS), Athens, established in 1920. Charts covering the Ionian, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas are published. The Greek coast has been digitized in a series of 300 sheets at 1:50,000 scale. Aeronautical charts are published by the Civil Aviation Authority in Athens.
Geological mapping of Greece is carried out by the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME), Athens. This is a public corporate body under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Development, and provides the government with advice on geoscientific matters. Among its activities is the compilation of geological maps at scales of 1:25,000, 1:50,000 and 1:500,000, and of larger scale maps for ad hoc purposes. The principal series, in progress since 1956, is at 1:50,000 scale. About three-quarters of the country is now covered by this series, and the remaining sheets are nearing completion. The legend of these maps is in Greek and either English or French.
The 1:500,000 scale geological map was published in 1983 in cooperation with the British Geological Survey, and is in Greek and English. Several other earth science maps at this scale have also been published recently, and a 1:200,000 scale series of the bottom sediments of the Aegean Sea is in progress.
Sporadic ad hoc soil surveys using a variety of classifications and methods have been carried out by various institutes in Greece, but since 1977, responsibility for soil survey and mapping has been placed with the National Agricultural Research Foundation, and specific institutes have been tasked with carrying out a coordinated program. All the agricultural areas are being mapped at a scale of 1:20,000 using a methodology developed at the Soil Science Department, Nuclear Research Center, Democritos. Mapping is based on field survey in association with air photographs and 1:5,000 topographical maps, and the final printed 1:20,000 scale maps include a soil series, soil permeability, irrigation-capability and soil management group map. 1:100,000 scale mapping has also been introduced, using air photo interpretation, in order to accelerate progress towards a complete cover of these areas.
Concurrently with the survey of agricultural areas, a land resource survey has been undertaken by the Forest Research Institute, Athens in cooperation with the Greek Forest Service. Initially this was intended for the forest and range lands, but it will now cover the whole country. Two series of maps are being published at 1:50,000 scale, a land resource map and a land capability for forestry map. These are color printed on the HMGS base maps, with legends in Greek and English. Fieldwork for this program was completed in 1997, and all sheets are expected to be published. Currently about 200 sheets of each series are available for purchase. Draft reports are being prepared for each of the 13 major administrative regions of Greece. The printed sheets have also been digitized in anticipation of developing a GIS database.
The Economic and social atlas of Greece published in 1964, and an Industrial atlas of Greece (in English and French as well as Greek) based on a 1963 census was also published. Also available are Gazetteers of the municipalities, communes and localities of Greece for the censuses of 1981 and 1991.
In 1991, the Hellenic Mapping and Cadastral Organization (HEMCO) was established and is preparing a new standardized national cadastral survey. The scale is 1:5,000 for rural areas and 1:1,000 for urban. Work on this digital mapping project has begun only recently and is expected to take 20 years or more to complete. HEMCO has also undertaken the preparation of a 1:100,000 scale land cover series as part of the CORINE program.
One of the principal publishers of tourist maps is Michalis Toubis S.A. (Toubis). Founded in 1965, the company specializes in the publication of travel guides, maps and general books about Greece. Some 40 high quality tourist maps cover the Greek islands, Athens and Greece itself. City maps are included on the reverse of many maps, and there is information about hotels, public transport and other services.
More recently, Road Editions have established a reputation for detailed mapping, produced in cooperation with HMGS. They have issued a series of six high quality 1:250,000 scale maps covering the whole country, and an extended series of detailed maps of the islands. They have also begun a series of maps of the Greek mountains at 1:50,000 scale. These have 100 m contours and are designed for use with GPS. The maps are in Greek and English, with legends also in German and Italian.
Greko Editions is a small publishing house which commissions the production of a small range of tourist maps of Greek islands and a road map of Greece and another of Athens.
Hellenic Tourist and Cartographic Productions (HTCP) has produced an accurate 370-page street atlas of Athens and a road atlas of the whole country, both the result of meticulous field research. Both items are only in Greek.
The Efstathiados Group publishes a number of Blue maps with cartography by the Austrian publisher Freytag-Berndt (FB).
Pan Drive Hellas has been developing an in-car navigation system for Greater Athens, and has prepared a detailed digital road map of the city in ARC/INFO format at a scale resolution of 1:10,000. Another specialist in digital mapping and modelling is Terra Ltd, who have produced digital elevation models of Greece and are cooperating with HEMCO on the cadastral mapping program.
A series of 1:50,000 scale walking maps based on HMGS topography is published by the Greek Alpine Club Acharnes.
Other small commercial publishers include Adam Editions, B.G.D. Loukopoulos, and D. and J. Mathioulákis.
Many small-scale tourist maps of Greece, and at larger scales of some Greek islands, have been published by major foreign map publishers. Freytag-Berndt has a series of road maps of the coast and islands, while a series of maps of Greek islands, including an excellent set of contoured 1:80,000 walking maps of Crete, are published by the German publisher Harms Verlag. Other publishers of good general maps include HarperCollins, Michelin, Hallwag, Kϋmmerley and Frey, Cartographia, Nelles Verlag and Karto+Grafik.
The National Statistical Service of Greece (NSSG) publishes a simple map of Greece at 1:1,000,000 scale, a general map of the country at 1:2,000,000, and a map of Greater Athens at 1:100,000. Of primary importance is the series of maps of the nomi (departments) of Greece at 1:200,000 scale. Each of these maps covers a single nomas, relief is shown by hypsometric tints and 200 m contours, there is a four-category classification of roads and tracks, and the maps also show census enumeration boundaries. The 52 sheets in this series are revised on 10-year cycle in association with the population census.