The Lebanese national mapping agency is the Directorate of Geographic Affairs (DAG). Established in 1962 as a part of the Ministry of Defence, DAG is now responsible for geodetic, topographic, cadastral and aerial surveying and for the publication of official mapping. There has been very little new mapping in the last two decades, and almost all of the official map base still dates from between 1964 and the mid-1970s, when series following French mapping standards were initiated to replace earlier military mapping. Contoured monochrome plans were published during this period for selected areas at 1:1,000, 1:2,000 and 1:5,000 scales; over 1,000 sheets were issued, with coverage restricted to urban and some productive agricultural areas. The basic scale for the whole country remains a five-color 1:20,000 scale map published between 1964 and 1974, which covers Lebanon in 121 sheets. This map uses an oblique stereographic projection, Clarke ellipsoid, shows relief with 10 m contours and was published in Arabic and French. A few sheets have been revised since publication, but plans to update the mapping base to French Série bleue specifications have not come to fruition, nor has there been any significant investment in digital mapping systems. An old 1:50,000 scale series using Lambert’s conical conformal projection is no longer maintained but sheets are still available. In addition a new 12-sheet map derived from the 1:20,000 scale was started, and a 1:100,000 scale map prepared. Single-sheet coverage at 1:200,000 scale has been issued for 10 different themes. A new version of the tourist map at this scale has, however, recently been updated, and published in Arabic, English and French editions and in 1991 DAG published a 1:10,000 scale photomap of Beirut and its suburbs.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Lebanon is available at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (2 sheets, complete coverage, published 1974-1990); 1:500,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published 1981-1987); 1:200,000 (8 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1985); 1:100,000 (16 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1983); 1:50,000 (45 sheets, complete coverage, published 1983-1991) and city (1:10,000) topographic mapping of Beirut, Sidon and Tripoli published between 1971 and 1987. These Lebanon mapping products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
Geological mapping of Lebanon is published by the Ministère des Ressources Hydrauliques et Electriques (MRHE). A 1:50,000 scale map using an amended version of the old topographic map sheet lines covers Lebanon in 26 sheets and was started by L. Dubertret in the 1950s. Six of these maps were available in the mid-1990s and there are plans to reprint all the sheets in this series.
GIS and remote sensing activities in Lebanon are the responsibility of the National Center for Remote Sensing.
1:20,000 scale soil mapping for irrigation purposes was compiled in the 1960s by the Institut de Recherches Agronomiques with funding from the Food and Agriculture Organization. 26 sheets using the topographic base were published.
A 1:50,000 scale land cover series using the new 12-sheet topographic sheet lines has been produced for the Ministère de l’Agriculture and the Council for Development and Reconstruction and is derived from satellite remote sensing data. An agricultural resource planning map is also under development.
Other maps of the country have been published in the Tϋbinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients, available from Dr Ludwig Reichert Verlag Germany, by the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and by the French national mapping agency Institut Géographique National (IGN), in conjunction with Lebanese Guide Stephen, who also issued a useful town map of Beirut in 1995. Commercial publishers who have issued coverage of Lebanon are HarperCollins and GEOprojects, whose group headquarters are based in Beirut. GEOprojects recently revised its Lebanon map, which is published in the Arab World map library series as French, English or Arabic editions and Lonely Planet recently issued a tourist atlas of the country.