The national mapping agency Foiben-Taosarintanin’i Madagasikara (FTM) carries out topographic, geodetic and photogrammetric surveying and produces topographic and thematic mapping of Madagascar. Its history can be traced back to the establishment of a survey office in 1896 and the initiation of a survey for the production of 1:100,000 scale mapping a decade later. The Institut Géographique National (IGN), Paris, and its predecessors established modern topographic mapping of the island with a major program to map Madagascar according to Type 1926 specifications after the end of World War II. After independence from France FTM was founded under its current name in 1974 and has, where possible, developed the colonial mapping programs.
The 1:100,000 scale Sarintany topografika offers complete coverage of the island in 452 sheets. This photogrammetric map is on an oblique Mercator projection, International ellipsoid and is published as a seven or eight-color map with relief shown in 25 m or 50 m contours. Sheets are designated by an alpha-numeric system. A 1:50,000 scale map on the same projection and spheroid is much less complete; fewer than 200 sheets are available from the 904 needed for complete coverage. These are published for the more developed areas to the east of the island. Two versions are issued, a seven-color édition définitive with 25 m contours, and, for some areas, a simplified four-colour map. Many sheets in both these series are very old, and only about 10 maps a year are being produced to full photogrammetric standards.
Soviet military topographic of Madagascar exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (8 sheets, complete coverage, published 1991-1994); 1:500,000 (20 sheets, complete coverage, published 1987-1989); 1:200,000 (109 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1985), and a city (1:10,000) topographic map of Antananarivo published in 1985. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
FTM also acts as the national hydrographic office compiling nautical charts of coastal waters, but the best available charting of Madagascan waters is available from the French Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine (SHOM).
Divisions of the Ministère de l’Industrie de l’Energie et de Mines carry out earth science mapping. Other agencies have also prepared geological, geophysical and resources mapping, notably Institut Français de Recherche Scientifique pour le Développement en Coopération (ORSTOM). ORSTOM has compiled gravimetric, bioclimatic and magnetic mapping of Madagascar.
Vegetation maps at a scale of 1:1,000,000 were issued by the Institut Français de Pondicherry (IFP) in the series Carte internationale du tapis végétale et des conditions écologiques.
The Ministère de la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique pour Développement embarked upon 1:250,000 scale resource inventory mapping in the early 1980s, which was projected to cover the country in six different editions for each quad. These comprised soils, land use, agriculture, forests, pasture and population.
A wide range of small scale maps are issued by FTM. The 1:500,000 Sarintanini Madagasikara covers Madagascar in 11 sheets, shows relief with 100 m contours and is regularly revised. This and other smaller-scale mapping is on the Lambert conformal conic projection. 1:1,250,000 scale coverage in two sheets is issued for several themes, including administrative divisions, climate, economic and agricultural geography, population, and natural vegetation. A 1:2,000,000 scale tourist map has been regularly revised, the latest version is produced in conjunction with IGN Paris.
Larger scale topographic maps are published for some urban areas in Madagascar. A 1:10,000 scale map covering the major towns was started in the early 1980s and includes an indexed town map, printed with an overview map of the district. Other topographic mapping at 1:25,000 and 1:10,000 scales is available for some areas of the country.
Commercially published small scale mapping of Madagascar is issued by Cartographia, Budapest and International Travel Maps (ITM), Vancouver.