The national mapping agency of Myanmar (until 1989 Burma) is the Myanmar Survey Department (MSD) in Yangon. Mapping systems were established by the Survey of India between 1905 and 1944, with complete coverage at 1:126,720 and 1:253,440 scales, and one-inch coverage for 85 percent of Burma, excluding the mountainous north west regions. Since 1959 the one-inch map has gradually been converted into a 1:50,000 series, using the same Lambert conical conformal projection, Everest ellipsoid, and quarter degree sheet lines, but mapping progress has been at best sporadic since the late 1950s. By 1996 this map had been published for about 50 percent of the country: coverage is best in the central regions between Yangon and Mandalay. English place names have been converted into Myanmar equivalents following United Nations Development Program aid. Twenty-eight 1:250,000 scale maps were derived from the completed metric mapping. A new 1:25,000 scale series was completed for the Irrawaddy delta, and 1:5,000 and 1:10,000 scale maps of development areas have also been compiled, including 1:10,000 scale coverage of Yangon in 12 sheets, revised to 1995. Smaller scale series have also been compiled and the Myanmar Survey Department is also responsible for aeronautical charting of the country.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Myanmar (Burma) exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (10 sheets, complete coverage, published 1959-1973); 1:500,000 (28 sheets, complete coverage, published 1959-1987); 1:200,000 (136 sheets, complete coverage, published 1953-1987); 1:100,000 (331 sheets, eastern country coverage, published 1954-1989) and city (1:10,000 to 1:25,000) topographic mapping of Mandalay, Moulmein (Mawlamyine) and Yangon (Rangoon) published between 1977 and 1980. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
Hydrographic charting is carried out by the Naval Hydrographic Office established in 1957.
Earth science mapping of Myanmar is the responsibility of the Department of Geological Survey and Exploration (DGSE). The British Geological Survey (BGS) carried out some earth science mapping of the northern Shan states in the late 1970s, at scales of 1:100,000 and 1:125,000.
The most significant recent mapping advances in Myanmar have been in the field of resources mapping. The Department of Forestry received United Nations Development Program aid to establish a national forest survey between 1981 and 1993, which led to the compilation of about 100 1:50,000 scale forest land use maps, derived from interpretation of LANDSAT TM imagery. A more extensive program of forest resources mapping was also started, with 319 of 650 1:50,000 scale sheets completed. These results were generalized into the publication in 1991 of a 1:1,000,000 scale general forest map of the country. By 1996 a well-founded GIS laboratory was in place, and Japanese aid led to the establishment of digital 1:250,000 land cover mapping of the central parts of the country, derived from LANDSAT TM data.
Cadastral mapping of Myanmar (Burma) is the responsibility of the Settlement and Land Records Department in the Ministry of Agriculture. 75,000 sheets are maintained, at 16-inch scale for rural areas, and 64-inch for urban properties. Many of these maps were very outdated by 1996, but a project started in the mid-1990s to capture records for Yangon in a MapInfo-based land information system.
A useful small-scale general map of the country was published in 1990 by the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and tourist mapping of Myanmar is also published by Myanmar Travels and Tours (MTT), the official tourist agency, including city maps of Yangon and Mandalay and a general map of Myanmar. Commercially published tourist mapping is available in the Globetrotter series from New Holland, from Nelles Verlag and from Berndtson & Berndtson (B&B).
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