Topographic survey and mapping is the responsibility of the Topografische Dienst (TDN), Emmen, founded in 1815 and part of the Ministry of Defence. Originally called the Topografisch Bureau, it acquired its present name in 1931 when it was merged with its own lithographic press. Currently it produces mapping for both military and civilian purposes. Following a reorganization in 1993, TND has been moving towards a more commercial and user-sensitive operation.

Since 1932, topographic maps have been produced from vertical aerial photographs, and from these the basic scale mapping, a series of 675 mainly monochromatic 1:10,000 scale sheets was produced. In areas of coastal dunes, 2.5 m interval contours are added in brown. This series is still available in its paper format, and there is a parallel series of altitude maps, the Hoogtekaart van Nederland, which (with the exception of Zuid-Limburg) show a dense network of spot heights in black against a grey image of the standard 1:10,000 map. In Zuid-Limburg the series is in two colors, with 2.5 m interval contours in brown.

Digitizing of the 1:10,000 scale map was completed in 1997 to provide a core data set, called TOP10vector. This is available in a number of formats. A separate digital data set has been constructed for height data (the dense network of spot heights compiled from spirit levelling and photogrammetry, and previously shown in the paper 1:10,000 scale Hoogtekaart), and there is also a road center-line data set, TOP10wegen.

The other principal topographic series are at scales of 1:25,000 and 1:50,000.

The 1:25,000 scale map covers the country in 307 sheets, and is available in a full six-color version or a grey version with contours in brown and water in blue. Most sheets cover an area of land 10 km × 12.5 km in extent, although sheets at the coast or in border areas have modified sheet lines, and there has been some recent renumbering of sheets in the southwest of the country. Contours are at 2.5 m intervals, derived from the altitude map, the projection is stereo-graphic, Bessel ellipsoid, and there is a kilometric grid. Since 1987, the 1:25,000 scale sheets have been issued in a new edition with integral yellow covers and modified sheet lines. The series is also available in 14 bound provincial volumes published jointly with Wolters-Noordhoff. The 1:25,000 scale mapping has been captured as raster data at a resolution of 250 dpi and is available in TIFF format.

The 1:50,000 scale series comprises 101 sheets, and is also on a stereographic projection, Bessel ellipsoid. It is published in civil and military editions, the former having the national grid system and the latter the UTM grid. The map is in six colors, with a 2.5 m contour interval. A mainly monochrome version is also available. Sheets cover a 20 km x 25 km area of land. A special cyclists’ version of this map, prepared in cooperation with ANWB, is available in four-sheet sets with overprinted cycle routes. A 1:50,000 scale digital vector data set was created by generalization from the 1:10,000 vector data. This is called TOP50vector. A road center-line version is also available as TOP50wegen, and there is a scanned color raster version, T0P50raster, of the paper map series which is complete on four CD-ROMs.

A set of eight 1:100,000 scale sheets was produced by photo-reduction of 1:50,000 scale maps dating from the period 1970 to 1991. It is still available, but has not been revised. For motorists, there is a 1:250,000 scale Wegenkaart van Nederland, printed back-to-back and incorporating an index and a road distance table. This is also available in two single-sided sheets. Digital versions have been produced in both raster (TOP250raster) and vector (TOP250vector) formats.

Soviet military topographic mapping of the Netherlands exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published 1985-1990); 1:500,000 (4 sheets, complete coverage, published 1989-1995); 1:200,000 (18 sheets, complete coverage, published 1979-1989); 1:100,000 (51 sheets, complete coverage, published 1978-1991); 1:50,000 (57 sheets, partial coverage, published 1986-1990) and city (1:10,000 to 1:25,000) topographic mapping of 23 major cities from Amersfoort to Zwolle published between 1972 and 1991. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.

The International Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences (ITC) at Enschede was established in 1950 as a higher education institution concerned with geoinformation, earth resource surveys and urban problems, and with a focus on developing countries. Training is given to overseas students in surveying, remote sensing, cartography and GIS, and staff also undertake research and provide advisory services and technical assistance overseas. A number of printed maps have been published. ITC has also developed an Integrated Land and Water Information System (ILWIS) for use in education, research and production.

Nilsson & Lamm has published a digital atlas on CD-ROM. This uses scanned 1:25,000 and 1:250,000 scale maps from TDN and is searchable by place name, postcodes and street names. The raster maps were prepared by Bridgis B.V., a GIS software company who have also created an address coordinate database for the whole country ─ Adrescoördinaten Nederland (ACN) – comprising 6.5 million geocoded addresses. The geocoded addresses and postcode data form part of a Geografische Basis Register (GBR) produced cooperatively with CBS, the Rijks Planologische Dienst and the Dutch telecommunications industry’s PTT Post Media Service, which includes details of address locations down to house number level. PTT has published several postcode products in paper and digital form.

The Hydrographic Service of The Netherlands (Dienst der Hydrografie (DH)), The Hague, produces nautical charts, small craft charts and fisheries charts of waters adjacent to The Netherlands. Charts are also published for the coast and ports of Suriname, Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles. A number of international (INT) specification charts are also published.

Originally established in 1903, the National Geological Survey of The Netherlands (Rijks Geologische Dienst) was merged in 1997 with The Netherlands Institute of Applied Geoscience (TNO-GG). The name of this combined organization is Nederlands Instituut voor Toegepaste Geo-wetenschappenTNO (NITG-TNO). The new institute now serves as the central geoscience research establishment in The Netherlands, providing market-orientated information and advice on geological resources, and advising government on mineral production, geothermal energy, groundwater management and the use of geological structures for deep storage. The principal geological map series is at at 1:50,000 scale, and the current version has been in progress since 1964. Sheets are based on the topographic series, with some modification to sheet lines, and are issued with supplementary maps, profiles and detailed explanatory handbooks. Legends are in Dutch and English and the reports include English summaries. About one-third of the country has so far been covered. Special 1:50,000 scale sheets of South Limburg, Haarlem and Rotterdam have also been published, and a 1:250,000 scale geological map of Zeeland province was published in 1996. A 15-sheet 1:250.000 scale Atlas of the deep subsurface of The Netherlands is also in progress, and sheets are available separately in Dutch and English versions. A package of small-scale general maps of the country published in 1975 is still available.

The Geological Survey also undertakes mapping of marine deposits in The Netherlands sector of the North Sea, and 1:250,000 scale sheets of pre-quaternary, quaternary and Holocene geology have been published in cooperation with the British Geological Survey, as part of an extensive continental shelf series. A series of 1:100,000 scale geological, geomorphological and bathymetric sheets of the Dutch sector has also been started, with two sheets published so far in this planned 53-sheet series.

NITG-TNO is in process of computerizing its geological records, and 400,000 borehole records have been committed to a geological database (GDB). Software has been installed for the digitizing of geological maps.

The 1:50,000 scale geomorphological map is a joint product of the Soil Survey and the Geological Survey. An early series of 15 sheets was issued from 1960 to 1970, but the current series has been in progress since 1975. Sheets are in a double format (equal to two topographic sheets) and are in color, folded, with explanatory information on the sheet. About 24 sheets are available, and there is also a separately published explanation and legend for the whole series.

In 1990, SC-DLO compiled a land use database (LGN1) from 1986 satellite imagery, and this was updated in 1995 (LGN2), using LANDSAT TM and SPOT imagery from 1992 and 1994. This is a raster database with a pixel resolution of 25 m, and five main classes and 25 subclasses of land use are distinguished. A separate database stores the CORINE land use data which was interpreted visually from satellite images and mapped by manual methods. While LGN provides information on agricultural land use, CORINE is more ecologically focused. SC-DLO has also built a number of decision-support systems by combining digital environmental and topographic information in a GIS. These include WATRO for water systems, KIEN for ecological potential, and BOPAK for soil information. As an aid to protecting the visual character of the landscape a system for recording landscape openness, OPLAN, has also been developed.

Soil maps are published by the DLO Winand Staring Centrum (SC-DLO), Wageningen. This research center incorporates the former Soil Survey Institute (STIBOKA) as well as several other institutions, and is concerned with integrated land, soil and water research. Soil survey and research are carried out within the Division of Land Inventory and Land Evaluation. Wageningen is also the home of the International Soil Reference and Information Center (ISRIC).

The principal series of soil maps, in progress since 1964, is at 1:50,000 scale and covers the whole of The Netherlands in about 70 sheets, many of them groupings of the topographic sheet system. The maps are published as components of soil survey reports, each comprising a detailed memoir as well as one or more map sheets. The classification is that developed by Bakker and Schelling, and a separate legend booklet is available. All sheets have been digitized for use in the Staring Center’s GIS, which also includes soil profile data. The maps are available in both raster and vector format.

A more generalized soil map at 1:250.000 scale was published in 1985 together with a separate booklet describing the mapping units, ratings of land quality and suitability for farming and forestry. This map is also available in digital format. Following the publication of this map, a new 1:1,000,000 Generalized Soil Map of The Netherlands was issued. Numerous ad hoc surveys at scales larger than 1:50,000 have also been carried out.

Staatsbosbeheer (SBB), the Dutch Forestry Service, has a flourishing cartographic department, founded in 1899. Its current products include digitally generated Objectkaarten, detailed site management maps of each of the service’s holdings, which together total 180 000 ha. There is also a popular series of tourist maps, entitled Welcom bij de boswachter. These high quality colour maps provide detailed walking and cycling routes and other recreational information, and are published in association with Falkplan.

Uitgeverij HEBRI International, Landsmeer, specializes in the production of wall maps and atlases for the educational market. These are designed in cooperation with experts from Dutch universities. The wall maps are screen-printed and provided with wooden hangers. Products also include a set of double-sided provincial maps of The Netherlands, mainly at 1:100,000 scale, and maps of individual islands of the Dutch West Indies.

The first national atlas of The Netherlands was produced as a large loose-leaved volume with Dutch and English texts between 1961 and 1978. From 1984 to 1990 a second edition was published. This edition was issued as a series of 20 bound volumes, each with a different theme and with maps and other graphics closely integrated with the Dutch text. The atlas was produced under the auspices of the Stichting Wetenschappelijke Atlas van Nederland and published by the State Printing and Publishing House, formerly Staatsdrukkerij/Uitgeverij, now SDU Servicecentrum Uitgevers. In 1987, a committee was established for planning a third edition. Its recommendations, however, were for a National Atlas Information System (NAIS) for small-scale geographical data, which could be used to produce hard copy map output and also form the database for an electronic atlas.

Cadastral survey is the concern of the Dienst van het Kadaster en de Openbare Registers (Kadaster). Formerly a directorate within the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment, the Kadaster has been independent since 1994. The system of property registers and associated cadastral maps has been computerized, and in 2000, a complete digital cadastral map was available for the whole country in compliance with new national mapping standards. In parallel with this map is the production of a large-scale base map (Grootschalige Basiskaart Nederland ─ GBKN). This map is available at scales of 1:500, 1:1,000 or 1:2,000. The Kadaster is also concerned with land development projects in The Netherlands, and has an international consultancy which has worked on land reform in countries in Eastern Europe and South America.

Administrative boundaries are recorded on the TDN Gemeentenkaart 1:400,000, which is regularly updated. A vector database of these boundaries has also been captured at 1:10,000 scale and is available as TOPgrenzen in tiles corresponding to 1:50,000 scale sheet lines.

Place names have been captured from the 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scale maps and are available.

ANWB Koninklijke Nederlandse Toeristenbond (ANWB) is the Dutch motorists’ (originally a cyclists’) organization and publishes motoring and cycling maps of the country at scales of 1:200,000 (3 sheets) and 1:100,000 (now issued as a provincial series). It also publishes a series of recreational maps of the Dutch lakes and inland waterways, a world atlas, a CD-ROM route planning package of Europe incorporating 400,000 places and 2.7 million kilometres of roads, and, with Reader’s Digest, a comprehensive ‘book of the road’ (Het beste boek voor de Weg).

And Mapping B.V., a subsidiary of And International Publishers, is based at Rotterdam, and specializes in the acquisition of digital road map and transportation data, it has also compiled postcode data for 18 European countries, and flight data, the latter being incorporated in a flight planning package on CD-ROM. Since 1989, it has been constructing a vectorized European road database, initially at 1:750,000 scale, but with progressive updating and upgrading it now covers most countries at a scale resolution of 1:250,000. And Mapping has also cooperated with EGT in the production of their more detailed network database, discussed in our Europe section. The electronic publishing division of the company, has produced a number of CD-ROM route planners both for individual European countries and for Europe as a whole. Other map-related products include a world route planner, and walking, cycling and canal navigational guides to The Netherlands.

The Netherlands also has the head office of Tele Atlas B.V., an international company with offices in several European countries, which is a major producer of road network data for use in in-car navigation systems. This organization is discussed further in the European section.

There are numerous medium and small sized publishers of tourist maps and street maps of towns and cities in The Netherlands. CITO Plan Cartografie specializes in street maps and guides, Omnium produce the Smulders Kompas touristenkaart, a series of regional tourist maps, and Suurland-Falkplan publish a variety of tourist and city maps, and have a CD-ROM route planner, Easy Travel, the latest version of which was released in 1998. Robas specializes in the production of high quality satellite images and air photographs, and has published a SPOT-based satellite image atlas of the country with comparative mapping from ANWB, and, in conjuction with TDN, a series of provincial aerial photo atlases. Uitgeverij ‘t Nijvere Lezerke publishes rail network maps of the Benelux countries and of north Africa (the Mahgreb). Wolters-Noordhoff is a major publisher of educational maps and atlases, including the famous De grote bosatlas, and Malmberg, an educational publisher, published a satellite image map of the country in 1982 which is still available.

Numerous tourist and city street maps of The Netherlands are also published by major overseas commercial publishers, including Michelin, Kummerly + Frey (K+F), HarperCollins, RV, Hallwag and Berndtson and Berndtson (B&B).

Large-scale mapping is also carried out by the main municipalities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht, who are all developing their own urban topographic databases which can be linked to data on property, the utilities, demographics and other statistical data. The Province of Flevoland also has a Cartography and Graphic Design Section, which produces colourful large and small scale maps as well as providing spatial data for planning and environmental management purposes.

The Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS)), with offices at Voorburg and Heerlen, includes in its publications, maps of provincial boundaries, economic areas, COROP and nodal regions. There is also a place name index available in both paper and electronic format. There is now no general population census in The Netherlands, the last one having been held in 1971, although population data is acquired from municipal population registers.

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