The National Mapping and Resource Information Agency (NAMRIA) was created in 1987 as a unified national mapping and resource agency for the Philippines, following the merger of the National Cartography Authority, the Bureau of Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Natural Resources Management Center and the Land Classification Division of the Bureau of Forest Development. It carries out aerial photographic, topographic, resources, hydrographic, oceanographic and geodetic surveys and publishes maps and charts of the Philippines. The Armed Forces Philippines Mapping Center carries out military surveying and mapping in cooperation with NAMRIA.

Modern mapping of the Philippines was started under American colonial rule in the first decade of the twentieth century when a geodetic network for the islands was established. Current topographic series are all photogrammetric and were started after the second world war. The national basic scale map is a 972-sheet 1:50,000 scale series on the Universal Transverse Mercator projection, Clarke 1866 ellipsoid, sheets covering 10 x 15 minute quadrangles. This five-color map was originally compiled from aerial photographs by the US Army Map Service and published as five series, for the five main island groups. It was completed in the early 1970s and shows relief with 20 m contours. It is being replaced by new mapping, recast onto larger, quarter-degree sheets, which will result in a 641-sheet series. Revision of the 1:50,000 scale map base has used 1:25,000 photogrammetric data and increasingly has incorporated data from SPOT panchromatic satellite images. The Swedish Space Corporation prepared the first of this mapping in 1992 for the islands of Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor, using satellite orthophoto maps as an interim product. Production of line maps is migrating to a digital flowline: ARC/INFO export files of layered digital data are becoming available as and when map sheets are revised. The island of Luzon is also covered by a 1:50,000 scale series prepared from 1979 aerial coverage in conjunction with the US Defense Mapping Agency. A 1:250,000 scale topographic map covers the islands in 55 sheets and is derived from the national 1:50,000 scale map. This series was also established by the Americans and completed in the 1970s, shows relief with 100 m contours and hill shading, and is currently being updated with improved symbolization.

NAMRIA is also compiling larger scale mapping of urban growth areas, compiled from aerial coverage. These surveys have been published in conjunction with German and Japanese aid projects. The Cagayan Valley was mapped in 72 1:25,000 scale sheets, with a further 19 1:10,000 scale orthophoto maps of urban areas. The area around Manila was mapped in the 1980s in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency using 1:32,000 scale aerial coverage. Several parallel map series were issued as a result of this work: 57 planimetric two-color maps and five-color 1:10,000 scale topographic sheets, with a 2 m contour interval; 33 seven-color land use maps; and a 12-color land condition series in 16 sheets have been published. Cebu City was mapped at 1:5,000 scale from 1988 aerial coverage in conjunction with the German Agency for Technical Cooperation, who also assisted in the compilation of 1:10,000 scale mapping of the Ilocos North region. Digital large scale coverage derived from 1:10,000 and 1:5,000 scale programs is published for 10 different urban centers.

Soviet military topographic mapping of the Philippines exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (11 sheets, complete coverage, published 1953-1987); 1:500,000 (26 sheets, complete coverage, published 1964-1985); 1:200,000 (125 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1982) and city (1:10,000) topographic mapping of Cebu, Manila and Zamboanga City published between 1978 and 1981. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.

NAMRIA’s hydrographic responsibilities include the publication and updating of a range of about 180 nautical charts of Philippine coastal waters. These increasingly conform to IHO specifications.

Geological mapping of the Philippines has been carried out by the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences (BMG). In the 1970s a number of full color map series were compiled. Complete cover is still available in an eight-sheet 1:1,000,000 scale map with IMW sheetlines. Provincial mapping at 1:250,000 scale was issued to accompany reports of geological investigations monographs. Since 1981 1:50,000 scale geological mapping has been in progress, and by 1999 about 150 1:50,000 scale topographic quadrangle areas had been mapped.

Resource mapping of the Philippines is carried out by divisions of the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM). An ARC/INFO database relating to soil and land management was completed in 1995 for Luzon, and 12 atlas volumes have been published including output from the resource database. Other soil mapping is also compiled conforming to USDA soil classification standards. Pedro B. Ayuda and Co. published the most useful small scale thematic overview of the islands in 1994, in the large format two-volume Regional natural resources atlas, which includes 1:500,000 and 1:2,500,000 scale mapping for several environmental themes. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Manila has compiled small-scale agricultural mapping of South and Southeast Asia since its establishment in 1960.

NAMRIA published a 1:250,000 scale monochrome land cover map derived from 1987 SPOT imagery and using the topographic series as a base. This 43-sheet series was funded through the World Bank and Swedish Space Corporation. Marine sheets from the topographic map are not covered in this thematic series, which uses the same sheet lines as topographic mapping. Digital data has been produced as a side product from this mapping and is available as ARC/INFO or DXF format files, and a generalized color map of the Philippines at 1:2,000,000 scale was also produced. Land use and forest-type mapping was compiled in 1994, by digital classification of LANDSAT TM imagery, in a project commissioned by the Japan Forest Technical Association. User-defined mapping is available for 29 different provinces.

Cadastral mapping of the Philippines is the responsibility of the Bureau of Lands while census mapping is the responsibility of the National Statistical Office. Pre-census mapping of enumeration districts is output from an ATLAS-based GIS, and results of the censuses are issued as atlases of thematic maps and as an interactive electronic atlas product, the 1997 Family Income and Expenditures Survey Public Use Files (PUF) CD-ROM. Official mapping of the Philippines road network is carried out by the Development Planning Division of the Department of Public Works and Highways, including a 78-sheet provincial series as well as a 1:1,000,000 scale general network map.

Administrative mapping of the Philippines is also published by NAMRIA. Seventeen regional maps are issued, on regional sheet lines, and a series of 76 provincial maps with scales between 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 is maintained. This provincial map is also available as ARC/INFO export files, national data captured from the 1:1,600,000 scale map are also available in digital form with regional and provincial boundaries.

The most significant commercial map publisher is Philippine Guides Inc. which has published maps for the leisure, business and tourist markets since the 1970s. These include a regularly revised atlas of Metro Manila, coverage of over 50 other urban centers, as well as road maps and atlases. In 1996 it was planning to compile a national atlas of the Philippines, incorporating 250 maps and associated textual descriptions. Other commercial mapping is carried out by Maphouse Marketing, including a wide range of regularly revised provincial and city maps. The Publication and Circulation Department of the Department of Tourism issues maps for the tourist market. A number of overseas commercial publishers also issue general tourist and road maps of the Philippines. These include the National Geographic Society (NGS), Karto+Grafik, Nelles Verlag, and RV.

Copyright © 2014 De Gruyter for e-version of World Mapping Today, 2nd Edition | Copyright © 2019 East View Geospatial, Inc.

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