The island nation of the Solomon Islands, located to the east of Papua New Guinea relies upon a map base established by British agencies. The British Directorate of Overseas Surveys (now Ordnance Survey International (OSI)) compiled the first modern topographic mapping in the period 1967-76. This 1:50,000 scale map was derived from aerial coverage and published in four-colors on the UTM projection, International ellipsoid, with a UTM grid. Sheets used a 40 m contour interval. After independence in 1978 the Survey and Mapping Division took over responsibility for topographic, cadastral surveying and map publication. Mapping is now the responsibility of the Lands and Surveys Division (SILSD) in the Ministry of Lands and Housing. Three new sheets in the 1:50,000 scale map were issued in 1981 in association with the Royal Australian Survey Corps and SILSD has extended coverage onto Rennell Island, including the publication of 1:25,000 scale mapping. A recent program is also using Australian aid to update the 1:50,000 scale topographic base, with new mapping derived from updated aerial coverage, and prepared on an Intergraph-based digital production flowline. The first revised sheets appeared in 1996 and it is planned to revise the whole series. A derived map at 1:150,000 scale with layer-colored relief was issued in conjunction with DOS prior to independence. Larger-scale mapping of developed and urban areas is also being carried out. This includes 1:10,000 scale mapping and 1:2,500 scale coverage of main settlements. Names from the 1:150,000 scale map are included in a gazetteer of place-names and SILSD also publishes smaller-scale maps of the group.
Soviet military topographic mapping of the Solomon Islands exists at the following scale: 1:1,000,000 (7 sheets, complete coverage, published 1973-1974). This product is available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
The Solomon Islands Hydrographic Unit attached to SILSD is the official hydrographic authority for the islands and carries out some local charting, though British charting from the Hydrographic Office (HO) continues to support navigation around the Solomon Islands.
The geological mapping of the Solomon Islands was compiled by a British project, established in cooperation between the British Geological Survey (BGS) and DOS. After independence, the national earth science mapping agency became the Solomon Islands Geological Survey, (now the Geological Survey (SIGS)) in the Ministry of Natural Resources. Again, most mapping was produced as a result of overseas technical aid programs in the 1960s and 1970s. A full-color 1:50,000 scale series is in progress: sheets are numbered within each island group, with a single explanation published for each group of maps. Recent coverage has been published in larger sheets for the New Georgia and Santa Isabel groups, the latter as monochrome 1:100,000 scale maps. Derived mapping of island groups is in progress, with scales varying according to the size of islands. Single-sheet geological and mineral mapping is also issued.
Resource mapping of the group was compiled in the early 1970s by DOS for the British Land Resources Development Center (now National Resources Institute (NRI)). Maps were published with hand resource study 18 to cover physiographic regions, catchment areas, soil sample sites, soil associations, land systems and regions, land use, agricultural opportunity areas and forest types. Each island was mapped at 1:250,000 and 1:150,000 scale with a text volume accompanying the maps. General 1:1,000,000 scale mapping of the group was also issued to show geology, land forms, population distribution and agricultural opportunity areas. A soil survey of the islands at 1:1,000,000 scale was compiled as part of the same surveys. A recent digital inventory of the resource base has also been carried out, in a GIS project funded through the Australian aid program. This has captured the best available sources of environmental data across a dozen themes and is maintained by the Forestry Division of the Ministry of Forests, Environment and Conservation.
A general commercially published map of the Solomon Islands is issued by Australian publisher Hema.