The national mapping agency in the Sudan is the Sudan Survey Department (SSD) which was originally established in 1899 under the Anglo-Egyptian Corps of Engineers. It is now responsible for topographic, geodetic and cadastral surveying and for the publication of official mapping. Series are published at 1:250,000 and 1:100,000 scales. The 1:250,000 map is complete in 171 sheets, with 50 m or 100 ft contours. It uses a modified polyconic projection and dates from pre-war surveys, with railways and boundaries updated to 1975-76. Sheets mostly remain very outdated and are published as one-, two- or four-color editions.
1:100,000 scale coverage although less complete is much more modern, and has been compiled using photogrammetric techniques and based upon half-degree sheet lines with consecutive sheet numbering and the Transverse Mercator projection, Clarke 1880 ellipsoid. SSD has used a number of aid donors to advance this series, whose specifications have varied over time. After independence in 1956 American aid was used to begin full-color but uncontoured 1:100,000 scale coverage. From 1970 a United Nations Development Program project began to map the Nile Valley and Red Sea coastal areas with maps showing relief with 10 m or 20 m contour intervals and using the UTM grid. Collaboration with the British Directorate of Overseas Surveys (DOS) (now Ordnance Survey International (OSI)) led to the mapping of large blocks of the country in the Red Sea hills, the Jebel Marra area, the Nuba Hills and around Khartoum. 40 m contours were used in this mapping which includes English and Arabic script. Complete coverage would require 920 sheets and only about a quarter of the country (mainly the central and northeastern areas) has yet been mapped at this scale. Other modern photogrammetric mapping has also been prepared, contoured 1:50,000 scale coverage was prepared with British aid for the Khartoum area and the Red Sea coast in projects throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Uncontoured dyeline 1:50,000 scale mapping of the Juba area was prepared in the mid-1980s in conjunction with the UN High Commission for Refugees, as an emergency response to the famine and drought in these areas.
Since 1987 a German aid project, funded through the SFB 69 program and organized from the Technische Fachhochschule Berlin, has been using image analysis to update topographic coverage. Topographic information has been merged with a LANDSAT image map to produce 50 geometrically corrected image-supported topographic maps of the Northern Kordofen area to the west of Khartoum. These are published on 1:250,000 or 1:100,000 sheet lines. Pilot multi-thematic coverage has been compiled in association with Sudanese agencies for the Jebel Marra and Khartoum areas and a new image map of Khartoum has been issued.
Other smaller scales produced by SSD include coverage at 1:1,000,000; 1:2,000,000; 1:4,000,000 and 1:8,000,000. These smaller scales are used as bases for a number of different themes including maps published in the national atlas which was compiled in the late 1980s in collaboration with British agencies.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Sudan exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (18 sheets, complete coverage, published 1982-1991); 1:500,000 (46 sheets, complete coverage, published 1979-1989); 1:200,000 (293 sheets, complete coverage, 1977-1986); 1:100,000 (342 sheets, primarily eastern country coverage, published 1977-1984) and city (1:100,000) topographic maps of Khartoum and Port Sudan published between 1974 and 1980. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
Geological mapping of the country is published by the Geological Research Authority of the Sudan (GRAS) (formerly Geological Survey Department). Amongst its programs are a number of smaller scale themes and complete coverage of the country in a full-color 16 sheet geological series. Larger scale local mapping is available for some areas of the country. The Freie Universität Berlin has also published a number of LANDSAT-based geological sheets of parts of the north and west of the country.
Soil surveying in Sudan is carried out by the Soil Survey Administration in Wad Medani. Amongst their maps are a number of 1:250,000 scale land systems and soil sheets derived from image analysis and published with the assistance of Hunting Technical Services under British aid programs in the mid-1980s, or with German assistance in the SFB 69 program described above.
A map in the Arab world map library series from GEO-projects provides the best small-scale tourist coverage of Sudan.