The national mapping agency in Swaziland is the Surveyor General’s Department (SGDS) in Mbabane. The first Surveyor General was appointed in 1973 and the geodetic framework and map base in the country was established under British aid programs by the Directorate of Colonial Surveys and its successors (now Ordnance Survey International (OSI)). Swaziland is also covered in many maps produced by South African mapping organizations. The basic scale topographic map set up by DCS was the 1:50,000 Series 435 (Z771) which covered the country in 31 sheets, following the South African sheet lines and degree quadrangle-based numbering, but with extended sheets for some border areas. This was on the Transverse Mercator projection, but the specification has changed throughout the history of the map. First editions were monochrome planimetric surveys, DOS six-color editions in the 1970s showed relief with 50 ft contours, and the latest specification of the line map is a metric conversion with the South African survey grid overprinted, revised to 1992. The South African Chief Directorate of Surveys and Mapping (CDSM) has recently compiled a 37-sheet orthophotomap for SGDS, using 1989 aerial coverage, which employs the same standard sheet lines and numbering, but without the larger composite border sheets. This map too includes new metric contouring.
1:250,000 scale maps are available as a layer-colored edition with 125 m contours, derived from 1:50,000 scale mapping, as well as a false-color image map produced by DOS and the Regional Centre for Remote Sensing in Nairobi and using 1976 LANDSAT images. Full-color indexed street maps were issued in 1995 for Mbabane and Manzini.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Swaziland exists at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (1 sheet, complete coverage, published in 1985); 1:500,000 (2 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1983) and 1:200,000 (8 sheets, complete coverage, published in 1982). These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
Geological mapping of Swaziland has also been produced with British aid. The Geological Survey and Mines Department (GSMD) maintains 1:50,000 coverage on the same sheet lines as the topographic map. Sixteen sheets were revised to 1979-80, a further 13 sheets are printed with explanatory notes on the sheets, two maps are available without explanations. GSMD also publishes a 1:250,000 scale single-sheet map of Swaziland printed in full-color, and issues four 1:25,000 scale maps of northwestern areas of the country north from Mbabane. The Canadian International Development Agency has assisted in the publication of a 1:250,000 scale groundwater resources map.
Resources mapping of Swaziland was prepared in the 1960s by G.Murdoch for the Land Use Planning Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, and two-sheet 1:125 000 scale coverage shows either soil or land use capability.
A useful black and white thematic atlas of the country was published by the Swaziland National Trust Commission in 1983.
SGDS published a 1:5,000 scale orthophoto series between 1972 and 1982, which used the East African Belt grid sheet lines. This covers Swaziland in 2,800 2.5 km by 2.5 km sheets published as dyeline copies and showing cadastral boundaries. Contouring of this map is progressing, with about 2,400 sheets completed by 1996. Larger-scale topo-cadastral township mapping is also published, with 80 line maps at 1:2,500 scale covering many urban areas and available as dyelines These use a very detailed specification including 5 m contours. It is planned to revise and simplify this specification. A digital production flow line has been started for this series, existing maps are being digitized on revision and a digital cadastral database was completed in 1996.
The Swan Publishing Company produces town maps of Manzini and Mbabane.