Official mapping of Vietnam is carried out by divisions of the General Directorate of Land Administration (Tong Cuc Dia Chin (TCDC)) in Hanoi. In 1997 the Cartographic Mapping Institute, the Cartographic Publishing House and the Department of Land Administration Printing Enterprise merged to form a single mapping body responsible for the publication of all official mapping of the country and designated as the Cartographic Publishing House.
The history of official mapping of Vietnam can be traced back to the foundation of a mapping office in 1899 in Hanoi by the French. Topographic surveying under French colonial authorities included a program of 1:100,000 scale coverage, based upon the Bonne projection, Clarke 1880 ellipsoid, as well as larger scale coverage of some areas. 1:100,000 coverage of most of Indochina was revised in the early 1950s using aerial photography.
For the 20 year period from 1955 to 1975 Vietnam was divided. Mapping of South Vietnam was carried out from the Dalat headquarters of the National Geographic Directorate, with aid from the American Army Map Service. Re-triangulation and photogrammetric interpretation of aerial photography allowed the production of a new 1:50,000 scale series, using the UTM projection, Everest ellipsoid, and employing a 15′ x 15′ sheet format, which was completed in 1967. During the American Vietnam War picto- and orthophoto-mapping at larger scales was carried out for many areas of the country. A 1:250,000 scale series was also completed and revised, with 16 sheets for each 1:1,000,000 IMW quadrangle. Meanwhile North Vietnam was mapped according to Russian specifications by the National Administration of Geodesy and Cartography, with maps using the Gauss Conformal transverse cylindrical projection, Krassovsky ellipsoid, and published for the whole of North Vietnam at scales of 1:50,000, 1:100,000, 1:200,000, 1:500,000 and 1:1,000,000.
Sheets have been revised using satellite imagery, with few changes to specifications, American style mapping continues to be published for southern areas of the country. A total of 588 1:50,000 scale maps are needed to cover the whole of the unified Vietnam, 1:100,000 coverage needs 164 sheets and 1:250,000 scale mapping requires 40 sheets.
Soviet military topographic mapping of Vietnam is available at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (9 sheets, complete coverage, published 1965-1985); 1:500,000 (18 sheets, complete coverage, published 1965-1992); 1:200,000 (89 sheets, complete coverage, published 1965-1983); 1:100,000 (265 sheets, complete coverage, published 1978-1991) and city (1:10,000) topographic mapping of Da Nang, Haiphong, Hanoi, Hue and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) published between 1976 and 1982. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector GIS formats from East View Geospatial.
Earth science mapping of Vietnam is carried out by the Geological Survey in Hanoi, now Cuc Dia Chat Vietnam (CDCV), formerly the General Department of Mines and Geology (GDMG). A 1:200,000 scale map is produced and English language 1:500,000 scale coverage is complete in 23 sheets, including three legend sheets and a sheet index ─ coverage extends to islands in the South China Sea. Three different versions of these sets are published to show geology, hydrogeology, and mineral resources. Many other smaller-scale themes are also published.
The Ministry of Agriculture (Bo Nong Nghiep (BNN)) has published soils maps of the country.
CDCV compiled 1:500,000 scale Vietnamese-language soil mapping of the North in the 1970s, and has compiled agro-ecological and soil mapping of the Mekong Delta at 1:250,000 scale, published in the 1990s as bilingual maps, with Vietnamese sheet explanations.
In addition, new larger scale photogrammetric series have been started, with 1:5,000 scale coverage for agricultural areas, 1:10,000 for plateaus and 1:25,000 for development areas in mountains. Numerous smaller scale maps are also produced by TCDC, often in bilingual English and Vietnamese versions. Administrative mapping of the country is published as a set of sheets for the 52 provinces, where scales vary and each province appears at a similar size.
The first national atlas of the country was published in 1996 and included 1:2,500,000 scale mapping of many themes as well as smaller scale coverage.
With the opening of Vietnam to tourism and the global economy has come an increasing diversity of commercially published mapping of the country. General maps are now available from Berndtson & Berndtson (B&B), International Travel Maps (ITM) and Periplus, and a tourist atlas from Lonely Planet. The country is also mapped on coverage of Indo China from Institut Géographique National (IGN), Nelles Verlag, and Cartographia. ITM also recently published the best widely available town mapping of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, in conjunction with the Cartographic Mapping Institute.