The Zambian national mapping agency the Survey Department (ZS) is responsible for national topographic mapping and for cadastral survey. It also publishes small scale thematic coverage of the country and compiles large scale township maps and street plans. All maps are on a Transverse Mercator projection, Clarke 1880 ellipsoid.

The basic scale map for the country is the 1:50,000 scale ZS 51 series. This map was started after World War II by the British Directorate of Colonial Surveys (later Directorate of Overseas Survey (DOS) and now Ordnance Survey International (OSI)). Early sheets had 25 ft or 50 ft contour intervals or in some areas were issued as preliminary plots with no relief data. DOS continued to provide aid for the production of new maps in this series throughout the 1970s and some current sheets still carry the series designation DOS 424 (Z741). Since 1970 five-color metric editions have been published by ZS with 20 m contours and the UTM grid. Details are revised from the latest available aerial photography, which has often been provided in overseas aid projects, for example delivered through the Japanese agency JICA, or the Swedish Swedesurvey. Specification changes include a move to process colors in the early 1980s. This series covers most of the country, with the exception of sparsely populated areas of South Western province. A 1:100,000 scale program designated ZS 41 is in progress, initiated in 1980 and nearing completion. A 1:250,000 scale map ZS 31 covers the country in 53 sheets. The current specification is for 50 m contours and a UTM grid, and most sheets cover one and a half degrees longitude by one degree latitude.

Other smaller scale national mapping includes 1:750,000 scale relief or land use coverage in four sheets, as well as sheets conforming to ICAO specifications in a 1:1,000,000 scale aeronautical series, which is also available in a topographic edition without the aeronautical overprint. At 1:1,500,000 scale ZS publishes a single sheet map, which is used as a base for 10 different thematic maps. Most date from the 1980s; the double-sided tourist map was issued in a new edition in 1994.

Soviet military topographic mapping of Zambia is available at the following scales: 1:1,000,000 (8 sheets, complete coverage, published 1977-1985); 1:500,000 (22 sheets, complete coverage, published 1978-1985); 1:200,000 (134 sheets, complete coverage, published 1979-1984) and city (1:10,000 to 1:25,000) topographic maps of Lusaka and Ndola published in 1979. These products are available in print, digital raster and digital vector from East View Geospatial.

Geological mapping of Zambia is the responsibility of the Geological Survey Department (ZGS). 1:100 000 scale quarter-degree mapping was initiated in 1960, each sheet covers the area of four 1:50 000 scale topographic maps, and over 30 sheets were published by the mid-1970s. These are still available as separate sheets or with accompanying reports, but almost no new mapping has been carried out. Coverage is best around the Copperbelt and Lusaka. A projected national full-colour 1:250 000 scale geological map was started with British aid and issued for five quadrangles in 1986. No further progress has been made in this map. Smaller scale earth science mapping from ZGS includes 1:500 000 scale coverage of mining licence areas and 1:1 000 000 scale full-colour geological mapping of the country.

Soils mapping of Zambia started with the establishment of the Soil Survey Unit of the Department of Agriculture in 1969. Its output includes local mapping published with accompanying Soil Survey reports, but has also included explanatory mapping at a district level. Regional coverage includes 1:500,000 scale mapping of the northwest region, derived from LANDSAT imagery and compiled in 1984 with aid from the Regional Centre for Remote Sensing in Nairobi. A program of quarter-degree 1:100,000 scale mapping was also started and a full-color national 1:3,000,000 scale soil map was prepared for the national atlas. Other thematic mapping from ZS includes a 1:500,000 scale vegetation map compiled with German support to give nine-sheet coverage of the country in conjunction with the Zambian Forest Department. Seventeen different vegetation types are described. The national atlas is also produced by ZS, and originally consisted of 1:2,500,000 scale thematic coverage. Since the mid-1980s new mapping is being released at 1:3,000,000 scale and is gradually replacing older editions.

Larger scale programs cover townships and other areas of the country. A national urban program at 1:5,000 scale provides contoured coverage and maps are also published at 1:1,000; 1:2,500 or 1:6,000 scales. All of the major settled areas are covered. In addition an indexed series of four-color town maps at scales between 1:10,000 and 1:20,000 is available for the main cities. Tourist mapping includes coverage of six national parks, the scales varying according to the size of the park, published in association with the Zambia National Tourist Board.

General small scale maps of Zambia were recently published by Macmillan and by International Travel Maps (ITM), Vancouver, whilst Directory Publishers of Zambia recently issued a street map of Lusaka.

The Locational and Spatial Research Program in the National Council for Scientific Research (NCSR) collaborates with ZS in the production of demographic, social and economic mapping conforming with the style of the national atlas. NCSR has been involved in mapping projects associated with disease distribution, and urban land use in Lusaka. 1:20,000 scale land use mapping has been compiled for major cities and derived from orthophoto coverage. Demographic mapping has also been carried out to map the results of population censuses. The Atlas of the population of Zambia has been updated using data from the 1980 census, but only a limited update of the earlier atlas has so far been published. The Central Statistical Office maintains demographic data and carries out pre-census mapping of Zambia at enumeration district level.

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