Eastern Desert and Nile Valley Topographic Mapping Project

Egyptian Survey Authority (ESA), Orman, Giza, Egypt
Department for International Development Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (FINNIDA)

Production of basic topographic maps for 250 000 km2 area including:

  • Establishment of ground control network by GPS-survey
  • Aerial photography at scale 1:80 000 by using jet aircraft
  • Aerial triangulation and computations
  • Stereoscopic map compilation
  • Field verification and names collection
  • Fair drawing of 368 map sheets in scale 1:50 000
  • Digitising 1:50 000 map sheets by scanning and vectorising method
  • Compilation of 13 map sheets in scale 1:250 000 from digitised data
  • 5-color printing the 368+13 map sheets
  • Pilot project for stereoscopic digital mapping
  • Strengthening of mapping capabilities and training of personnel of ESA
  • Improving of map sales and map distribution services of ESA

The Eastern Desert and Nile Valley Topographic Mapping Project was carried out with FINNMAP providing Technical Assistance and special services for the project. All production was carried out in Egypt in cooperation with the Egyptian Survey Authority (ESA) and part of the work was subcontracted to local private mapping and surveying companies. FINNMAP trained ESA’s personnel by means of on-the-job training and supervised all production at both ESA and private companies through the whole project.

The project included all work phases of topographic mapping from aerial photography to final map printing. A jet aircraft was used for aerial photography. Ground control network was established by using at that time newly introduced GPS technique. Stereoscopic mapping and cartographic works were done at ESA and partly at private companies. Field verification and names collection was carried out for the entire 250 000 km2 area and during that work phase many of the antiquities sites were visited by our surveyors. ESA’s map printing office was renovated and five-colour map printing was carried out there.

The Second Phase of the project focused on strengthening the achievements of Phase I. It also included designing and producing a new 1:250 000 topographic map series for Egypt. 1:250 000 maps were produced through digitising 1:50 000 maps and generalising them to 1:250 000 scale.

During the project more than one quarter of Egypt’s ground was covered with new topographic maps at scales 1:50 000 and 1:250 000 and ESA’s map production capability improved a lot. During the 10 year project FINNMAP gained valuable experience of surveying and mapping work in Egypt and learned to know major part of Egyptian land, its people and its bureaucracy very well.