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The International Map of the World
(called the Millionth Map
after its scale of 1:1000000) was a project begun in 1913 to create a complete map of the world according to internationally agreed standards. Roads were depicted in red, towns and railways were depicted in black, and the labels were written in the Roman alphabet.
The Central Bureau of the Map of the World was established at the Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey , an executive agency and non-ministerial government department of the Government of the United Kingdom, is the national mapping agency for Great Britain, producing maps of Great Britain , and one of the world's largest producers of maps.The name reflects its creation together with...
in London. After the Second World War the UN took over the project, and interest waned. Only 800 to 1,000 of 2,500 planned maps were completed.
Map Indexing System
A system was developed for dividing the globe into sections spanning six degrees of longitude by four degrees latitude. Longitudinal slices are numbered 1 (180-174°West) through 60 (174-180°East). Latitudinal slices are named NA (0-4°North) through NV (84-88°North) and SA (0-4°South) through SV (84-88°South). For example
- Map NJ-10 covers 36-40°N, 120-126°W including San Francisco at 37°47′N 122°25′W.
- SG-35 covers 24-28°S, 24-30°E including Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...
at 26°12′S 28°03′E.
- NL-49 (below, right) covers 44-48N, 48-54E including Astrakhan
Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of below the sea level. Population:...
at 46°19′N 48°2′E.
- NI-54 covers 32-36°N, 138-144°E including Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...
at 35°42′N 139°43′E.
Due to shortening of longitudinal distances with increasing latitude, longitudinal span beyond 60 degrees latitude doubles to twelve degrees. Beyond 76 degrees it doubles again to 24 degrees.
This indexing system outlived the international project and is still used in national and international mapping programs by Australia, Russia, and the United States.
International Map of the World, Canadian Sector, 1956 to 1987