Upgrading of the national map and modernisation of the National geographic institute, MALI

The update of base maps in Mali had not been carried out since serval decades and the Geographic Institute of Mali (IGM), due to a lack of technical means, was no longer able to fully ensure its sovereign missions of production, dissemination and conservation of a reference map. The project to update the 1:200,000 scale topographic map as well as modernize
the mapping institute was created from these needs.

The project’s aim was to produce a database and a new topographic map of the whole country at a scale of 1:200,000, to provide a homogenous and a coherent cartographic reference available for various sectors (transport, infrastructure, forests, mines, statistics, agriculture, energy, tourism, Offce du Niger…) which could be used as a platform for exchanges and integration of data and information coming from these sector.

Objectives and deliverables

  • Obtain structured data: the topographic data are organised into an object model database that enables them to be used as a GIS and information about this data (metadata) is now available
  • Possess a new series of 1:200,000 topographic maps for the whole country
  • Possess a set of map-derived digital products and services: a geoportal and a geocatalogue enabling the diffusion of the data produced by the project
  • Possess a modern geographic institute equipped with high-performance tools and trained personnel


  • National vector database at a scale of 1:200,000
  • Vector land cover layer over Mali as per a nomenclature specifically adapted for use in Mali.
  • New cartography at a scale of 1:200,000 covering the whole Mali (line-maps or spacemaps according to areas)
  • Derived digital products and services: vector database at a scale of 1:1,000,000, raster database, geocalog and basic geoportal

Key figures

  • 1.24 million sq.km covered by SPOT 6 imagery and mapped
  • 15 experts providing more than 1,500 days of technical assistance
  • 9 IGM managers trained in France with 2 doing a master for a period of one year
  • 118 maps reworked at a scale of 1:200,000
  • 68 line maps produced
  • 50 space maps (covering northern Mali)
  • A database organised into 7 main themes and 19 layers
  • Over 40,000 toponyms checked, standardised and georeferenced
  • A land occupation database covering 60% of the country
  • 28 city maps at scales ranging from 1:5,000 to 1:20,000 for the chief towns of the country’s regions and circles

2012 / 2016

Topographic map, Orthoimage, Base map, Reference Map, Database, Geoportal, Training, Capacity building, Technical assistance