A bit of history

Since it was created in 1986 and even well before this date if we take into account the fact that IGN FI was previously IGN’s international department, IGN accompanies its clients in working on their geomatic projects. Its work philosophy and values have remained the same throughout the years: IGN FI’s work is part of long-term skills transfer projects set up for requesting countries


  • In 1940, the Army’s Geographical Unit, created in 1887, became the Institute of National Geography (IGN), a department of the Ministry for Public Works.
  • In 1967, IGN became a public administrative body of the State. Its main mission was to create and maintain the geographic reference databases required by the State.
  • IGN’s overseas work, as it was set out in decree 1402 dating from June 7th 1944 and confirmed in an order issued on February 19th 1947, was to perform “geodesic, topographic and mapping projects of general interest in the overseas territories governed by the Naval Secretary of State and French colonies and to manage all of its branches and local departments (named ‘Colonial Geographic Departments’) as well as temporary assignments sent from the metropolis.
  • Before the era of independence, IGN managed the local ‘branches’ and logistical bases in Hanoi (as well as Saigon and Dalat), Tananarive, Yaoundé, Brazzaville, Bamako, Niamey, Dakar, Abidjan, Bangui, Rabat and Alger.
  • Changes in the political context meant that a mapping project covering the entire Far East could not be finished, unlike the project for Africa, where IGN’s cartographic coverage constitutes a real heritage. Maps with comprehensive coverage were produced at a scale of 1:200,000 and others with significant coverage at 1:50,000.
  • IGN has maintained relations with each of these countries outside the context of their independence; continuing to work with them on projects to update information, free henceforth from their colonial legacy.
  • Originally a department within IGN, IGN FI was externalised in 1986.
  • IGN FI, part of the GEOFIT group since 2015, is the technical operator for IGN France in implementing its projects.



IGN FI proposes a range of in-company experts to its clients as well as calling on reference experts, each in their field of intervention. Experts in photogrammetry, geodetics and mapping as well as surveyors, analysts, developers, economists, experts in agronomy, geology and hydrology are all consulted according to the specific inherent requirements of each project issue.

IGN FI advocates providing independent technical solutions and takes into account each client’s technical, organizational and financial constraints. The methodology and solutions proposed are always developed in respect of the clients’ specific requests and with regard to the type of project to be undertaken.

IGN FI supports each of its clients from the planning stage of their projects up to its execution, all in strict respect of the commitments made and with the greatest confidentiality. The company is committed to working closely with its clients and uses its network of representatives in many countries to implement tailored, long-term solutions. IGN FI has been supporting the development of several partner countries for over 30 years.

IGN FI is currently working in several countries, with on-going projects and a vast network of private and institutional partners. These synergies enable the company to best reply to the requests made by clients and to find the most coherent technical solutions for each project challenge.

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