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Maps are used in Hong Kong for public administration, town planning, housing, land development as well as leisure purposes by the Government, utility companies, developers and the general public. The Survey and Mapping Office (SMO) of the Lands Department is committed to the provision of accurate and up-to-date maps in a wide selection of topics and scales to support the rapid and intensive development of Hong Kong. Guidebooks and thematic maps of special interests are also produced to meet the requirements of different

sectors. Today, the production been computerised in the SMO.

of all series of maps has Digital maps are proving

increasingly important web map services on tourists from abroad

to support daily life. Through the the Internet, both the locals and can have convenient access to

information on Hong Kong’s geography, natural environment and public facilities.



1:1 000 Basic Mapping: Early mapping of urban Hong Kong and Kowloon was at 1:600 scale, and showed no height or contour information. In the early 1950s, the New Territories areas were mapped at a scale of 1:1 200 with the intention to replace the old Demarcation District sheets surveyed in the early 1900s. The mapping evolved as a predominantly planimetric record, eventually supplementing rather than replacing the sheets.

A mapping contract for the whole territory by aerial






commenced in 1962 and completed in 1971. It provided mapping at 1:600 scale, with five-foot contours, covering the then Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Kowloon. All but the hilly areas and outlying islands of the New Territories were covered at 1:1 200 scale, with 10-foot contours. Following the adoption of a metrication policy in the early 1970s, the SMO converted some 3 000 sheets to the metric scale of 1:1 000, with metric contours and spot levels. For the previously unmapped hilly areas and

remote islands, programme to photogrammetric

the SMO embarked on a mapping survey these unmapped areas by method. It was started in 1994 and






1:1 000




covering the entire territory of Hong both on paper and in digital form.




Revision: Updating of maps is carried out continuously, priority being given to the revision of maps located in the areas of greater activity and rapid development. A survey intelligence system has been set up to collect information on proposed construction projects and building works and to record their anticipated completion dates. With this information, a revision programme is planned to survey the major changes on ground within a short period after their completion.

Topographic Maps: While 1:1 000 maps produced by the SMO are essential for planning and land administration,

smaller scale topographic maps are also required by government departments and the public for various purposes. Medium and small-scale topographic maps are derived from the large-scale maps by means of map compilation through photographic or digital reduction. Symbolisation and generalisation of map details are carried out to enhance legibility due to the scale change.

The 1:5 000 topographic map series has been produced since mid-1970. It started with the urban districts and then extended to the New Territories. In 1996, the 1:5 000 scale map was converted to digital form.

The first bilingual topographic map of Hong Kong published by the SMO is the 1:50 000 map. The 1:50 000 map comprises two sheets printed on both sides with hill shading and layer tinting. A joined version in one single sheet ideal for use as a wall map is also available.

The bilingual 1:100 000 scale map series showing Hong Kong on one sheet features elevation tints and hill shading. Another single sheet map at 1:200 000 scale which shows more generalised views of the topography of the territory is also available.

Hong Kong 1980 (HK1980) Grid is shown on most topographic maps. The HK1980 Grid is based on the Hong Kong 1980 Geodetic Datum. On 1:20 000 maps and other maps of smaller scale, the geodetic co-ordinates (latitude and longitude) and the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid are also shown. The latitude, longitude and the UTM Grid are based on the World Geodetic System 1984. A booklet "Explanatory Notes on Geodetic Datum in Hong Kong" published by the SMO describes the map projection formulae and datum conversion parameters. It can be downloaded free of charge from the SMO Geodetic Survey webpage at: http://www.geodetic.gov.hk/smo/gsi/programs/en/grid.htm. Map users can use the information in the booklet to convert the positional reference of a point from one datum to another datum. In addition, the web-based transformation tools in the website can provide instant conversion between different geodetic datums.

Special Maps: Since its first publication in 1988, the Hong Kong Guide has continued to be one of the best sellers among various map products. The Hong Kong Guide 2014, about the size of A4, was published in early 2014. This guidebook contains a wealth of information that most users will find useful.

After the first map of the popular countryside series was published in 1971, the demand for this type of maps has been strong and steady. There are five sheets in this series, each showing detailed information of leisure amenities and footpaths. Besides, to make the maps more durable for outdoor activities, this series of maps is printed on waterproof paper.

A special series of street maps at 1:10 000 scale (SM10C) covering the whole of Hong Kong has been

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