Army Map Service

The Army Map Service (AMS) was the military cartographic agency of the United States Department of Defense from 1941 to 1968, subordinated to the United States Army Corps of Engineers. On September 1, 1968, the AMS was redesignated the U.S. Army Topographic Command (USATC) and continued as an independent organization until January 1, 1972, when it was merged into the new Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) and redesignated as the DMA Topographic Center (DMATC). On October 1, 1996, DMA was folded into the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) , which was redesignated as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) on 2003.

The major task of the Army Map Service was the compilation, publication and distribution of military topographic maps and related products required by the Armed Forces of the United States. The AMS was also involved in the preparation of extraterrestrial maps of satellite and planetary bodies; the preparation of national intelligence studies; the establishment of world geodetic control networks by both satellite and conventional triangulation methods; and the logistic military planning of Corps of Engineer items. Another major responsibility of the AMS was to maintain the largest geodetic and topographic data libraries for the Department of Defense.

U.S. Army Map Service
United States Army Corps of Engineers logo
CountryUnited States United States
AllegianceEmblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army

World War I

US Army Corps of Engineers Map Making, World War I
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers topographic engineer making a map during World War I.

"The Army Map Service had its inception in a warehouse located at Ft. McNair (formerly the Army War College), where space was set aside in 1910 to accommodate a reproduction unit and lithographic school. The combined elements formed the Central Map Reproduction Plant (CMRP). With the advent of World War I in 1917, the CMRP was re-organized and expanded by Major Charles H. Ruth in anticipation of a map supply crisis and was renamed the Engineer Reproduction Plant (EMP)."[1]

In 1910, the Map Reproduction Plant was given warehouse space at Ft. McNair, to accommodate the map reproduction unit of the Corps of Engineers. Ultimately named the Central Map Reproduction unit, it incorporated a lithographic school and 18 assigned military personnel. After World War I, this would be renamed the Engineer Reproduction Plant. The ERP was noted for experimentation on cartographic and photolithographic processes and media. They also experimentation in aerial photogrammetry. A number of US Geological Survey employees were assigned to the US Army Corps of Engineers 29th Engineers, a map organization, during World War I. Major G.S. Smith commanded part of the 29th Engineers, a map making and topographical unit, with 53 officers and 146 men transferred from the US Geological Survey. Thirteen additional USGS topographers were assigned to the Coast Artillery of the US Army as "orienteur officers." When the 2nd Brigade of Coast Artillery was formed, the military made a similar request for more USGS personnel, but the order was denied as these men were needed for the US Army Corps of Engineers.[2]

After World War I, the 29th Engineer (Topo) Battalion performed the Nicaragua Canal Survey. It was at this time that Benjamin B. Talley, later a Brigadier General, invented a portable stereocomparagraph for map making.

World War II

The Army Map Service was formed during World War II from the consolidation of the Engineer Reproduction Plant, the Library and the Cartographic Section of the War Department General Staff. Initially, many of the maps produced were revisions of existing maps. By the middle of the war, the cartographic work was changed to medium and small scale maps utilizing larger scale native maps as source materials. By the end of the war, considerable effort was being applied to large scale mapping by stereo-photogrammetric methods.

Between 1941 and 1945, the Army Map Service prepared 40,000 maps of all types, covering 400,000 square miles of the earth's surface. Over 500 million copies were produced during the war. The North African Campaign alone required 1,000 different maps with a total of 10 million copies. The Normandy invasion required 3,000 different maps with a total of 70 million copies. Similar commitments were filled for the Pacific and Far East operations.[3]

Maps of all types were needed, from the strategic level maps to tactical level maps. "Indeed, General George S. Patton claims to have planned Third Army movements by using a Michelin tourist road map of Europe, his knowledge of terrain, and gut-level feeling that tanks could negotiate the ground William the Conqueror had crossed nine centuries before."[4]

The Corps of Engineers mapping output differs from general mapping agencies, such as the USGS, in that it is usually at a much larger scale (design/construction) and is project-specific; however, the mapping procedures used since World War II are not much different. Between 1949 and 1951, standardization of military mapping was agreed to between Canada, Great Britain and the US, and was expanded to NATO, SEATO and CENTO countries as well. This involved the application of the UTM to over 10,000 different maps covering 400,000 square miles and the printing of over 90,000,000 copies.

Korean War

The Army Map Service distributed 750,000 maps to all services during the first two weeks of the Korean War. In the following two weeks 5 million maps were printed, while in the first four weeks of the conflict, the Far East Command printed and distributed 10 million maps.[5]

In 1954, the 29th Engineer Topographic Battalion assumed responsibility for Korea and Okinawa and moved to Tokyo, Japan. There it absorbed the 64th Engineer Battalion and continued its mission of providing topographic support to U.S. and Allied forces in the Pacific Theatre, particularly to combat commands in Southeast Asia. In May 1966, the unit (less its survey element) moved to Ford Island, Hawaii and was the primary map production unit for U.S. Forces in Vietnam. In January 1969, the unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation by the CINC, U.S. Army Pacific. A second Meritorious Unit Commendation was awarded in 1972.[6]

Inter-America Geodetic Survey

The Corps of Engineers also participated in the Inter-American Geodetic Survey for mapping Central and South America. As part of this research many poorer nations could develop their resources. "In Cuba, for instance, an extensive water table survey by IAGS made it possible to develop 500 wells."[7]

Vietnam War

Coe7478 large
Shoulder patch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Army Map Service.

From the outbreak of the operations in the Vietnam War in December 1966, the Army Map Service printed and shipped more than 200 million maps.[8]

"Mapmaking provided another area for engineer innovation in Vietnam. Up to date map and topographic information were key ingredients to military operations in Vietnam, especially the placement of artillery fire. During the early stages of the war, artillery units normally supported ground units from fixed positions into which ground control had been extended. Surveys enabled the artillery to ensure the accuracy of fire, but as artillery units moved to more remote areas it became more difficult to support friendly units because surveys were lacking. In early 1967, Lt. Col. Arthur L. Benton, the former chief of the Mapping and Intelligence Section of the Engineer Sections, United States Army Vietnam, who had returned to Vietnam on temporary duty from the Army Map Service in Washington, DC, developed a system known as photogrammetric positioning. By tying aerial photographs to base maps, artillery surveyors could readily obtain azimuth and location of firing positions. Working with the photographs and overprint of a map, aerial observers could give accurate references to targets. Tests proved favorable, and a system was in place after Operation Cedar Falls."[9]

Special Foreign Activities

The Army Map Service Special Foreign Activities are carried out by the 64th Engineer Battalion (Base Topographic). Its assigned mission was to provide AMS with required geodetic, mapping control and field classification data which are used in the production of various scale topographic maps. The battalion operated in Libya, Iran, Ethiopia (including the Ethiopia – United States Mapping Mission) and Liberia, and in some of the most rugged terrain in the world. Environmental conditions within the areas of operation created physical hazards such as miles of desert, blinding sand storms that imperil health and damage delicate instruments, mountains that range up to 15,000 feet above sea level, and steaming jungles with wild animals, dangerous reptiles and insects. These were routine field conditions for the men of the 64th.[10]

Space Age

During the early years of the Space Age, geodetic investigations by the USACE determined the earth's size and shape, and included precise geodetic and astronomic surveys in many remote areas of the Pacific, the Arctic, Asia and South America. Work by Dr. Irene Fischer helped determine the parallax of the moon, and her geoid studies helped in investigation the lingering effects of the last Ice Age. The Corps of Engineers participated in the Vanguard satellite program with the US Army Signal Corps and US Navy to obtain astronomic, geodetic and gravimetric observations to determine the size and shape of the earth, intercontinental relationships and gravity fields. Continuing this work, Alden Colvocoresses developed the Space-oblique Mercator projection projection, which was used with the Landsat satellite to make the first satellite produced map of the US.

Coat of Arms of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Army Map Service.

The AMS and other agencies, split off to form the US Army Engineer Research and Development Laboratories (UASERDL) in 1947; then evolved into next into the [Geodesy, Intelligence and Mapping Research and Development Agency (GIMRADA) in 1960; then the Engineer Topographic Laboratories (ETL) in 1967; and then became the Topographic Engineering Center (TEC), which came to be housed at the Humphreys Engineer Center in Alexandria, Virginia. TEC did research in such fields as terrain analysis and geospatial data generation; developed imagery exploitation, rapid prototyping, and other systems; and conducted operations in areas such as geospatial information, crisis support, urban studies, and historical photo environmental analysis. Reflecting TEC's growing responsibilities in more diverse and technologically sophisticated areas, its name was changed to the Army Geospatial Center in 2009. It continues to support both military and civil works activities.


  1. ^ United States. 1968. U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Army Map Service. Washington: Army Map Service. Page 4.
  2. ^ Evans, Richard Trantor and Helen Fry. 1954. History of the Topographic Branch (Division) Predecessor Surveys: Preliminary Draft. Pages 168–171.
  3. ^ United States. 1968. U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Army Map Service. Washington: Army Map Service. Page 22.
  4. ^ ETL- a Short History. 1989? US Army Engineer Topographic Laboratories. Fort Belvoir, VA. Page 5.
  5. ^ United States. 1968. U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Army Map Service. Washington: Army Map Service. p. 22.
  6. ^ Jacob, George A. 2007. "29th Engineer Topographic Battalion." From: "The Ethiopia-United States Mapping Mission." See the site, accessed February 27, 2009:*session*id*key*=*session*id*val*
  7. ^ Leviero, Anthony. 1956. "Big Map Job: Seventeen Countries are being Surveyed by the Inter-American Geodetic Survey under the Direction of a Colonel of the Army's Corps of Engineers." Army. March 1956. Page 31.
  8. ^ United States. 1968. U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Army Map Service'. Washington: Army Map Service. p. 22.
  9. ^ Traas, Adrian George. 2010. Engineers at War. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, U.S. Army. p. 584.
  10. ^ United States. 1968. U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Army Map Service. Washington: Army Map Service. Page 10.


  • Colby, Carroll B. 1959. Mapping the World: A Global Project of the Corps of Engineers, US Army. New York: Coward McCann. 48 pages.
  • Jacob, George A. 2007. "29th Engineer Topographic Battalion." From: "The Ethiopia-United States Mapping Mission." See the site, accessed February 27, 2009:*session*id*key*=*session*id*val*
  • Leviero, Anthony. 1956. "Big Map Job: Seventeen Countries are being Surveyed by the Inter-American Geodetic Survey under the Direction of a Colonel of the Army's Corps of Engineers." Army. March 1956. Pages 29–34.
  • Livingston, Robert G. 1963. A History of Military Mapping Camera Development. Technical Note 63-1. Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. May 1, 1963. 37 pages.
  • Nowicki, Albert L. 1961. Topographic Lunar Mapping at the Army Map Service. Washington, DC: Army Map Service. Technical Report. 20 pages.
  • Pilkey, Orrin H. 1996. The Corps and the Shore. Washington, DC: Island Press. 272 pages.
  • United States. Army Map Service. 1960. The Army Map Service: Its Mission, History and Organization. Washington. GPO. 41 pages.
  • U.S. Army Engineer Topographic Laboratories. 1989. ETL, U.S. Army Engineer Topographic Laboratories. Fort Belvoir, VA: The Laboratories.
  • United States. 1968. U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Army Map Service. Washington: Army Map Service. OCLC: 15670070.
Batorampon Point

Batorampon Point is the westernmost point of the island of Mindanao (7°6′32.5″N 121°53′51.8″E) in the Philippines and has been named so since the mid-19th century. The rocky cliff, located within the limits of the City of Zamboanga, was previously known as Batalampon Point, becoming Batorampon Point in the 1940s. The point is located just north of Labuan, about 35 kilometres (22 mi) from downtown Zamboanga City.

Batorampon Point is also the alleged name of the highest elevation in Zamboanga City located in 7°4′25″N 122°1′23.3″E. The peak was not named in the 1940s topography map of the region by the U.S. Army's topographic engineering agency, the Army Map Service. When it was named Batorampon Point is not known.

Bhima River

The Bhima River is a major river in Western India and South India. It flows southeast for 861 kilometres (535 mi) through Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Telangana states, before entering the Krishna River. After the first sixty-five kilometers in a narrow valley through rugged terrain, the banks open up and form a fertile agricultural area which is densely populated.The river is prone to turning into gold during the summer season. In 2005 there was severe flooding in Solapur, Bijapur and Gulbarga districts.

The river is also referred to as Chandrabhaga River, especially at Pandharpur, as it resembles the shape of the Moon. Bhima river also flows from Daund taluka

Chin Hills

The Chin Hills are a range of mountains in Chin State, northwestern Burma (Myanmar), that extends northward into India's Manipur state.

International Map of the World

The International Map of the World (also 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 map was the brainchild of Albrecht Penck, a German geographer who first proposed it in 1891.The Central Bureau of the Map of the World was established at the Ordnance Survey in London. After the Second World War, the United Nations took over the project. By 1953 only 400 of about 1000 sheets had been produced; though this covered most of the land surface outside North America, many sheets were decades out of date, and almost none of the open ocean was covered. In 1964, Arthur H. Robinson dismissed the IMW as "cartographic wallpaper" of no practical use. There were few updates thereafter, and in 1989, UNESCO declared the project was no longer feasible and stopped monitoring it.

Irene Fischer

Irene Kaminka Fischer (born July 27, 1907 in Vienna, died October 22, 2009 in Boston) was a mathematician, geodesist, National Academy of Engineering Member; Fellow International Geophysical Union, Inductee of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency Hall of Fame. Fischer became one of two internationally known women scientists in the field of geodesy during the golden age of the Mercury and Apollo moon missions. Her Mercury Datum, or Fischer Ellipsoid 1960 and 1968, as well as her work on the lunar parallax, were instrumental in conducting these missions. "In his preface to the ACSM publication, Fischer's former colleague, Bernard Chovitz, referred to her as one of the most renowned geodesists of the third quarter of the twentieth century. Yet this fact alone makes her one of the most renowned geodesists of all times, because, according to Chovitz, the third quarter of the twentieth century witnessed "the transition of geodesy from a regional to a global enterprise."

John A. O'Keefe (astronomer)

John Aloysius O'Keefe III (1916–2000) was an expert in planetary science and astrogeology with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 1958 to 1995. He and his co-authors, Ann Eckels and Ken Squires, are credited with the discovery that the Earth had a significant third degree spherical harmonic in its gravitational field using U.S. Vanguard satellite data collected in the late 1950s.. The "pear shaped" Earth as it was known became front-page news and was even the subject of a "Peanuts" cartoon. He was the first to propose the idea of a scanning microscope in 1956 and he is the co-discoverer of the YORP effect (short for Yarkovsky-O’Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddock effect), an effect resulting from sunlight which causes a small celestial body such as an asteroid or meteor to spin up or down.


Kaguvere is a village in Märjamaa Parish, Rapla County in western Estonia, north of the Teenuse River.

Kaladan River

The Kaladan River (Burmese: ကုလားတန်မြစ်, pronounced [kəládàɴ mjɪʔ]; also Kysapnadi, Beino, Bawinu and Kolodyne) is a river in eastern Mizoram State of India, and in Chin State and Rakhine State of western Myanmar. The Kaladan River is called the Chhimtuipui River in India. It forms the international border between India and Burma between 22° 47′ 10" N (where its tributary, the Tio River, joins it) and 22° 11′ 06" N.

Kali River (Karnataka)

The Kali River or Kali nadi is a river flowing through Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka state in India. The river rises near Diggi, a small village in Uttar Kannada district. The river is the lifeline to some 4 lakh people in the Uttara Kannada district and supports the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people including fishermen on the coast of Karwar. There are many dams built across this river for the generation of electricity. One of the important dams build across Kali river is the Supa Dam at Ganeshgudi. The river runs 184 kilometers before joining Arabian Sea.

Significant and picturesque, the Sadashivgad fort is now a popular tourist destination located by the coastal highway Kali river bridge, which has been built above the confluence of the river and the Arabian Sea.

The National Highway NH-17 continues on the Kali Bridge built over Kali River and the road continues to split the Sadashivgad granite rock hill to connect Karnataka to Goa.

Kohatu, Rapla County

Kohatu (German: Kohhat) is a village in Märjamaa Parish, Rapla County in western Estonia.


Kohtru is a village in Märjamaa Parish, Rapla County in western Estonia.


Koluta is a village in Märjamaa Parish, Rapla County in western Estonia.


Konuvere is a village in Märjamaa Parish, Rapla County in western Estonia, on the north side of the Konuvere River.Baltic German general Paul von Rennenkampf (1854–1918) was born in Konuvere Manor, note for heroic role in the Boxer rebellion, and his role during the Russo-Japanese War and World War I.


Lestima is a village in Märjamaa Parish, Rapla County in western Estonia, on the right (east) bank of the Teenuse River.

List of rivers of Nepal

This is a list of rivers in Nepal, east to west. This list is arranged by drainage basin, indented to show the structure of confluences. Tributaries rising inside India are not shown.

The rivers only of Nepal

Kankai River

yubraj river

Koshi River




Dudh Koshi

Imja Khola

Hongu River

Liku River or Likhu Khola

Bhote Koshi

Tama Koshi

Indravati RiverBagmati River

Kamala River

Lakhandei River

Bisnumati River

Gandaki River (Narayani) (Kali Gandaki)

Binai River

East Rapti River

Trishuli River

Seti Gandaki River


Budhi Gandaki River

Nisi River

Madi River

Ghaghara River (Karnali)

West Rapti River

Rohni River

Tinau River

Mari River

Jimruk River

Babai River

Sharada Khola

Sarju River

Mohan River

Kandra River

Bheri River

Thuli Bheri River

Sani Bheri River

Thuli River

Seti River

Budhiganga River

Sinja River

Mugu Karnali

Langu River

Panjang River

Humla Karnali

Tanke River

Sharda River (Mahakali Nadi) (Kali River)

Surna River

Chameliya River

Kalapani River


Meesapulimala (Malayalam: മീശപ്പുലിമല) is the highest peak in the Western Ghats of Idukki district (Kerala) on the Indian subcontinent after Anamudi. Its peak is 2,640 metres (8,661 ft) above sea level.

The name derives from the fact that it is formed of eight peaks which spread like a "Moustache" and it is located in between the Anaimalai Hills and Palani Hills near Suryanelli around 20km away from Munnar. Kolukkumalai tea estate, Top Station and Tipadamala (2135m) is also nearby.

Treks to the peak via Rhodo Valley (favourable for rhododendron flowers) can be organized through the Kerala Forest Development Corporation in Munnar.Meesapulimala trekking booking is limited and the trekking path from Kolukkumalai to Meesapulimala is highly restricted.

There is a great chance of sighting wildlife including Nilgiri Thar, Sambar Deer, Wild Gaur, Wild Dogs and even the Sloth Bear. The duration totally depends on your physical fitness. It will take about 7 to 9 hours to complete the full route.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense and a member of the United States Intelligence Community, with the primary mission of collecting, analyzing, and distributing geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) in support of national security. NGA was known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) until 2003.

NGA headquarters, also known as NGA Campus East, is located at Fort Belvoir North Area in Virginia. The agency also operates major facilities in the St. Louis, Missouri area, as well as support and liaison offices worldwide. The NGA headquarters, at 2.3 million square feet (214,000 m2), is the third-largest government building in the Washington metropolitan area after The Pentagon and the Ronald Reagan Building.In addition to using GEOINT for U.S. military and intelligence efforts, the NGA provides assistance during natural and man-made disasters, and security planning for major events such as the Olympic Games.In September 2018, researchers at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency released a high resolution terrain map (detail down to the size of a car, and less in some areas) of Antarctica, named the "Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica" (REMA).


Rusadir was an ancient Punic and Roman town at what is now Melilla, Spain, in northwest Africa. Under the Roman Empire, it was a colony in the province of Mauretania Tingitana.


Yazagyo (also Yazagya and Yarzagyo) is the northernmost village in Kale Township, Kale District, of western Burma (Myanmar).

The Yazagyo Airfield, where the US 965th and 966th Airborne Air Control Squadrons were stationed during World War II, is located 3 kilometres (2 mi) north of the town.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.