Virtually the entire terrestrial surface of Earth has been mapped at scale 1:1,000,000. Medium and large-scale mapping has been accomplished intensively in some countries resulting in scales as detailed as 1:24K. National mapping programs listed below are only a partial selection of European bodies. Several commercial vendors supply international topographic map series which are also not listed below.
The State Bureau of Surveying and Cartography compiles topographic maps at 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scales. It is reported that these maps are accurate and attractively printed in seven colors, and that successive editions show progressive improvement in accuracy. These large-scale maps are the basis for maps at smaller scales. Maps at scales 1:4,000,000 or smaller are exported by Cartographic Publishing House, Beijing while larger-scale maps are restricted as state secrets. China's topographic maps follow the international system of subdivision with 1:100,000 maps spanning 30 minutes longitude by 20 minutes latitude.
The Geographical Survey Institute of Japan is responsible for base mapping of Japan. Standard map scales are 1:25,000, 1:50,000, 1:200,000 and 1:500,000.
Detailed, accurate topographic maps have long been a military priority. They are currently produced by the Military-topographic service of armed forces of the Russian Federation (Russian: Военно-топографическая служба Вооружённых сил Российской Федерации or ВТС ВС). Military topographic mapping departments held other titles in the Russian Empire since 1793 and in the Soviet Union where these maps also came to be used for internal control and economic development.
When Germany invaded in 1941, detailed maps from the USSR's western borders to the Volga River became an urgent task, accomplished in less than one year. After the war years the entire Soviet Union was mapped at scales down to 1:25,000 -- even 1:10,000 for the agriculturally productive fraction. The rest of the world except Antarctica is believed to have been mapped at scales down to 1:200,000, with regions of special interest down to 1:50,000 and many urban areas to 1:10,000. In all there may have been over one million map sheets of high quality and detail. Soviet maps were also notable for their consistent global indexing system. These advantages held for Soviet military maps of other countries, although there were some errors due to faulty intelligence.
Soviet maps for domestic civilian purposes were often of lower quality. From 1919 to 1967 they were produced by Head geodesic adminstration (Russian: Высшее геодезическое управление or ВГУ), then by Chief administration of geodesy and cartography (Russian: Главное управление геодезии и картографии or ГУГК). Now (June 2011) civilian maps are produced by the Federal agency for geodesy and cartography (Russian: Федеральное агентство геодезии и картографии or Роскартография).
Soviet military maps were state secrets. After the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, many maps leaked into the public domain and are available for download. Map scales 1:100.000 - 1:500.000 can be viewed online.
The responsibility for topographic mapping and aerial photography lies with the Surveyor General of Pakistan [SGP]. Established in 1947, the Survey of Pakistan (SOP) is based in Rawalpindi with a number of regional offices distributed at urban centers throughout Pakistan. SGP is a civil organization which, for security reasons, is headed by a Surveyor General and works under the strict control of Army General Headquarters (GHQ). Colonel C.A.K. Innes-Wilson, a Royal Engineers officer who joined the Survey of India which mapped the subcontinent, was the first Surveyor General of Pakistan.
All departments which require topographic maps make their request to SGP and many are permanently registered with it for mapping and aerial photographs procurement. The SOP performs these functions under the auspices of the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
Organisationally, the SOP is overseen by the Surveyor General (SG) who is a direct military appointee and a senior uniformed officer. The SG reports directly to the Secretary of Defence. Under the SG are two Deputy SG’s (I and II) who manage the operational departments of the agency and a Senior Technical Advisor. These departments are divided into Regional Directorates for Topographic Mapping including the Northern region centred in Peshawar, Eastern region (Lahore), Western region (Quetta) and finally, the Southern region in Karachi. Responsibility for fields surveys and the maintenance/update of topographic maps are sub-divided according to these geographic areas.