Institut Geographique National

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Institut Geographique National (IGN) was established in June 1940, shortly after the French surrender to Germany. The intention was to replace the previous military mapping service with a civilian organisation which was outside of the remit of the German occupying forces. The IGN survived the war and in 1947 was tasked with making new maps of war damaged France and its colonial territories. To accomplish this huge task, the IGN obtained a number of war surplus B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft from the USAAF to carry out a comprehensive photographic survey of the entire country. IGN maps have been continously updated ever since. In 2012 the IGN was merged with the Inventaire Forestier National to form the Institut National de l’Information Géographique et Forestière (National Institute of Geographic and Forestry Information), but keeping the IGN acronym.

Key Dates

1887    Service Géographique de L’Armée (SGA) created
1940    SGA disbanded.
26 June 1940    IGN established as civilian replacement for SGA.
1947    IGN tasked with making new maps of all of France.
1948    Aircraft fleet greatly expanded.
1 January 2012    IGN merges with Inventaire Forestier National.

Current Status

The IGN aircraft are used for photo surveying and map making.

Future Plans

No plan known.

Markings

Special Markings

Early IGN aircraft operated in a natural metal colour scheme. This was later refined with addition of a white upper fuselage and a red and white IGN insignia on the nose and fin. More recently, aircraft have adpted an overall white colour scheme with a blue fuselage cheatline and blue/white/red fin markings. The blue IGN logo appears on the fin.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

IGN aircraft carry French civil registrations, e.g. Super King Air 200 F-GALP.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Beech King Air 200T 4 2 0 Mapping

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

The IGN was interested in operating the Sud Est SE.1010, but the prototype was lost in a fatal crash in 1949.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

IGN, 73, avenue de Paris, 94165 SAINT-MANDÉ CEDEX.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft are operated by the flying unit of the IGN.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All IGN aircraft are based at Creil (BA110), but this airfield will close as a military base in October 2016, so a move may be necessary

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information

Books

French Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Magazines

No feature articles known.

Websites

Official Website
wikipedia: IGN
wikipedia.fr IGN
JetPhotos.net
B-17 Flying Fortress

Unresolved Research Issues

It is not clear what aircraft, if any, were operated between 1940 and 1946.

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

All-Time Aircraft Used List
French Mapping Agency

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aero Commander 680FL Grand Commander 3 1965 1985 USA
Beech Super King Air 200T 4 1977 current USA
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress 14 1948 1957 USAAF
Cessna L-19 Bird Dog 1 1979 1984 ALAT
Dassault Falcon 20 2 1972 1993 ex-civil
Fokker F27-100 Friendship 1 1986 2004 ex-civil
Hurel-Dubois HD.34 8 1957 1985 France
Liore et Olivier LeO 455 8 1949 1956 France
SNAC NC.701 Martinet 6 1946 1959 France
Sud Aviation SA 319B Alouette III 1 1976 1984 France

Division of National Mapping (Australia)

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

Before and during World War Two, mapping photographic surveys were performed by the RAAF. The war had highlighted the lack of comprehensive maps of Australia, and in 1945 the need for a dedicated Government department to produce maps and geophysical surveys resulted in the establishment of the National Mapping Council (NMC). A National Mapping Section of the Department of Interior was created in 1947 to actually carry out the tasks defined by the NMC. From 1954 RAAF aircraft were replaced by civilian contractors in the mapping role.

By 1956 the work had expanded sufficiently to justify the creation of the Division of National Mapping (Nat Map). For the next thirty years Nat Map conducted geodetic, topographic and other mapping tasks within Australia and also in Antarctica and Papua New Guinea. Aircraft operations were normally conducted by civilian contractors, but in 1978 a dedicated Aviation Section was formed to take over some of these tasks.

In 1987 Nat Map became AUSLIG – the Australian Surveying and Land Information Group – formed from the merger of the Division of National Mapping and the Australian Survey Office. In 1995 the Aviation Section was closed down. In 2001 AUSLIG was merged with the Australian Geological Survey Organisation (AGSO) to form Geoscience Australia

Key Dates

March 1945    National Mapping Council (NMC) established.
1947    National Mapping Section of Department of Interior created.
1951    National Mapping Section becomes National Mapping Office.
1954    First use of contracted civil aircraft.
2 August 1956    Division of National Mapping first formed.
1978    Aviation Section created.
24 July 1987    Division of National Mapping merged into AUSLIG.
1995    Aviation Section disbanded.
September 2001    Geoscience Australia established.

Current Status

The Aviation Section was disbanded in 1995.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

Special Markings

National Mapping aircraft operated in a wide variety of colour schemes. It appears only the Cessna 421 carried any service titles, i.e. ‘Department of Resources & Energy – Division of National Mapping’, which were displayed on the fuselage.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

National Mapping aircraft carried standard Australian civil aircraft registrations, e.g. Cessna 421 VH-DRB.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

(Nat Map owned only – excludes chartered and ANARE aircraft).

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Cessna 170A 1 1978 1982 USA
Cessna U206F Stationair 1 1982 1987 USA
Cessna 337 Super Skymaster 1 1987 1995 USA
Cessna 421C Golden Eagle 1 1982 1995 USA
GAF N22B Nomad 1 1976 1982 Australia

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

None known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Division of National Mapping, Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.

Organisational Structure

There are no sub-units to the Nat Map Aviation Section.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

To be added.

More Information

Books

To be added

Magazines

To be added

Websites

XNATMAP
Geoscience Australia – Our History

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.