Mapping Indonesia - 10/01/2006

David Fairbairn, vice-president, ICA

The Indonesian national cartographic report prepared by the National Coordinating Agency for Surveys and Mapping (Bakosurtanal) and covering the period 2003 to 2005 was tabled at the ICA special General Assembly in A Coruña in July. This typical report
represented notable effort given the strain on that nation’s cartographic resources after the 2004 tsunami. The interim report is divided into a number of sections covering among other topics mapping activities (including topographic, marine, thematic, boundary and national atlas mapping) and the development of the Indonesian Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). An outline is given of educational and training facilities; there is also an account of the surveying and mapping societies and organisations within Indonesia, along with an overview of the maturing market for maps and spatial data there.


The report includes a substantial number of maps and map extracts. Index diagrams show the coverage of 1:25,000, 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 hardcopy and digital maps produced by Bakosurtanal over large areas of the country. Also indicated is the extent of marine charts showing Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), sea-lane bathymetric data, and coastal maps at 1:50,000 and 1:250,000. Geological mapping, soil mapping and land-use mapping are all described, as is the proposed Tsunami Early Warning System.
What this activity and organisational structure shows is that cartography is proceeding apace in Indonesia. New datasets are being created for a range of applications, from boundary mapping to seismicity monitoring. Map coverage is being gradually extended, and revision of the national topo mapping series (often using SPOT imagery and SLAR) is being given high priority. Public awareness has been raised by educational products and map competitions (Indonesia has a proud record in the Barbara Petchenik children’s map contest), leading to a three-fold increase in map sales from the year 2001 to nearly 2.2 million in 2004.


The SDI is a major initiative within the wider field of government policy and spatial data handling for management and administration. In line with a 2003 presidential decree establishing a new National Telematics Co-ordinating Team (TKTI) to support economic growth with information and communication technology, the Indonesian SDI focuses on five main elements. These are institutional aspects, legal aspects, fundamental dataset aspects, research and development of science and technology related to survey and mapping aspects, and aspects relating to development of human-resource capability. Cartographers contribute to each of these, helping the development of twenty-first-century Indonesia.

Last updated: 21/10/2019