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Imre Josef Demhardt:

Cartography of the Protectorate and Trusteeship Territory of Southwest Africa

Cartographica Helvetica 30 (2004) 43–52


The already existing topographic maps of Southwest Africa at the beginning of the German colonial rule (1884) mislead the authorities of the protectorate to cartographic idleness. Due to the uprisings of the Herero and the Nama in 1904, a Prussian surveying troop was dispatched. The topographic work progressed rapidly. Nevertheless, none of the four map series at the scales 1:50,000, 1:100,000, 1:200,000 and 1:400,000 were ever finished, mostly due to wrong decisions made at the outbreak of the First World War (1914).

National surveying succumbed for half a century with the introduction of the South African territorial administration in 1919. It was only since 1971 that three cartographic maps at the scales 1:50,000, 1:250,000 and 1:500,000 appeared, the first of which, however, was discontinued and left uncompleted with the independence of Namibia in 1990.

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