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Episodes 1989; 12(3): 184-189

Published online September 1, 1989


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

The Commission for the Geological Map of the World at cartographic crossroads - The past, Present, and future of an IUGS affiliate responsible for mapping the world

Olivier Y. Dottin

Commission for the Geological Map of the World (CGMW)

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Organized in 1881 to create a geological map of Europe, the Commission for the Geological Map of the World (CGMW) later expanded its purview to include all the continents and ocean basins. CGMW is well known for its elegant, small-scale geologic and related thematic wall maps, most of which were produced using conventional cartographic techniques. Because the traditional cartographic process has been modified by the use of satellite imagery and computers, detailed large-scale maps and general small-scale maps will serve very different needs in the future. New maps published by the CGMW will respond to the need for regularly updated information, and they will continue to fill a vital role in the production of maps of the continents and ocean basins. (Ed.)