Survey of Bangladesh

Survey of Bangladesh (SOB) the national surveying and mapping agency for Bangladesh. The department started its functioning as 'Bengal Survey' on 1 January 1767 in undivided India and conducted survey and mapping activities until 1947. After the partition of the sub-continent on 14 August 1947, the organisation started its new role as Survey of Pakistan and established a regional office at Dhaka. This regional office was transformed into Survey of Bangladesh as a department under the Ministry of Defence when the country emerged as an independent country in the year 1971. Surveyor General of Bangladesh is the official head of SOB.

The main objectives and responsibilities of SOB are: establishment of trigonometrical and primary geodetic control networks; conduct ground surveys and preparation, revision and updating of maps at various scales; demarcation of international boundary of the country; preparation of geographical and political maps; aerial photography and its control, printing, maintenance and custody of the negatives; preparation of topographic maps and other various thematic maps.

Aerial photographs in Bangladesh are used as per the 'Rules for Classification, Custody and Issue of Aerial Photographs' issued by the Ministry of Defence, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. It is broadly divided into two categories: 'Classified Photographs' and 'Public Photographs'. The aerial photographs containing security items are marked as 'Classified' and the 'Public' aerial photographs that do not contain security items. Last aerial photograph was taken in the years 1998-2000. Aerial photograph can be issued by the agencies engaged in national development activities with the clearance of security agency. SOB has created topographic database of the entire country at a scale of 1:50,000 for feeding GIS. Topographic maps of the Bengal were generated during the last quarter of 18th century covering whole Bangladesh at a scale of 1:50,000. Map updating is a regular process and done in every five to seven years. SOB has digitally updated the base map of Bangladesh. SOB publishes all the maps from its own offset printing press and the products are available in its sales centre at SOB campus located in Tejgaon Industrial Area, Dhaka. [Masud Hasan Chowdhury]