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Survey Department cartographic activities in The Gambia 1905 – 1969

Feb 17, 2012, 1:47 PM | Article By: E.M JENG, Lands Surveyor, Tel: 9902438

The survey Department is the national organization responsible for all forms of cartographic activity in the country. It was created in April, 1914 though its establishment was mooted out much earlier by Lieutenant Governor George Rendall in the early part of the nineteen century as can be seen in the following extract dated 1836 to Secretary of State for the Colonies.

“I hope your Lordship will feel disposed to grant the civil establishment a Surveyor of Land as it becomes necessary that each individual should have his position of farm land marked out to him in order that there may be no disputes”.

It was not until April, 1914 that a Lands Officer and Surveyor was appointed in the person of W.P. Crook.

In the years 1904 and 1905 an Anglo – French Boundary Commission was appointed headed by Major E. L. Cowis Chief British Commissioner and Mr. A. B. B. Tscharner, Assistant British Commissioner from whose work the Gambia Map of Scale 1/250,000 was reproduced. This is the oldest Topo Map of the Gambia in the Department. Of course the settlement of Bathurst being the first town in the country to be developed in the modern sense was first surveyed by the Colonial Engineer, J. H. Brady in April, 1889.The ancient map of the Gambia as existed in the earlier centuries had been compiled by discoverers and travelers.

Amongst the functions of the Department will follow.