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LINZ's Role in Mapping

LINZ and our predecessors have been responsible for national topographic mapping in New Zealand for more than a hundred years.

As New Zealand's national mapping organisation, we are responsible for collecting, maintaining and managing an authoritative national record of the physical features of the natural and built environment.

Topographic information

Topographic information shows the features of the land represented to scale, and is familiar to us all on maps. Used by the emergency services in life-or-death situations such as disaster response, it is also involved in everyday processes such as land management and defence planning.

Topographic information is, in fact, an everyday necessity for understanding our country and its assets, and for supporting economic development.

Having a safe, sustainable and innovative society relies on there being ready access to topographic information, and LINZ ensures this information is accessible and capable of serving New Zealand society's changing needs.

We undertake national topographic mapping at 1:50,000 and broader scales. Our topographic data and maps are available via the Internet and in printed form from retailers. Check where to find maps and data.

How topographic information is used

Defence planning: New Zealand's defence forces use topographic information for planning military exercises and swapping information with international partners.

Location and routing: Search and Rescue, defence, ambulance, fire service, police and civil defence agencies use topographic information in a wide range of planning and operational situations, from natural disasters to community policing. Usage may involve mobile/field and control room situations, and the combination of topographic information with other data.

Land management: Topographic information is used by local government for regional planning and operations, and by power, gas and telecommunications companies.

In addition, LINZ maps are used for a great variety of purposes by businesses and government departments such as the Department of Conservation, and by recreational users such as trampers and tourists.