The governmental Geographical Survey Institute has compiled the first 1:25,000-scale topographical map of the Takeshima islets–known as Dokdo in South Korea, which currently controls the disputed territory, it has been learned.
The 1:25,000-scale maps that the institute draws are base maps for every other map compiled by public and private bodies in the nation. With the new map of the islets, the whole territory of Japan, except for the northern territories, has been mapped.
The islets in Okinoshimacho, Shimane Prefecture, which both Japan and South Korea claim sovereignty over, currently are controlled by South Korea, which dispatched police to guard the islands.
Under such circumstances, the institute was unable to take aerial photographs or conduct field studies, necessary activities for compiling a basic map.
As a result, the institute was able to create a map with a scale of 1:200,000 based on low-precision satellite image data.
The institute initially planned to create a map using information obtained only by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite, nicknamed Daichi, which was developed with the primary purpose of compiling a basic map of the world.
However, large errors were found in data regarding the altitude of contours sent by the satellite, and the institute therefore decided to use data obtained by U.S. commercial satellites.
The new map, for the first time, indicates the height of the highest points on Nishijima island and Higashijima island, which comprise the islets, as 168 meters and 97 meters, respectively.
The map also shows detailed land features of the islets, such as jagged coastlines, contours and steep, rocky slopes.
Facilities set up on the islets by South Korea are not indicated on the new map as they are regarded as illegally constructed buildings.
The GSI map was made to update the previous map of the area after four municipalities on Okinoshima island in the prefecture merged to become Okinoshimacho in 2004. That map went on sale in December.
In creating the 2004 map, the names of Otokojima island and Onnajima island were changed to Nishijima island and Higashijima island, respectively.
(Jan. 18, 2008)
The Yomiuri Shimbun | Original News @ here
Date : Jan. 18. 2008