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Mapping Activities

Mapping activities in the Census Organization:


The Census Organization of India is one of the largest producers of maps in the country. It has nearly 130 years of experience of disseminating census data and publications of maps. Standards of cartographic excellence can be seen in the geographical maps published in the census reports of 1872 of North-West Provinces, Cochin, Bengal and the very excellent volume of maps of different collectorates of the Bombay Presidency of the same decade, the five taluk maps of Mysore state published in census report of 1891, maps published in the Encyclopedia Linguistic Survey of India, the state census reports of 1931, the Special All India Ethnographic Appendix published in 1933 and the maps included in the District Census Handbooks of 1951 onwards. A major shift in mapping census data however, was witnessed during Census of India 1961 when the first Census Atlas of 1961 was published in 1968. In addition, the state and union territory atlases were also published as a sequel. The tradition continued in the subsequent censuses also


The preparation of administrative maps has been part of Census taking since 1872 when first census was held in India non-synchronously. Since 1881, synchronous census held throughout the country and continued uninterruptedly. The Census 2011 will be the fifteenth in the series since beginning and seventh since Independence. The mapping activities also remained integral part of it.


The administrative maps prepared for the census helps in covering all the areas in the country without any omission and overlapping. Therefore, the organization prepares administrative unit maps at all levels i.e. State and Union territories, districts, sub-districts (Tehsil /Taluk/ CD blocks/Police stations etc.), villages, towns, wards and the enumeration Blocks.


Two kinds of maps are prepared by the organization.  

  1. Maps for use in Census (pre-census)  

  2. Maps for use in data dissemination (post-census)  


Census mapping provides an accurate geographic frame to ensure distinctiveness of units of enumeration. As pre-requisites before census taking, the jurisdictional boundaries are frozen. Various level of territorial units according to which census is to be conducted are clearly delineated and their maps are secured. The maps help to clearly demarcate the boundaries of the country as well as its division into provincial territories and further sub-division into districts and down to the smallest enumeration areas of villages and towns. The census organization make sure that these maps representing the latest position of the administrative jurisdiction and all changes notified by the State Government in respect of the clubbing of villages or determination of boundaries of municipalities etc., are properly accounted for. With the help of these maps the census officers responsible for enumeration of the territory clearly know the dividing line between his/her jurisdiction. The purpose is to ascertain that the units of enumeration are not overlapping and that they are collectively exhaustive. These maps are used in each phases of census taking, i.e., House listing operation and Population Enumeration.


The post-census mapping includes dissemination of the census data through thematic maps on various Census themes at State/District/sub-District or village level allowing proper spatial analysis. These are published in various map products like Census Atlases and Districts Census Handbooks (DCHB). During each census, the organization produces more than ten thousand administrative and thematic maps, which are made available for the user agencies, planners, researchers, students and policy makers. Census Atlas, Administrative Atlas, Language Atlas, Historical Atlas of India and of each state and Map profile are some of the prominent decennial publications of the organization. Some of the nail views are given below.



Besides, maps are also published in special reports, monographs and publications like Temples of Tamil Nadu. Regional Division of India at the National and State levels and district maps showing village boundaries is one of the prestigious product of this organization.


Updating of the GIS tools, which were introduced and adopted since late 1990’s in the Census Organization, has speeded up the process and enhanced the quality of the maps. The Census Organization has the capability and the infrastructure for generating theme based maps using GIS but for use on the Internet, it was considered important to look for appropriate technology. In 2001, Census GIS India was a step in this direction, which allowed generating thematic maps based on Census data, on an interactive basis using GIS technology. A software was developed and available at the Census of India Website which allows generation of thematic maps based results of 2001 Census, free of cost and has become very popular among Government departments, NGOs, Universities, Research Scholars and other data users. This software in a way has de-mystified GIS and has now become a friendly tool to analyze Census data using GIS technology on the Internet.

Dr. C. Chandramouli, Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India is receiving the The Indian Geospatial Award 2009 from Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary, Deptt. of Science & Technology, Govt. of India on 09-08-2010



Dr. C. Chandramouli, Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India is addressing the august gathering at the Deptt. of Science & Technology, Govt. of India on 09-08-2010




Dr. A.P Singh, Deputy Registrar General (Map) receiving the award being the largest GIS technology user in the country from Mr. Jack Dangermond, ESRI inc.USA, Dated 22-04-2010