Commission for the Geological Map of the World (CGMW)

CGMW story in a nutshell

The CGMW is issued from the International Geological Congress (IGC), the oldest geoscience organization in the World, created in Paris in 1878.  The idea of the Commission was first postulated in 1910 at the 11th IGC in Stockholm, and established in 1913 at the 12th IGC in Toronto.  It is a non-profit-making scientific and educational association governed by French law.  The CGMW is affiliated to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) since 1966, and to the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG). CGMW is recognized by UNESCO as a rank A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).


A wide range of geoscience mapping

The CGMW is responsible for designing, promoting, coordinating, preparing and publishing small-scale thematic (geology, tectonics, ore deposits, natural resources, climate, etc.) Earth Science maps of  the globe, continents, major regions, and oceans.    In the context of its mission, the CGMW intends to play a leading role in the use and diffusion of digital cartographic techniques, as well as in the development of international standards.


How the work is done

The framework for constructing CGMW maps is highly flexible. The responsibility for each new cartographic project is assigned to a General Coordinator appointed by the Bureau to act as organizer and supervisor.  To produce these maps, the CGMW relies on the support provided by the international scientific community and on cooperation agreements established with geological surveys, university laboratories, oceanographic institutes and industrial firms, depending on the characteristics of each project. Before their publication, all maps are submitted to the review of experts in order to ensure the best scientific quality to all CGMW releases.


Who are our members and how the Commission is managed

Geological Surveys (or similar organizations responsible for national geological mapping, for the addresses please click here) of countries and territories throughout the World are Statutory Members of the CGMW.  Other scientific and/or industrial organizations can join the CGMW as Associate Members.  The mapping activity is financed by the membership fees of the Surveys, IUGS and UNESCO grants and the sponsoring of industrial partners. From a legal point of view, CGMW is a non-for-profit association governed by French Law 1901 for Associations, whose statutes and statement registration are downloadable here. The modification to the Statuts voted by the 2014 General Assembly are available here.

The Executive Bureau is ensured by a President, a Secretary General and the heads of the geographic and thematic subcommissions that represent all the continents and the different disciplines of the geosciences. A score of key figures from different Earth Science fields and countries are appointed to fulfill these ad hoc positions.


General Assembly

General Assemblies are held every two years, alternately at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and during the International Geological Congress. A focal point of these meetings is to assess the aims of future programmes and the progress of current cartographic projects.

To get more information about the last GA, please click here.

The leaflet presenting our current activities is downloadable here.

Continental subcommissions


Dr S. F. Toteu, Vice-president (Cameroon)
Mrs. A. Karren Nguno, Secretary General (Namibia)

Dr. R. Samba Diene, Deputy Secretary General (Senegal)

 North and Central America

Dr M. R. St-Onge, Vice-President (Canada)
Dr R. C. Orndorff, Secretary General (United States)

 South America

Mr. J. Gómez Tapias, Vice-President (Colombia)
Dr. L. M. Fraga, Secretary General (Brazil)


Dr G. Leitchenkov, Vice-President (Russia)
Dr. J. Jacobs, Secretary General (Norway/Germany)

South and East Asia

Dr. Z. WU, Vice-President (China)
Dr H. K. Gupta, Secretary General (India)
Dr. L. ZHAO, Deputy Secretary General (China)

Australia and Oceania

Dr. R. S. Blewett, Vice-President (Australia)
Dr. M. Jessell, Secretary General (Australia/U.K.)


Dr K. E. Asch, Vice-President (Germany)


Dr. A. Saidi, Vice-President (Iran)
Mrs. M. Esterabi Ashtiani, Secretary General (Iran)
Dr S. F. Fouad, Deputy Secretary General (Irak)

Northern Eurasia

Dr O. V. Petrov, Vice-President (Russia)
Dr. T. Tolmacheva, Secretary General (Russia)


Thematic Subcommissions


Dr. A. Khanchuk, President (Russia)
Dr. I. Pospelov, Secretary General (Russia)
. C. Passchier, Deputy Secretary General (UK/Australia)


Dr. M. Gozalvez, President (Argentina)
Dr. X Casanas Diaz, Secretary General (Cuba)

  Magmatism and metamorphism

Prof. R. Oberhänsli, President (Germany/Switzerland)
Prof. R. Bousquet, Secretary General (Germany/France)

  Natural Hazards

Dr. S. Takarada, President (Japan)


Dr P. Miles, President (United Kingdom)
Dr. J Escartin, Secretary General (France)


Dr. S. Broda, President (Germany)


Dr. M. Mandea, President (France/Romania)

Click here to download the complete list of the CGMW Bureau Members.


Mapping programs for the 2016-2018 period

  Booklets & Atlas


  • Map of the Orogens of the World - 1:25 000 000
  • Digital Geological Map of the World  1:5 000 000
  • International Tectonic Map of the Earth Northern and Southern Hemispheres -  1:25M - 1:50M
  • Large Igneous Provinces (LIPS) - layer to the upgrade of the Geological Map of the World at 1:25 000 000


  • International Geological Map of the Middle East (IGMME) - 1:5 000 000
  • Quaternary Map of the Middle East - 1:5 000 000
  • Tectonomagmatism Map of the Middle East -  1:5 000 000


  • Tectonic Map of Africa (3rd edition) - 1:5 000 000

   Europe & Eurasia      

  • Map of the Metamorphic evolution of the Eastern Mediterranean realm - 1:1 000 000
  • Quaternary Map of Europe (IQUAME 2500) - 1:2 500 000
  • GIS Metallogenic Map of Europe - 1:25 000 000
  • Mining and Metallurgical Wastes of Europe Map - 1:5 000 000
  • Metamorphic Map of the Tethyan Eastern Mediterranean Realm - 1:1 000 000
  • International Hydrogeological Map of Europe, northern extension - 1:5 000 000
  • Atlas of Geological Maps of Central Northern & Eastern Asia   
  • Explanatory notes of the Tectonic Map of Antarctica
  • Geological & Geophysical Maps of the Lambert Glacier Area (East Antarctica)
  • Atlas of geological maps of the Circumpolar Arctic
  • Tectonic Map of Antarctica (2nd edition)


  • Tectonic Map of Asia (ITMA 5000)  - 1:5 000 000
  • Eastern Asia Natural Hazards Map, 2nd edition - 1:7 700 000
  • Asia-Pacific Region Geohazard Map - 1:5 000 000


  • Geological Map of South America, 3rd edition - 1:5 000 000 (currently being published)
  • Structural Map of the Caribbean and Central America - 1:4 000 000
  • Structural Map of the North American Cordillera from Alaska to Central America  - 1:5 000 000
  • Geological & Mineral Resources Map of South America GiS - 1:1 000 000
  • Structural Map of the Amazonian Craton - 1:2.500 000
  • Tectonic Map of North America -  1:5 000 000
  • Geoheritage Map of South America - 1:5 000 000


  • Tectonic Map of Antarctica (2nd edition) - 1:10 000 000


  • Map of the World's ocean - 1:50 000 000
  • Structural Map of the Pacific Ocean - 1:20 000 000 (fusion E and W)
  • Structural Map of the Indian Ocean (2nd ed.) - 1: 20 000 000



  • World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map (upgrading) - 1:50 000 000


  • Metallogenic Map of the Caribbean and Central America - 1:4 000 000
  • Metallogenic Map of North America at 1:5 000 000


  • World-wide Hydrogeological Mapping and Assessment Programme (WHYMAP) - 1:25 000 000

Last Update At : 03 October 2022