The status of topographic mapping in the world. A UNGGIM-ISPRS project 2012-2015
Example of Ile de Reunion 1:25000 mapping
Obviously the effort to gather data at large scale (1:25 000) takes much more effort than for small scales (1:250 000) and is much more costly. This is why large parts of the globe are still not covered at large scale, particularly in Africa and Latin America, and where such data exist, they are at least 20 years old, since updates are also time consuming and costly.
The UN has given up surveys on the status of topographic mapping in 1986 until UNGGIM was created in 2011. At that time ISPRS offered cooperation to revive the surveys from 2012 to 2015.
The final report of this activity shows, that large progress has been made since 1986 due to use of improved technology. Reference has also been made to the non-authoritative mapping efforts by industry as opposed to the authoritative efforts made by national mapping agencies.
UNGGIM is in preparation to follow up the status of geospatial topographic data on an annual basis. GEO has kindly offered to make this effort more widely known by placing the reports on its website. You can download the full project report here.