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You are here: Home / en / About us / About us / IGMI today

IGMI today

IGMI is the Italian Army’s geographic supporting office and also the national cartographic authority. For the above-mentioned reasons, it has been necessary to combine the geospatial requirements of the Ministry of Defence, also depending on the agreements signed with NATO, with those asked by national and EU regulations. For example, in 2007, the EU issued the INSPIRE[1] Directive, that establishes an infrastructure for spatial information in the European Union in order to enhance the sharing of spatial data. The activities carried out by IGMI have therefore a dual nature and are the result of Italy’s international relations within the new international geostrategic framework.

IGMI plays an important role as a centre for production, study, collection and sales within the geographic information field (Cartography, Geodesy, Remote Sensing and GIS – Geographic Information System). Duties and responsibilities involve the tasks of  integrating and standardizing the geographic information shared with NATO and EU partners.


a. Production Division

(1) Geodesy

  • Setting up, updating, management and maintenance (field measurements and data processing) of national geodetic networks such as: the National Fundamental Dynamic Net (RDN)[2], created in accordance with the Prime Minister’s Decree of November 10th, 2011 and the NRTK[3] network (still in the planning stage) that provides real time GPS correction and a highly accurate leveling network;
  • Maintenance, measurement and benchmarking of the state borders by means of periodic mapping on the ground, in accordance with the applicable international bilateral agreements. Taking part in the activities of joint commissions and groups of experts established on the basis of bilateral agreements, signed with the bordering nations and in close collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • Performance of geophysical measurements (gravimetry and earth’s magnetism) and geodetic astronomy;
  • Processing and maintenance of the transformation parameters among the various national systems (Roma 40, ED50, WGS84 and ETRS89);
  • Monitoring, calibration and verification of the geodetic instruments on behalf of third parties;
  • Performance of high precision measurement, useful for checking the stability of historical buildings and monitoring crustal and surface movements in case of major national events or natural disasters.


(2) Cartography, Geographic Database, Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing

  • Acquisition, derivation and integration of regional data, in order to create, update and manage different topographic databases (DBT) at medium and small-scale (DBSN[4], ERM);
  • Production and updating of the official state cartography, at medium and small- scale (scale 1:50.000, scale 1:250.000, scale 1:1.000.000);
  • Acquisition of high-resolution photogrammetric data of Italy through agreements with other public entities;
  • Studies, researches and testing in cartography and topography in collaboration with Italian universities and other Italian and European public entities.


b. Training activity

The Superior School of Geographic Sciences is a national benchmark for basic and advanced training in cartography and topography.

Every year, several courses and a master’s degrees are organized for the technical staff working at IGMI, the Ministry of Defence and other public entities.


c. Archives and culture

In this sector, IGMI is in charge of:

  • Ensuring the conservation and development of geographical, topographic and cartographic collections, including books and magazines, along with the terrestrial, panoramic and zenith photographic shots heritage, original campaign documents and instruments acquired or used by IGMI to carry out institutional activities and now stored in the archives and in the “Attilio Mori” Library;
  • Cataloguing, digitizing and archiving of technical documents
  • Making available all documents stored in the library to IGMI staff and researchers for consultation, study and reproduction
  • Repairing and restoring damaged paper documents;
  • Supervising the implementation and updating of the official database for Italian place names;
  • Publishing the magazine “L’Universo” and other publishing products, both in hard-copy and digital format;
  • Organizing scientific and cultural exhibitions related to the activities carried out by the Institute;
  • Printing and packaging of the institutional publications.



d. Sales Department

In this sector, IGMI is responsible for:

  • Selling of cartographic, photogrammetric and geodetic products in order to recover their marginal costs;
  • Working on behalf of third parties, for both private and public entities (with priority given to institutional commitments);
  • Providing advice to private and public entities, upon request.


e. National and International Affairs

Being the national cartographic authority for geospatial information, IGMI is the reference for all aspects of production, distribution, standardization, etc.
Its main activities are summarized below:

  • Signing of cooperation agreements with foreign cartographic organizations in order to share information and expertise in the geographic field;
  • Signing of framework agreements and other acts and conventions, with regions, provinces, ministries and universities as well as other private and public entities,
  • Representing Italy at EUREF[5] symposium (yearly organised) with its own geodetic networks: IGM95 and RDN.
  • Participating in EuroGeographics activities, together with 59 other cartographic and cadastral authorities of 46 European countries. IGMI joined this association in 1992 and has been a full member since September 5th 2012;
  • Consulting and supporting Copernicus[6] programme, whose Italian representative is the National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale - ISPRA).

[1]INSPIRE: Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe; Directive 2007/2/EU of March 14th, 2007;

[2] Network of permanent GPS stations that are regularly recalculated.

[3] Network real-time kinematic (NRTK). Network of permanent GPS stations transmitting corrections to the mobile GPS units in order to have a high precision positioning without post-processing.

[4] Data Base Sintesi Nazionale.

[5] European Reference Frame: In charge of the definition, realization and maintenance of the European Geodetic Reference Systems

[6] Copernicus: Earth observation programme directed by the European Commission in partnership with the European Environment Agency (EEA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the EU member states. It carries out environmental monitoring in order to manage emergencies and humanitarian crisis.