The most important range of maps is that produced by the National Geographic Institute (Instituto Geográfico Nacional).
There is an excellent interactive map of Spain which can take you all the way from 1:2,000,000 scale down to aerial photos at 1:1000.
If you are fluent in Spanish there is a very comprehensive description of all the maps available in the Spanish system with illutrations and explanations.
There is a wide range of printed maps for sale in the Virtual Shop where you can obtain printed maps if you are fluent in Spanish. Otherwise I would suggest you contact the excellent map shop, Mapas y Compañia in Málaga, telephone 922.214.171.124
The Digital DTM Topographic Map of Spain (Mapa Militar Digital de España) is a CD set based on the 1:250,000 topographic maps plus 100m contour information in DTM files. It comes with a viewing program allowing visualization in 2 or 3 dimensions, calculation of distances, and zooming. If you understand Spanish there is a very useful page about these maps here
The series 50 and Series 25 are the most useful paper maps covering all of Spain at scales of 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 respectively. Their current availability in printed form is a bit patchy but fortunately they can be downloaded for free in TIFF format.
The easiest way to get a free download is to go to the search page. To download maps you will first need to register (which is completely free) by pressing the button "Registrarse" just under the logo banner, at the right. Once registered, you can zoom in on the area you want by drawing a rectangle around it on the map. Then at the right, where it says "Filtrar por productos" choose the type of map you want (for geocaching choose MTN25 ráster or MTN50 ráster) and click "Ver lista de productos". Then select the sheet you want and press the little page icon in the column marked "Descargar".
The resulting zip file contains a TIFF format map that can be used in Ozi explorer or other mapping program, or printed out if you wish.
You can also search directly for the sheet number on the Advanced Search page. Again the product will be MTN25 ráster or MTN50 ráster. The "Hoja del MTN50" will be the 1:50,000 sheet number (see below) and the "Filtrar por" should be set to TIFF. Then click the "Ver lista de Productos" button.
For any geocache, you can find out the 1:50,000 sheet number from the page for that cache on this web site. Go to the main map and find the cache of interest. Clicking on the cache will give you a page which includes the sheet number.
If you want to find a downloadable version of large numbers of these maps you might try searching eMule for "Mapas España 50k"
The 1:25,000 sheets are the same as the corresponding 1:50,000 sheets followed by a roman numeral indicating the quadrant as follows:
So, for example the village of Benahavis, which is in the south west quadrant of sheet 1065 in the 1:50,000 series will be on sheet 1065-III of the 1:25,000 series.
- North West - I
- North East - II
- South West - III
- South East - IV
If you want to find a downloadable version of these 1:25,000 maps you might try looking at this blog. Clicking on the area you want on the main map will take you to a page where you can download the 1:25,000 map in ECW format. These can be used in OZIExplorer and many other mapping programs. On that same blog page there are links for downloading the maps in Garmin format as well.
The mapping system is currently being revised, replacing the ED50 system by the ETRS89 system. All the sheet numbers will change and we will of course bring you the new sheet numbers on this site when the maps are available. For those of you fluent in Spanish, there is a complete technical description available.
Regional and digital maps
There are numerous regional maps from the various autonomous regions of Spain, many in digital form and some available free on the web.
I am currently building up a complete list of these resources and if you know of a useful map that is not included here please let me know.
The Junta de Andalucía offer some excellent products. There are CDs containing the provinces of Andalucía at a scale of 1:10,000 as geo-referenced raster maps in black and white.
The actual maps (without the georeferencing) are available free for download from the web, but I have found that the site is not always reachable. You have to give your name and contact details but there is no charge for the download.
There is excellent availability of maps for La Rioja. The maps are downloadable as either topographical maps, relief maps or aerial photos. They are ideal for use with GPS mapping software and easy to find and download. Start at the main index page.
The Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya, on its pages for map download in English, also provides an excellent range of high-quality, freely downloadable maps. They come in Mr. Sid format.
The Dirección General de Obras Públicas. Gobierno de Navarra, on its pages mapas gratuitos, provides excellent freely downloadable maps of Navarra and its road system.
Matt Davis has notified me of an excellent page for maps of the Murcia region on Cartomur.
Some maps have been scanned and are in the public domain (according to www.elgps.com/mapas.html). Normally they contain an associated .map file for use with the OZIExplorer program. Those known to be available are:
You can obtain all the maps you need, as well as GPS units and accessories, at the excellent
Mapas y Compañía
in Málaga. Contact details as follows:
Mapas y Compañía
C/. Compañía, 33
Tel: 952 608 815