There has been an update of the Thai military maps which are available to the public. The military maps are topographical maps (ie. with contour lines showing altitude) that cover all of Thailand. The new maps are based on data from 2007 whereas the old maps which I have been using are based on aerial imagery from 1991. Below is a section of the map for Chiang Mai, showing Huay Tung Thao and the reservoir behind the 700 year stadium.

Small Sample Section of Map for Chiang Mai – copyright Royal Thai Survey Department

sample of 4746-I Chiang Mai map from the Royal Thai Survey Department - copyright Royal Thai Survey Department


sample of 4746-I Chiang Mai map from the Royal Thai Survey Department - this time after improving colors with 'auto level' in photoshop - copyright Royal Thai Survey Department

The new maps are available in DK books. Look for the rolled maps in boxes on the floor next to the book display. They are also still selling the old maps there, they are the green folded maps on the map display stand. At DK Books each new map is 150 B. The maps are also available from the Royal Thai Survey Department in Bangkok who you can call on 0898085775 (ask for Khun Oo). They sell the paper maps for 100 B each and have scanned digital versions of the maps available for 200 B or you can pay 1,400 B for the original vector map file which is a layered editable file of roads etc. I was able to order maps from them and pay by transferring money into their Thai Military Bank bank account in Bangkok. I was charged 200 B delivery charges for EMS mail. It seems they only speak Thai in the office.

This Google Earth overlay that I made can be used to find the index number of the map that covers a particular area you are interested in. It shows what map index number covers what area. As with all of these types of image overlays in Google Earth you can adjust the transparency with the slider below the ‘My Places’ side box. You will notice that this is the index grid for the L7017 S series of maps. This is the old series of maps but the index grid for the new series is just the same. The boundaries of each map as shown by the overlay are fractionally different from the real map but the overlay is not off by much. Here is a screen shot of the map overlaid on the Google Earth map :
Here also is a pdf from the Royal Thai Survey Department showing the index number grid on a map of Thailand.

In the hiking club we have some experience of using the scanned versions of these maps with gps equipment so that you can see your and other people’s tracks in real time overlaid onto the military maps.

You can find a discussion I started about getting the paper versions of these maps scanned at a high resolution in Chiang Mai here.