Last Updated : October 20, 2020

About GSI



GSI, being the competent authority of the Survey Act, conducts national surveying and mapping activities, which provide a basis for the land management.

Historically it dates back to 1869 when cadastral Registration Map Section was established in the office of Geography Department, Ministry of Civil Service. Later in 1888 it was reorganized as Japanese Imperial Land Survey, and finally in 1945 it became the Geographical Survey Institute.
In April 2010, the official English appellation is changed to "Geospatial Information Authority of Japan."

The surveys GSI performs provide positional data (longitudes and latitudes) of the land and elevations from the mean sea level. A triangulation point and a benchmark give the exact position and elevation of that particular point on the earth, respectively. Today in addition to them GPS-based control stations are established for precise positional measurements where signals from the GPS satellites are continuously observed.

These control points are widely used for such purpose as public surveys executed by the national government and other public organs, for observations of crustal movements through continuous and repeated surveys, and for researches for disaster prevention including studies on earthquakes.

Preparation of various base maps, notably the topographical map series of 1/25,000 that cover the whole country, is another important task of GSI. Those maps are used as a basis for maps diverse public and private sectors prepare, such as administration area maps, road maps, GSI compiles several thematic maps (Land Use Map, Land Condition Map, Volcanic Land Condition Map, Map of Active Faults in Urban Area, etc.), which are an effective tool for disaster prevention efforts and national development. These maps are available in paper and in digital form (CD-ROM). Aerial photographs are also published.

Addressing the needs of the times we have introduced a new infrastructure concept, which we have been promoting as "Digital Japan" a virtual and real-time representation of the land realized by integrating various geospatial information and made accessible to anyone on the internet. As a sole responsible organ for national survey and mapping, we have been actively engaged in international cooperation in the field of survey and mapping and geosciences as well.

Organization Chart

Activities and Services

Main roles

Office in charge

National examination and registration of surveyors and assistant surveyors, approval of copy and use of survey results

General Affairs Department

General Affairs Division

Public relations and hearings, information service, consultations on survey and mapping, visitor information, management of Science Museum of Map and Survey

Public Relations Office

Management of surveying and mapping technology, standardization of geographic information

Planning Department

Technical Management Division

Administration of public survey

Survey Guidance Division

International cooperation, international research exchange, Global Mapping project (general affairs)

International Affairs Division

General management of geospatial information and GIS policy

Geospatial Information Planning Office

Disaster management efforts

Disaster Management Office

Geodetic activities including GPS survey, VLBI survey, leveling, gravity survey, and geomagnetic survey, management of control points

Geodetic Department

Reference service, publication and issuance of various survey data of control points, paper and digital maps, aerial photograph etc., GSI Web site, geospatial information service, clearinghouse management

Geospatial Information Department

Data providing and updating for the Digital Japan Basic Map (map information, ortho image and geographical names), including fundamental geospatial data, area data of municipalities, and R&D for the preparation of the geospatial information

National Mapping Department

Geographic studies of environmental monitoring, lakes and marshes, land use, land condition, active faults and volcanoes, Global Mapping project (techninal affairs), middle and small scale map compilation, disaster management geoinformation, 3D and digital map production

Geographic Department

GPS-based control points, crustal movement continuous monitoring, tidal observation

Geodetic Observation Center

Basic studies related with geography and crustal dynamics, Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction, UNJR (United States-Japan Conference on Utilization of Natural Resources), Coastal Movements Data Center

Geography and Crustal Dynamics
Research Center

Works in each region (basic surveys, Survey Act enforcement, etc.)

Regional Survey Departments


Location of GSI Head Office and Regional Offices

Geospatial Information Authority of Japan

1, Kitasato, Tsukuba 305-0811

Hokkaido Regional Survey Department

Sapporo Daiichi Government Building, 2-1-1, Kita Hachijo Nishi, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0808

Tohoku Regional Survey Department

Sendai Daisan Government Building, 1-3-15, Gorin, Miyagino-ku, Sendai 983-0842

Kanto Regional Survey Department

Kudan Daini Government Building, 1-1-15, Kudanminami, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0074

Hokuriku Regional Survey Department

Toyama Government Building, 11-7, Ushijima Shinmachi, Toyama 930-0856

Chubu Regional Survey Department

Nagoya Government Building No.2, 2-5-1, Sannomaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya 460-0001

Kinki Regional Survey Department

Osaka Government Building No.4, 4-1-76, Otemae, Chuo-ku, Osaka 540-0008

Chugoku Regional Survey Department

Hiroshima Government Building, 6-30, Kamihatchobori, Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730-0012

Shikoku Regional Survey Department

Takamatsu Sunport Government Building, 3-33 Sunport, Takamatsu 760-0019

Kyushu Regional Survey Department

Fukuoka Government Building, 2-11-1, Hakataeki Higashi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka 812-0013

Okinawa Regional Survey Department

Naha Daiichi Regional Government Building, 1-15-15, Hikawa, Naha 900-0022

How to get to GSI

English Brochures

Brief Overview of the GSI

Bulletin of the GSI