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In 1882, the administration of Charilaos Trikoupis, seeking for the establishment of new institutions for the modernization and development of the country, voted a law according to which “the Government is permitted to call upon foreign officers in order to study the Military Regulations of the Hellenic State …. and to introduce new applications in the Hellenic Army…..”

In August of 1889, the “Geodetic Mission” was established by the Austrian Military Mission under the command of the Lieutenant Colonel Heinrich Hartl with the purpose of compiling the “Topographic and Cadastral Map of the Country”.

The “Geodetic Mission”, which also included Greek officers from the corps of the engineers, was renamed to “Geodetic Section” in 1891.

According to the Royal Order dated 20-04-1895 and after the withdrawal of the Austrian Mission, the “Geodetic Section” was renamed to “Cartographic Military Service” and the first rules for its operations were established.

The Hellenic Military Geographical Service (HMGS) acquired its current name and its new rules according to the legislature of 10-02-1926.

During the Second World War, all the archives of the HMGS and its equipment were destroyed.

The reorganization of the Hellenic Military Geographical Service began with the legislature 968/49 concerning the “Re-establishment of the Hellenic Military Geographical Service”. In 1962, the Hellenic Government assigned to HMGS the project of “Mapping Greece”, beyond its military role. This project gave the possibility to the Service to reach a high level of evolution and be able to be compared to relevant Services of other developed countries.

Nowadays, HMGS produces all the cartographic products needed for supporting the Hellenic Armed Forces, as well as a variety of products for the development of the country and the needs of the general public.


Heinrich Hartl

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