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The idea of writing a textbook on urban surveying and mapping originated with the Commission on Cartography of the Pan American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH) because of the urgent need for planned and integrated surveying and mapping in urban communities of the American Hemisphere. It is obvious, however, that, with the exception of some European countries, the same situation exists in most cities of the world. The undersigned was asked to undertake the task. The task was not simple. The only available comprehensive text in the field 1 is Geodezja Miejska, which was published recently in Poland and reached the authors only after most of the present text was written. It is tailored to a very specific market and different requirements. Although it is an impressive book, it differs vastly from our own approach. Other reference texts are fragmentary or obsolete. During the last two decades, revolutionary changes have occurred in survey- ing and mapping technology which have had a profound effect on actual procedures. In addition, the traditional concepts of urban surveying and map- ping are undergoing rapid evolution. It is recognized that administration and planning require a great variety of continuously updated information which must be correlated with the actual physical fabric of the community, as de- termined by surveying and mapping. Modern urban surveying and mapping is therefore the foundation of the broad and dynamic information system that is indispensable in any rational municipal effort.