This magnificent survey captures the city of Jaipur and its environs, including Amber (Amer), with unprecedented detail and accuracy. Done to an extremely large scale of one inch to one-sixth of a mile ( six times larger than normal Ordnance Surveys) and chromolithographed with great technical skill, the map gives an extremely precise rendering of Jaipur, including all of its major buildings and monuments, both within the city proper and in the outlying areas. The map was the product of the Rajputana Topographical Survey, a special field unit of the Surveyor General of India's Office that endeavored to map of all of what is today Rajasthan in exacting detail from the 1870s to the 1880s.
In the wake of the competition the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India (GTS) in 1870, upon which virtually all of India's physical landscape had been mapped to exacting scientific standards, the Surveyor General's Office of India (SGO) turned its attention to administering on-going surveys of different regions of the subcontinent, collectively known as the Survey of India. These surveys would continually chart changes to the landscape due to human activity, such as urban and infrastructure development, as well as to correct or add details of the physical geography that went beyond on the mapping done by the GTS. In essence, while the GTS laid an excellent foundation on which the modern geography of India was built, there were still many details, including dynamic elements, that were yet to be surveyed and recorded. One of the surveys of India's key endeavors was the Rajputana Topographical Survey. From the early 1870s onwards, teams of highly skilled surveyors and engineers were sent to map all of the what is today Rajasthan to an unprecedented level of detail and accuracy. This endeavor was aided by the fact that the rulers of the region's princely states, including the successive Maharajas of Jaipur, were well-disposed to the surveyors, providing them with technical support and legal warrants with which they could access all of the territories within their mandate.
The present map, based on surveys conducted during the Rajputana Topographical Survey's 1884-8 season, was perhaps the most important and impressive map produced by the project.