Alastair Macdonald

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For the Scottish historian, see Alastair J Macdonald.
For the British general, see Alastair Macdonald (British Army officer).
Alastair Macdonald MBE
Born 1932
Nationality British
Known for Deputy Director of the Directorate of Overseas Surveys c1971-1982
Director of Surveys and Production at Ordnance Survey 1982-1992

Alastair Macdonald MBE is a retired land surveyor and author.[1]


Macdonald decided to become a surveyor at the age of nine.[1]

He took part in two Spitsbergen expeditions while at Cambridge University.[1]

He joined the Directorate of Colonial Surveys in 1955,[1] serving in field parties in Kenya, Southern Cameroons, Uganda, the Bahamas, Sarawak, Nyasaland, Bechuanaland and Zambia.[1] In 1969 he was seconded to the government of Malawi.[1]

From 1971 he served with the Ministry of Defence before becoming Deputy Director of the Directorate of Overseas Surveys.[1]

In 1982 he moved to the Ordnance Survey where he was Director of Surveys and Production until his retirement in 1992.[1][2]

In 2002 he spoke at the International Court of Justice in a case concerning the maritime boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria.[3]

In 2009 he was awarded an MBE for services to the resolution of boundary disputes in Africa and to cartography more generally.[4]


  • Mapping The World, A History of the Directorate of Overseas Surveys 1946-1985, Alastair Macdonald, 1996, 210 pages, HMSO, Norwich, ISBN 0-11-701590-3


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Macdonald, Alastair (1996). Mapping The World (1st ed.). Norwich, England: HMSO. pp. ii. ISBN 0-11-701590-3. 
  2. ^ "New future plotted for old mapping". Southampton, England: Ordnance Survey. 2005-09-19. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Case concerning the land and maritime boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria" (PDF). International Court of Justice. 2002-10-10. Retrieved 1 February 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ London Gazette, 13 June 2009, pp. 25