In an increasingly GIS‐literate world, the availability of quality topographic maps and map databases is critical for the numerous users of spatial data. Particularly governmental agencies, first responders, and utility and transportation services, rely on the completeness and classification correctness of these maps. Estonia has systematically updated its topographic Basic Map in digital form over the past 15 years. An analysis of the Estonian production process in the period 2003‐2006 provides a useful case study of both error types and error frequencies encountered in topographic mapping. Errors of completeness and classification correctness of topographic features are analyzed at two levels of specificity: in general, across all map sheets, and in detail according to the field‐workers who performed the mapping. The structure of errors at the two levels was different by geometry and error types; however, both systematic and individual errors were evident. The systematic errors indicated a need for revision and improvement of the data capture specifications, which was accomplished. The individual errors were addressed by additional training for the field‐workers involved.