GSU Magazine, which I think is the alumni magazine of Georgia State University, has a short article about geographer Jeremy Crampton’s research on the work of cartographers in the Office of Strategic Services (the predecessor of the CIA) during World War II. Note the cameo appearance by Arthur Robinson. Via MapHist.
In its day, the Great War was the largest survey and mapping operation undertaken in history. No previous military engagement had so thoroughly exploited their potential. Today, trench maps provide an important visual record of the conflict that cannot be duplicated from other sources and stand as a noble testament to the hardships experienced by frontline troops as they faced the horrors of the battlefield.
Maps were constantly being produced for artillery crews, who needed up-to-date information; the existing topographical maps were not necessarily up to the task. Thanks to Rebecca Barry for the tip. (Above: a blueprint map of No Man’s Land in the Ypres salient, produced by the 2nd Canadian Division in 1916; Library and Archives Canada, NMC 21462).
Pobediteli: Soldiers of the Great War was a Russian Internet project created in 2005 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II (in the former Soviet Union, the Great Patriotic War). It involves an incredible animated and interactive map of the Eastern Front from 1941 to 1945, with popup windows appearing as the timeline progresses that include original documents, audio and transcripts from surviving veterans, and details of key military engagements. Possibly the most over-the-top interactive historical map I have ever seen. Via Kottke; thanks also to Neil Bruder.