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Archive for the ‘Map History’ Category

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Back in 2008 the word cartocacoethes was first used on this blog to describe “a mania, uncontrollable urge, compulsion or itch to see maps everywhere.”

Counter cartocacoethes can be applied in the world of espionage allowing spies to sneak intelligence out of hostile territories – making maps that don’t look like maps.

Stained-glass windows, butterfiles, leaves, moth heads…

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In making the drawings of fortified positions after ascertaining their plans, it was the work of the spy so to disguise them that their true character would not be recognized in the event of his capture by military authorities in the country where he was operating.

The plans of a fortification were first drawn in a regular manner and then disguised. In one case this was done by sketching ostensibly a stained-glass window. To the casual observer the drawing would bear no indication of its importance, but to the spy it was a carefully executed map of a military stronghold.

In another case the spy chose an ivy leaf as a pattern, the veins being drawn to represent the outline of the fortified position; the shading marking the ground sheltered from fire, and heavy spots, resembling worm-eaten holes, the positions of the large guns.

The entire article, reproduced in Popular Mechanics (July 1915) from an article in The Sketch (February 24, 1915):

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It measures 69 feet long and 11 feet wide and required the services of nearly a dozen men to carry it…

Enormous map moving, ca. 1917.

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The map shows that portion of the United States between the eastern boundary of Minnesota and the Pacific coast, and the entire Northern Pacific Railway system, including practically every station on the line.

Popular Mechanics, February 1917.

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Catalonian Health Administration Areas (1936-39)

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Foreign interests allied against the Spanish Republic (1937)

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Aragon Front of the war: Republican gains shown as broken barbed wire, prisoners taken shown as silhouettes of men marching under guard, and captured armaments shown as images of specific weapons with numbers captured (1936).

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The Way to Peace! Nine maps of German campaigns from August 1914 to spring 1918.

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The Impact of Our Submarines: Reduction in shipping, south-east Britain, due to German Submarines (1917)

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Imperial War Museum @ VADS

Spanish Civil War Poster Collection

Posters of Conflict Collection

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Thanks to A London Salmagundi for original link

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Chemical smoke puffs represent exploding shells…

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Surveyed through field glasses that make it appear miles away, a novel war map at Princeton University makes artillery practice realistic to students of the Princeton unit of the Reserve Officers Training Corps.

…Each student takes his turn at directing the miniature “barrage.” The ingenious map is operated by the instructor, who follows the student’s data and commands to fire. A small adjoining map is criss-crossed with lines showing where shells with various ranges would strike. Over this key chart moves a lever which, placed at the spot where the student’s shot would fall, swings a glass nozzle to a corresponding position on the large map; at the student’s word “fire” a puff of artificial smoke is released.

Popular Mechanics, May 1927

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“Plan shewing principle characters of work used in mapping.”

A map of nowhere showing everything.

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Without and with color.

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Terrain symbols.

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“Plan shewing proposed new street.”

Maps are propositions, right?

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Trees and terrain.

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Geological mapping.

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George G. André

The Draughtsman’s Handbook of Plan and Map Drawing
Including Instructions for the Preparation of Engineering, Architectural, and Mechanical Drawings.

London, New York, E. & F. N. Spon, 1891

Entire book available from Google Books

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The isotherms nestle together,
The isobars tenderly twine…

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Cupid’s Weather Map

If Gladys had sent me no message,
Or the mail from Palm Beach met mishap,
Though I lacked premonition or presage
Or courage the wires to tap,
I am sure I could learn when she planned her return
From one look at the weather man’s map.

You’ll notice, no matter in what light
These loops and festoons you may view,
Wherever she moves, like a spot-light,
A zone of fair weather moves, too.
The breezes of May will be blowing her way
When our cars and our fingers are blue.

One sunshiny patch, set off clearly
In a country with rain-clouds all black,
To-day travels northward or nearly,
While a blizzard descends in its track.
Can I possibly err if from this I infer
That Gladys is on her way back?

No; the stupid old map of the weather
Tells the news in its tiniest line.
The isotherms nestle together,
The isobars tenderly twine,
While the forecast they print bears so rosy a tint
It well might be Cupid’s – or mine.

Philip Loring Allen

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Life, February 28, 1907, p. 49

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Scouts, snipers, poison gas, gas masks, trench warfare, rifle ranges, gun positions… Maps and war ca 1917…

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And a terrific type at that.

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Map Reading and the Training of the Intelligence Section, i.e., Scouts, Snipers and Observers are a group of subjects which every officer should personally take interest in.

Not only because they are, as subjects, most interesting, but because they are of the most vital importance when in actual warfare.

To be unable to take a map of a strange sector of country, and thoroughly understand what every line and sign means, is to be helpless in the face of the enemy.

Consequently, I would advise every officer, N.C.O and man to improve his knowledge on map reading and its component parts, as active service in war will call on them every day for a thorough understanding of this subject.

LIEUT. COL. R. B. HAMILTON
Late O.C. Queen’s Own Rifles, 1917

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Orienteering with maps.

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Orienteering with maps.

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In Plate No. 10-A, we have a sample page of a field book after the traverse has been made and all the desired notes are completed ready to plot on arriving at headquarters or camp.

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Trench raid mapping.

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Trench map showing snipers and observation posts.

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Indirect firing at the longer ranges requires a proper fixed rifle stand, something on the lines of the stand shown in plate No. 25.

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Gun position.

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Map showing gun ranges and compass bearings.

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C. D. A. Barber

Map Reading and Intelligence Training.

Cleveland, Edward McKay, 1917

Book available at Google Books

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