AP History Notes

The world's best AP history notes
Posts Tagged ‘map’

Incredible Blitz map, or, how is there still a London?

The UK’s National Archives has compiled an astonishing interactive map detailing the locations and dates of all the bombs that fell on London and environs during the Blitz. The Bomb Sight project has taken the original bomb census maps which documented the Blitz as it happened between October 7th, 1940, and June 6th, 1941, and uploaded the data onto web map. The bomb census maps used to only be available to visitors who went in person to the Reading Room of The National Archive, so this is an incredible resource now at the public’s fingertips for the first time.

You can type in a zip code to pull up a map of all the bombs in the area, or you can just browse the maps by zooming in and out as you please. You can click on each bomb for details, then click a “read more” link to see period photographs from the Imperial War Museum and the BBC’s People’s War archive of the devastated area. They’ve also collected memories of the bombings from people who lived in the area, so when you zoom in on one bomb you can read first person accounts of the experience from survivors. The sheer density of information is mind-boggling.

The website is having timeout errors right now because it’s so amazing, but don’t give up. You get a whole new understanding of the Blitz by seeing it mapped out. Here are the bombs that fell on London on September 7th, 1940, the first night of bombing:

Here are the bombs that fell on London during the second week of October:

Here are the total bombs that fell on London at night from October 1940 to June 1941:

In. Sane. It’s hard to believe a city could survive that with any structures left standing at all. The statistics — 20,000 civilians dead, a million plus homes destroyed, 57 consecutive nights of bombing — as horrific as they are can’t convey the scale of destruction. An interactive map is worth a million stats, to coin a new cliche.

Bomb Sight is also working on an Android App with Augmented Reality, which uses GPS data so people walking around in London can find out if a bomb hit anywhere near them. People not in London will also be able to explore the city with this app.


First complete map of Titanic wreck site

In the summer of 2010, experts from RMS Titanic Inc., the company that has legal custody of the wreck of the Titanic, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution returned to the famous wreck site off the coast of Newfoundland armed with the latest and greatest submarine imaging technology. The aim of the expedition was to map the entire 15 square mile debris field using high definition 3D and 2D photography and high resolution sonar.

The wreck site had been surveyed before, but none of the previous efforts combined covered more than 60% of the total area. Mappers were constrained by the limitations of manned submersibles (people can’t stay down there for long) and photo sleds (they can’t go very far afield). This time around, however, the Waitt Institute for Discovery provided cutting-edge robot surveyors called autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to capture the entire field with high-resolution side-scan sonar.

Once the sonar map was done, researchers used it to determine which areas have the greatest debris concentration or pieces of particular interest. They then dispatched remote operated vehicles equipped with high definition cameras to photograph those areas.

It took them almost two years to piece together the full picture of the wreck site from over 130,000 individual images, but the deed is done.

The complete Titanic wreck site

That’s the bow of the ship in the top center (detail here). The stern is on the bottom of the picture slightly to the left (detail here). When the ship sank, the stern snapped off and dropped to the ocean floor 2.3 miles below, so that spot is ground zero of the sinking of the Titanic. The stern debris includes the ship’s galley, upper decks, boilers, luggage cranes and cylinders. The bow came to its final resting place 1,970 feet away from the stern and facing in the opposite direction.

The square halfway down the map on the far right edge of the picture has been dubbed the deckhouse debris. It was one of the parts of the wreck that had never been seen before, and it turns out to be an important clue to understanding how the ship broke apart. It contains the ship’s third funnel and surrounding pieces of the deck. Its location, off-set from the bulk of the wreck, underscores the violence with which Titanic tore itself apart.

The History Channel, in a shocking break from their laser-like focus on ice road trucking, will be airing a special about the new discoveries on the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Titanic at 100: Mystery Solved debuts on April 15 at 8:00 PM EDT. It will include footage from the survey, computer simulations of the sinking based on the survey data, and my personal favorite, a “virtual hangar” in which they’ll reconstruct the ocean floor wreckage and reassemble the ship.

Titanic wreck in a virtual hangar


Leventhal Map Center Finding Its Way to New Location

On 22 October, the Leventhal Map Center will reopen to the public in the older McKim wing of the Boston Public Library.

The photo above, from the Boston Globe, shows executive director Janet Spitz in front of a feature of that new space: a map of Boston in 1775 enlarged on glass by the Lynn Hovey Studio. The original is credited to Lt. Richard Williams of His Majesty’s 23rd Regiment of Foot.

In the meantime, check out the center’s Flickr collection as well as its online catalogue.

Coin find widens Roman Map

Find a Roman coin in England doesn’t sound unusual, or even finding nearly a hundred, as a pair of metal detectorists recently did. But there are areas of England with little evidence of Roman expansion, and so this find of these coins from forty miles west of Exeter aroused interest. As the detectorists registered their finds with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, the University of Exeter were able to investigate, excavate, and found interesting remains, including a road, settlement, burials and evidence for international trade. The PAS website has a quote from the woman leading the research, and details of a TV appearance.

A Map of Washington

Smithsonian magazine offers an online look at some of George Washington’s map collection, drawn from Barnet Schecter’s new coffee-table book, George Washington’s America: A Biography Through His Maps.

As a surveyor, large property-owner, speculator in western lands, military commander, and government leader, Washington was keenly aware of the value of maps. His own collection ended up in the Yale University library system (much as, I suppose, two of Benjamin Franklin’s maps came to the Boston Public Library).

The image at top is a detail from one of those maps, a London rendition of the siege of Boston. British warships have set fire to Charlestown with their artillery, and in the upper right locals are fleeing. The area looks somewhat different today.

Map of WW2 UK Prison Camps

During World War 2 Britain housed around 400,000 prisoners of war across its country. Now the Guardian is using a new book on the subject – Sophie Jackson’s ‘Churchill’s Unexpected Guests’ – as a reason to put online a map featuring every known camp. It’s using Google, is zoomable and I discovered that there was a ‘German Work Camp’ a five minute drive up the road from me. If there are any British locations with meaning to you, worth a look.