Friday, December 23, 2016

75 Years of CIA Maps Now Declassified & Made Available Online

Satellite-connected devices do all the hard work of navigation for us: plan journeys, plot distances, tell us where we are and where we’re going. The age of the highly skilled cartographer may be coming to an end. But in the past few hundred years—since European states began carving the world between them—the winners of colonial contests, World War battles, and Cold War skirmishes were often those who had the best maps. In addition to their indispensable role in seafaring and battle strategy, “good maps,” writes Danny Lewis at Smithsonian, have been “an integral part of the tradecraft of espionage.”

The CIA will tell you as much… or they will now, at least, since they’ve declassified decades of once-secret maps from the days when they “relied on geographers and cartographers for planning and executing operations around the world” rather than on “digital mapping technologies and satellite images.”

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