Brief Thoughts On Maps

You stick with your maps and scribbles mate. It increases your brainpower.
Now, if only I could remember where I left the pencil. :)
 
I'm currently 2 days into running a map reading course in NE Nigeria for a bunch of new surveyors*.

Key takeaways - so far - are:

1. None of them have ever seen a paper map** before.

2. None of them have ever held a compass before.

3. Unsurprisingly, none of them have ever been taught pacing or judging distances.

4. They're all educated people, but education in Nigeria is 'chalk and talk' that you endure to pass a test, then you forget it. None of them have ever done any practical training. I was laughing earlier at one woman who made a complete dog's breakfast of rolling up a 100m tape...but I don't think any of them expected that they would actually be going outside to do map reading*** and too of them complained - to me, as I was stood next to them - that it was 'excessively hot'.

To be fair, they seem to really enjoy the practical stuff now they realise it's not 'death by PowerPoint' in the afternoon.

It's 'using the compass' tomorrow: should be interesting!

* These are people who will be going out to do socio-economic surveys of the impact of mines, UXO etc on rural communities.

** Maps are versions of the Soviet-era maps described above, with a modern UTM grid overlay and 'Openstreetmap'. Haven't yet been able to get anything more modern out of the Surveyor-General's office.

*** They work for an NGO where 'training' has historically been very 'theoretical'.
 
This cropped up on a different thread but I think it belongs in here as well.

The British Geological Society has produced an interactive geological map of the U.K. called iGeology.

iGeology App | Britain's rocks in your pocket | British Geological Survey (BGS)

Produces maps like this:
DDEFA0FC-B5E2-4333-A827-D299D659AA36.jpeg


I had to chop the actual map down a bit to get it to load.

I added the average age of the bedrock from west to east (the range is from 66mya to 145mya).

It looks as if I am living on what was probably a narrow sea (I live roughly in the centre of the picture) which had various deposits dumped on it over that timescale.

Hmm. A bit of further checking suggests the entire area was a sea 100mya as there are no terrestrial fossils anywhere.
 
Not a map, per se, actually an old M.o.D plan for R.A.F. Bradwell Bay, dated 1945.
A friend of a friend (no, seriously) has moved nearby and got hold of what I believe is an A1 sized photocopy of the plan. The plan shows buildings and facilities on the airfield, that are numbered and indexed.
Being a moron with plenty of time on my hands, I photographed it and tried to 'stitch' the 2 images with Microsoft I.C.E. Due to the camera being at slightly off directly vertical, or lens distortion, this wasn't successful.
I then scanned it (A4!) and stitched the results. 18 scans stitched together was the charm! Microsoft Image Composite Editor is ace and FREE.
Unfortunately, the text on the paper copy was seriously degraded. Using a copy of my scan I have erased the original numbers and re-texted them.
Although I can't guarantee 100% accuracy with placement, I'm pretty sure that using what remained of the text, crossing off against the index and best guess, it's not that wrong.
Also, interestingly, using the placement and numbering of the hardstandings, you can see where expansion took place through the course of the war, noticeably the 3 large bomber hardstandings for damaged or fuel short aircraft returning from missions. There are also more hardstandings on the ground than in the index, so not catching up with the admin is nothing new. The same applies to a lesser extent in the personnel sites, often there is an extra building or two.
There is also a size difference in the recreation hut facilities between occifers, sergeants and o/r.

The original image, after being scanned was 25Mb, after Mr. Gimp was used this blossomed to 65Mb. I tried compressing to a suitable size for uploading, but ended up with pixel soup. The image linked below is about 6Mb and appears to download OK - given a bit of time, which is also needed when using a viewer.
I have added an image overlay to Google Earth that works pretty well, but since the demise of the Google Earth Community, it doesn't seem possible to share the .kmz file.

R.A.F. Bradwell Bay c.1945
 
Good stuff.

I think it is absolutely a map. A big map! The bugger wouldn’t load on the iPad so I downloaded it on the laptop and looked at it on Irfan Viewer. Needed a bit of scrolling around to see the various parts.

“Not a map, per se” is an interesting point though. A map is only a model to a given object level of abstraction. So going down the levels would be something like:
  • Real world
  • Life size model
  • Scale model
  • Photograph
  • Detailed map (say OS)
  • less detailed map (say road atlas)
  • rough sketch map
That one is probably a detailed map. It tells you all you need to know about the airfield and nothing more.

The two concentric circles are marked:
91 D.F - HOMER
112 HF/DF STATION

What do they mean. I guess HF is high frequency but don’t get the rest. And why are they marked at 109 and 209 yards?
 
The two concentric circles are marked:
91 D.F - HOMER
112 HF/DF STATION

What do they mean. I guess HF is high frequency but don’t get the rest. And why are they marked at 109 and 209 yards?
Correction: HF/DF wasn't a navigation aid.

HF/DF was used for tracking friendly fighters in order to facilitate ground-controlled interception. Bradwell Bay would have been one of three stations in the sector with HF/DF receivers, and collectively they allowed Sector Control to triangulate the location of own forces and vector them onto the enemy.

Wikipedia version

As to the distances? Couldn't tell you. I'm not sure anyone was seriously worried about RF hazards back then.
 
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Correction: HF/DF wasn't a navigation aid.

HF/DF was used for tracking friendly fighters in order to facilitate ground-controlled interception. Bradwell Bay would have been one of three stations in the sector with HF/DF receivers, and collectively they allowed Sector Control to triangulate the location of own forces and vector them onto the enemy.

Wikipedia version

As to the distances? Couldn't tell you. I'm not sure anyone was seriously worried about RF hazards back then.
DF(Direction Finding) was an aid to navigation in that it could be used to home an aircraft to overhead an airfield. Once the aircraft was confirmed overhead on the CR tube it was a simple process of using a clock and compass headings to allow the aircraft to descend into a safe area to let down through clouds to enable it to land in poor weather.

This was known as a Controlled Descent Through Cloud or - using the Q Code system - a QGH.

Here goes



Still in use at UK military airfields in the ‘70s when I did my flying training!
 
HF/DF was a crucial element of the Fighter Command C2 network. Each squadron's aircraft radios transmitted automatically at a pre-set but different number of minutes from the top of the hour. The HF/DF network could therefore triangulate on them and track the blue force precisely even where radar coverage wasn't available (in the BoB, almost everywhere over land). Sector controllers got information on the enemy from a mixture of radar and observer reports, on friendly aircraft from HF/DF, their job was to bring the two together at a tactically sensible moment.

HF/DF was a technology challenge - DF was well understood but doing it on high frequency radio, quickly, was new. The RN took the system to sea and found they could sometimes track in on U-boat position reports, although these were fleeting burst transmissions. This was especially useful when the Enigma was proving difficult to crack - you don't need to read the message to benefit from knowing where a U-boat is.

This went badly wrong for my granddad the communist sailor, whose ship (possibly him - he was a telegraphist) got a HF/DF fix on a U-boat, raced off to attack, and got torpedoed.
 
HF/DF was a crucial element of the Fighter Command C2 network. Each squadron's aircraft radios transmitted automatically at a pre-set but different number of minutes from the top of the hour. The HF/DF network could therefore triangulate on them and track the blue force precisely even where radar coverage wasn't available (in the BoB, almost everywhere over land). Sector controllers got information on the enemy from a mixture of radar and observer reports, on friendly aircraft from HF/DF, their job was to bring the two together at a tactically sensible moment.

HF/DF was a technology challenge - DF was well understood but doing it on high frequency radio, quickly, was new. The RN took the system to sea and found they could sometimes track in on U-boat position reports, although these were fleeting burst transmissions. This was especially useful when the Enigma was proving difficult to crack - you don't need to read the message to benefit from knowing where a U-boat is.

This went badly wrong for my granddad the communist sailor, whose ship (possibly him - he was a telegraphist) got a HF/DF fix on a U-boat, raced off to attack, and got torpedoed.
The full story, did he survive, did he make it home?
 
This one is a map for sure!
During the 2nd unpleasantness one mustn't mention, the police in (I believe) every area kept a map of damage done during raids.
This included not only exploded bombs,but also listed as far as possible types, H.E., incendiary, V1/2, oil, plus those reported as UXBs. Also listed was damage by A.A. shells that were working for the Germans by returning to sender.
Strafing attacks were also noted.
The map was compiled throughout the war from Essex Police, or should I say 'Constabulary' reports that a friend has obtained for an e-book he is writing.
One UXB (No.112) landed in marshland that is now a large retirement park. It was probably dealt with, but who knows, one day Fred might be forking his begonias to suddenly find himself being gone.
One string of bombs, starting Nos 23-42, were from one plane, consisting of 20 x 50kg. The plane, I think a Dornier, was shot down over Foulness. As Canvey wasn't a real target, just near Thames oil installations, it's likely given the W->E direction that he had been intercepted and was already making a run for it.

Canvey BD.jpg
 
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Your friend might want to have a butchers round about pages 9/10ish in this thread.

And maybe check out bombsight.org for scalable interactive maps of bomb distribution.

The site is limited to the London Blitz though.
 
Your friend might want to have a butchers round about pages 9/10ish in this thread.

And maybe check out bombsight.org for scalable interactive maps of bomb distribution.

The site is limited to the London Blitz though.
I'll have a look at the earlier pages and pass it on. The bombsite project is interesting, but as you say, limited to the London Blitz and I feel a bit limited detail-wise as most incidents when clicked just show very basic info.
I was volunteering with the British Library Geo referencing project a few years back and tried getting them interested in the local police maps that are, or should be kept at the county records office. The girl running the project reckoned that the logistics of obtaining copies on a nationwide scale made it unfeasible.
Seeing the old maps overlaid into Google Earth is fascinating.
I'm trying to retrieve the .kmz I did for this map.
 
There are some very clever maps here:
Buy a Brexit Map

They are Brexit “tube style” maps addressing the relevant Brexit issues by U.K. region. (And please, let’s just appreciate the maps and not drift down yet another Brexit rabbithole).

Here is an example:
6035502C-93D1-46CF-8701-DEFD513ADD3D.jpeg


They are available for sale should you wish to purchase one*.









* Or you could right click on the image!
 
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There is an interlude somewhere up the thread about counter-intuitive geographic "anomalies" such as bits of Europe being south of bits of Africa etc.

i found this map today which shows that Greenland is north, south, west and east of Iceland, which just sounds plain wrong.
greenland-v-Iceland.png
 
And coincidentally a friend who is on hols in Devon sent me this picture (although I don’t think she took it) and asked “WTF is this. Tarrant is north, east and west. How does that work FFS” (foul-mouthed Northern trollop).

076FC372-25B9-427E-AC52-E1439E807512.jpeg


Well I couldn’t find a Tarrant in the U.K. but moseying around Wimborne Minster on Google Maps I realised that the signs actually point to Tarrant Keynston, Tarrant Rushton etc.

There are loads of places in that part of Devon called Tarrant Something.

Which will probably not be news to any Scaleys.
 
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And coincidentally a friend who is on hols in Devon sent me this picture (although I don’t think she took it) and asked “WTF is this. Tarrant is north, east and west. How does that work FFS” (foul-mouthed Northern trollop).

View attachment 345048

Well I couldn’t find a Tarrant in the U.K. but moseying around Wimborne Minster on Google Maps I realised that the signs actually point to Tarrant Keynston, Tarrant Rushton etc.

There are loads of places in that part of Devon called Tarrant Something.

Which will probably not be news to any Scaleys.
From google: Tarrant is a topographical name for someone or thing by the side of the river Tarrant in Dorset.
 
My Oxford Dictionary Of British Place-Names says this:

Celtic river-name possibly meaning ‘the trespasser’, i.e. ‘river liable to floods’, and giving name to the following: Tarrant Crawford Dorset. Tarente 1086 (DB), Little Craweford 1280. Distinguishing affix from Craveford 1086 (DB), ‘ford frequented by crows’, OE crwe + ford. Tarrant Gunville Dorset. Tarente 1086 (DB), Tarente Gundevill 1233. Manorial affix from the Gundeville family, here in the 12th cent.​
Tarrant Hinton Dorset. Terente 9th cent., Tarente 1086 (DB), Tarente Hyneton 1280. ‘Estate on the River Tarrant belonging to a religious community (Shaftesbury Abbey)’. OE hwan + tn. Tarrant Keyneston Dorset. Tarente 1086 (DB), Tarente Kahaines 1225. ‘Estate held by the Cahaignes family’, here from the 12th cent. Tarrant Launceston Dorset. Tarente 1086 (DB), Tarente Loueweniston 1280. ‘Estate held by a man called Lofwine or a family called Lowin’.​
Tarrant Monkton Dorset. Tarente 1086 (DB), Tarent Moneketon 1280. ‘Estate belonging to the monks (of Tewkesbury Abbey)’. OE munuc + tn. Tarrant Rawston Dorset. Tarente 1086 (DB), Tarrant Rawston alias Antyocke 1535. ‘Ralph's estate’, earlier ‘estate held by the Antioch family’. Tarrant Rushton Dorset. Tarente 1086 (DB), Tarente Russeus 1280. ‘Estate held by the de Rusceaus family’, here in the 13th cent.​
So pretty much wot u sed.
 

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