TDI Friday Read: Cool Maps Edition

Today’s edition of TDI Friday Read compiles some previous posts featuring maps we have found to be interesting, useful, or just plain cool. The history of military affairs would be incomprehensible without maps. Without them, it would be impossible to convey the temporal and geographical character of warfare or the situational awareness of the combatants. Of course, maps are susceptible to the same methodological distortions, fallacies, inaccuracies, and errors in interpretation to be found in any historical work. As with any historical resource, they need to be regarded with respectful skepticism.

Still, maps are cool. Check these out.

Arctic Territories

Visualizing European Population Density

Cartography And The Great War

Classics of Infoporn: Minard’s “Napoleon’s March”

New WWII German Maps At The National Archives

As an added bonus, here are two more links of interest. The first describes the famous map based on 1860 U.S. Census data that Abraham Lincoln used to understand the geographical distribution of slavery in the Southern states.

The second shows the potential of maps to provide new insights into history. It is an animated, interactive depiction of the trans-Atlantic slave trade derived from a database covering 315 years and 20,528 slave ship transits. It is simultaneously fascinating and sobering.

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Shawn Woodford
Shawn Woodford

Shawn Robert Woodford, Ph.D., is a military historian with nearly two decades of research, writing, and analytical experience on operations, strategy, and national security policy. His work has focused on special operations, unconventional and paramilitary warfare, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, naval history, quantitative historical analysis, nineteenth and twentieth century military history, and the history of nuclear weapon development. He has a strong research interest in the relationship between politics and strategy in warfare and the epistemology of wargaming and combat modeling.

All views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of any other private or public organization or entity.

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