Thursday, December 06, 2012

Mapping the Blitz

Where I live in the East End of London you can view the effect of the London Blitz on the landscape and architecture of the city almost everywhere you look.

My street alone was hit by four bombs during the Blitz during World War II. The effect of this is very evident and you don't really need a map to know where the bombs landed. In effect you just need to look at where the rather attractive Victorian housing ends and instead uglier, post-war red brick town houses, begin.


Pre-WWII & post war housing often indicate where bombs fell

However, to verify the locations of where bombs fell in London during the Blitz you can now view a new digital map. Bomb Sight is a map showing the location of every bomb that landed during the London Blitz in World War II.

To create the map the original 1940s bomb census maps were scanned, geo-referenced and the geographical locations of all the falling bombs were digitally captured. The map was created using Leaflet and therefore uses OpenStreetMap map tiles.



Using OpenStreetMap means that the map tiles are perfect for finding and viewing the locations of where the bombs fell. However I hope that in the future a Google Maps Street View layer is added to the map. Yesterday I spent a few hours using Bomb Sight to find the location of bombs and then having to open Google Maps to view the actual location in Street View.

West End at War is another great website for anyone interested in the London Blitz. Their Bomb Incidents section includes detailed stories, photographs and documents about the impact of specific bombs during the Blitz. The location of each bomb site is also shown using Google Maps (again unfortunately with no Street View option).

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