Monday, November 08, 2010

Remembering WWII with Google Maps

Second World War Casualty Map

Just in time for Remembrance Day Patrick Cain has released this Google Map commemorating the 3,224 Torontonians who died in World War II.

During the Second World War Toronto kept a file of typed index cards at the city clerk’s office of soldiers killed in action or at German prisoner of war camps. The cards fill 12 boxes. Patrick has spent over 55 hours digitising the records and then geocoding the records to the homes listed as the next-of-kin address of those killed.

The result is this Google Map of Toronto residents killed in the war. The poppy shaped map markers indicate addresses. Where two or more people were killed in a household a number is displayed to show how many.

Patrick Cain has written a post on Open File called Remembering Toronto's Fallen from World War II. The post explores his reasons and methods for creating the map.

World War Two Timeline Project

The World War Two Timeline Project is an interesting attempt to chronologically and geographically, map the events of World War Two using the open source Simile Timeline. Using the map it is possible to view the major events of World War Two on a Google Map.

You can use the timeline, at the top of the map, to plot the progress of the war on the map. It is also possible to navigate the events of the war via tags. These tags include countries as well as subjects such as naval, aerial and land. The map creators say they have not finished adding data, so this map should become an even more useful resource over time.

Declassified Military Aerial Images Map

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monument of Scotland are busy mapping declassified military aerial photographs on Google Maps.

The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives have millions of military reconnaissance images of locations throughout the world declassified by the UK Ministry of Defence. The archives range from Second World War Allied and German Luftwaffe reconnaissance photographs to Cold War imagery.

To date RCAHMS have mapped reconnaissance photographs in Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. Using Google Maps to display the photographs means that users can compare the present day satellite view of locations with reconnaissance images from the past (mostly from World War II).


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