Soviet military mapping of the UK and contemporary Ordnance Survey mapping: a comparative analysis

Davis, M. and Kent, A. J. (2015) Soviet military mapping of the UK and contemporary Ordnance Survey mapping: a comparative analysis. In: 26th International Conference on the History of Cartography, 12th-17th July, 2015, Antwerp, Belgium.

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Abstract

From the 1940s until the 1990s the Military Topographic Directorate of the Soviet Union produced thousands of large- and small-scale topographic maps, in addition to large-scale urban plans, around the world. Theyears immediately after the end of the Cold War saw many of these previously secret maps become available for the first time, although no systematic studies have since been published.

This investigation compares a selection (Cambridge, Edinburgh and Chatham) of the ninety-one known Soviet plans of UK towns and cities with their contemporary Ordnance Survey products. Strong evidence is discovered that, in the Soviet products, much earlier descriptive sources were used inaddition to more recent geospatial data derived from satellite imagery. Another important aspect of this study examines the spatial accuracy of the plans: a high level of precision is revealed, with the sample possessing Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) values between 6.46 m and 11.14 m relative to current Ordnance Survey MasterMap data. Although Soviet mapping in general has seen very little investigation to date, such maps are much more than underexploited sources of topographic information: they offer considerable potential for informing future cartographic strategies, from standardisation initiatives to symbol design. In presenting new findings about the accuracy of these plans, as well as the source materials used in their production, this study therefore aims to encourage further investigation and to foster wider applications of this previously inaccessible topographic source.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GA Mathematical geography. Cartography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GA Mathematical geography. Cartography > GA0101 Cartography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GA Mathematical geography. Cartography > GA0101 Cartography > GA0109 Aerial cartography
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Human and Life Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Martin Davis
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2015 11:21
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2016 15:21
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/13591

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00