View Full Version : Russian Maps of UK

Peter Kirk
06-12-2008, 17:48
Has anyone come across the Russian maps of the UK that were released many months ago? One of the write ups implied there were details of airfields shown on these. I suspect details as far as the press goes is a line showing the runway!
I managed to download a sample but this was the equivalent to 1:50000 sacle so had little information. There were larger scales available but I understand they were bought up by a commercial enterprise so will never see the light of day again (except for wads of cash). I was wondering if the had useful snapshots of the early postwar years or 1960's showing airfields?

06-12-2008, 21:25
Why would a "commercial enterprise" buy up mapping to compete with what was already available, newer, via OS? and then not release it? even to those of us (like we forum readers) with specialised interests. I presume all the annotations would be in Cyrillic, but I, for one, would like to know what the Soviets knew. Conspiracy theory anyone?
I remember reading at the time of whole towns filled with cartographers, sworn to secrecy, beavering away to copy what anyone in Western Europe could buy comparatively cheaply. What a waste of effort and money to fuel soviet paranoia rather than trust what Western governments allow their own people to have, buuuuuuuuuuuut, I wouldn't mind access to their early satellite imagery of the UK. Oh for a website like MSVE but in B&W, covering 1956 to say, when I first found Multimap!
BTW, What does JARIC have in its files?

Peter Kirk
06-12-2008, 22:31
It was Landmark that bought them. More information here http://www.envirocheck.co.uk/envirocheck/content.jsp?head=7363&body=11036.
I am pretty sure that a lot of old JARIC stuff was combined with the TARA stuff which has now moved to RCAHMS Edinburgh.
Whether this will be availble to view/order online remains to be seen. Scroll down this page to see news item http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/news.html
There is a site in America that has online all the old USGS photo's some dating back to 1940's and I think 1930's - All free and high resolution (quality variable) that site is here http://www.historicaerials.com/.

Warning - Rant beginning - Stop reading now for a rant free day.

You have to ask why a commercially orientated country like the USA is able to do this free (see also Footnote.com) whereas we charge a fortune for a photo that doesn't show what you want? In my view old maps and aerial photographs should be in the public domain. After all we paid for it to be taken (well maybe my parents then) why should we pay again? I like to think of these things as part of our history and available to all not a selected few (with lots of dosh). Come the revolution.......



06-12-2008, 23:32
Almost 100% in agreement here, I have no problem with commercial ownership of an assest which someone has had to buy like the Russian maps. But what on earth makes Landmark think they can make money out of something like this? Who is really interested apart from a minority like us. A demonstration of the responsibility they now have as custodians of this record would go a long way. Open up the record in the same way as historic ariels .com has done, they are likely making money from their endevour, their images are covered in water marks which is their safegaurd they wont be ripped off.

Now when it comes to the UK ariel surveys, if Norfolk CC can do it for free as a public service (together with map images remember) then other local autorities can do it. Maybe they are to busy spending their money (your money) on cruelty free environmentally friendly Christmas Trees, oh sorry not PC, I meant Holiday Trees