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"Google" Maps of London: 1940s Style

08-March-2012
08-March-2012 0:00
in Maps & Views
by Peter Berthoud

Nowadays we are all used to seeing maps overlaid upon satellite imagery but the idea isn't so new.

Way back in 1947  London was mapped in a very similar style.

Air Photo Atlas of London Holborn

Just as in their modern day digital equivalents, places of interest were marked with little labels, over 1200 of them, showing everything from statues to blue plaques, and from museums to clubs.

Air Photo Atlas of London Strand

These maps all come from this slim, hard-copy, volume:

Air Photo Atlas of London No 1 Tower to Trafalgar Square

I wish I had the others in the set. You can pick up copies from time to time on Amazon et al, for £8.00 - £10.00.

Of course the technology being used to produce these maps was not satellite but light aircraft. However one advantage of this was that the photographers got some great aerial shots of London landmarks and published many of these in the Atlas.

Air Photo Atlas of London St Pauls Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral

Air Photo Atlas of London Strand, the Thames and Waterloo Bridge
Strand, The Thames and Waterloo Bridge

I'll be putting the whole set of these aerial photos on my Facebook page. There are many more vintage photos of London there too:, dogs, street scenes, transport, all sorts; to see them just "Like" the page.

Contemporary photos are on my Flickr photostream.

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