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The red atlas : how the Soviet Union secretly mapped the world

Author: John Davies; Alexander Kent; James Risen
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2017. ©2017
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Nearly thirty years after the end of the Cold War, its legacy and the accompanying Russian-American tension continue to loom large. Russia's access to detailed information on the United States and its allies may not seem so shocking in this day of data clouds and leaks, but long before we had satellite imagery of any neighborhood at a finger's reach, the amount the Soviet government knew about your family's city,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: World atlases
Atlases
History
Maps
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John Davies; Alexander Kent; James Risen
ISBN: 9780226389578 022638957X
OCLC Number: 978389095
Description: xiii, 234 pages : color illustrations, maps (some color) ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction: Why this book is a detective story --
War and peace : the background of the story... from Napoleon's march on Moscow to the collapse of the Soviet Union --
Capturing the world... on paper : describing the style, content, and symbology of the Red Army's maps of the world --
Plots and plans : the overt and covert methods of the Soviet cartographers --
Resurrection : the discovery of the maps after the fall of the Soviet Union and their continuing significance today --
Appendix 1: Examples of maps of various series and scales --
Appendix 2: References and resources --
Appendix 3: Translation of typical city plan "Spravka" --
Appendix 4: Translation of typical topographic map "Spravka" --
Appendix 5: Symbols and annotation --
Appendix 6: Glossary of common terms and abbreviations --
Appendix 7: Print codes --
Appendix 8: Secrecy and control.
Other Titles: How the Soviet Union secretly mapped the world
Responsibility: John Davies, Alexander J. Kent ; foreword by James Risen.

Abstract:

"Nearly thirty years after the end of the Cold War, its legacy and the accompanying Russian-American tension continue to loom large. Russia's access to detailed information on the United States and its allies may not seem so shocking in this day of data clouds and leaks, but long before we had satellite imagery of any neighborhood at a finger's reach, the amount the Soviet government knew about your family's city, street, and even your home would astonish you. Revealing how this was possible, The Red Atlas is the never-before-told story of the most comprehensive mapping endeavor in history and the surprising maps that resulted. From 1950 to 1990, the Soviet army conducted a global topographic mapping program, creating large-scale maps for much of the world that included a diversity of detail that would have supported a full range of military planning. For big cities like New York, Washington, DC, and London to towns like Pontiac, Michigan,and Galveston, Texas, the Soviets gathered enough information to create street level maps. What they chose to include on these maps can seem obvious, like locations of factories and ports, or more surprising, such as building heights, road widths, and bridge capacities. Some of the detail suggests early satellite technology, while other specifics, like detailed depictions of depths and channels around rivers and harbors, could only have been gained by actual Soviet feet on the ground. The Red Atlas includes over 350 extracts from these incredible Cold War maps, exploring their provenance and cartographic techniques as well as what they can tell us about their makers and the Soviet initiatives that were going on all around us. A fantastic historical document of an era that sometimes seems less distant, The Red Atlas offers an uncanny view of the world through the eyes of Soviet strategists and spies"--Unedited summary from book jacket.

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"The Red Atlas is an amazing book, especially if you've ever pondered the power of satellite imagery as a surveillance tool. Military mapping has two modes: mapping one's own territory so you can Read more...

 
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