TF5-4523: The Mapmaking Process
August 30, 2012 7:40 PM   Subscribe

Attention all GIS afficionados and fans of old-school maps! Report for duty and watch the U.S. Army's 1973 half-hour training film TF5-4523 in order to educate yourself in the process of cartography: part 1, part 2, part 3. The videos cover everything from surveying to printing, and all the steps in-between.
posted by barnacles (9 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite
It also contains surprisingly groovy background music.
posted by barnacles at 7:41 PM on August 30, 2012

Hey, I've (recently) taught surveying to landscape architects using World War II surplus transits and levels, so this should be right up my alley. Thanks!
posted by mollweide at 7:45 PM on August 30, 2012

Attention all trainees: Army Map Series, dating from roughly around this area before a lot of it folded into Defense Mapping Agency and later National Imagery & Mapping Agency. They also did the maps used by the Army in Vietnam. The attention to detail and coverage is impressive.
posted by crapmatic at 10:03 PM on August 30, 2012

Great stuff, crapmatic!

The map of 1946 Hiroshima is sobering. The red stippled areas are "Bombed Area, Partially Destroyed" and the red hatched areas are "Bombed Area, Completely Destroyed".
posted by barnacles at 10:35 PM on August 30, 2012

This is great. Every time I read an old-timey science book and it means some great explorer making the first map of a region I always think "" I have a hard time working with stuff I can't see and a mapmaker (pre-space age) has to do just that. It's great to see the details of it all worked out.

Mapping a continent from a boat has to be even harder.
posted by DU at 4:48 AM on August 31, 2012

Which is to say, I get the triangulation thing. It just seems like a LOT of work to go from that to a full map of rich detail. It's like the difference between F=ma and putting a man on the moon.
posted by DU at 5:01 AM on August 31, 2012

Oh man, the porn music in the darkroom scene.
posted by DU at 5:13 AM on August 31, 2012

As someone who learned cartography the ink and mylar way, I'm sooooo glad we don't have to make maps the old school way anymore.
posted by Oh_Bobloblaw at 8:52 AM on August 31, 2012

I still see surveyors using similar equpiment, so they haven't been completely replaced by LIDAR and GPS or whatever.

I'm sure all the darkroom and multiplex plotter stuff has been replaced by guys sitting at computers and involves a lot less manual tracing.
posted by RobotHero at 11:54 AM on August 31, 2012

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