Cast you mind back twenty years or more if you can. Do you recall a suspicious character poking about your neighbourhood, perhaps armed with a notebook or a camera with a telephoto lens? Yes? Well, that could have been a KGB spy carefully recording the details of all the buildings and roads. We’ve been running a short series of posts about maps and mapping and, just to conclude, here is the Russian military version of Wester Hailes dating from 1983.
NB: Click on map to see it in a larger size.
During the Cold War the Soviet Union drew up maps of 103 towns and cities throughout Britain to help its forces navigate if they ever invaded. Each individual building is separately identified and coloured black. All open spaces are precisely defined and transport links highlighted. A numbered code describes any significant buildings such as hospitals, factories and post offices. Because of the detail of the information they contain, it is believed that these maps must have been based on surveys carried out on the ground by Soviet agents.