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Resources and Links

Details of The Red Atlas: How the Soviet Union Secretly Mapped the World , the definitive story

Collections of Soviet maps on paper can be viewed at these libraries :
The British Library Map Room
Bodleian Library Oxford
Cambridge University Library
Trinity College Library Dublin

Free online viewing and downloading of Soviet military topographic maps can be found at
Mapstor and at Old-Maps.
Soviet topographic maps of Ukraine are at Vlasenko
Street plans of Polish cities are at
Complete (or partial) country sets are available for chargeable download at Mapstor
Information, listings and some downloads may be found at :
University of California Berkeley / Stanford
Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection.
Download of many City Plans at Map Library of Catalonia.
Click here to listen to a podcast of John Davies and Alex Kent discussing Soviet mapping during a visit to National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) in Washington DC in October 2016

Click here to listen to interview on BBC Radio World Service by John Davies in July 2015 (starts just after 37 minutes)

US Army manual TM 30-546 (1957), Glossary of Soviet Military and Related Abbreviations is here
US Army manual TM 30-548 (1958), Soviet Topographic Map Symbols is here
Paper or electronic copies can be obtained from these shops and dealers:
East View Geospatial, USA
Eastmap, Estonia. Contact Alexander Lesment
Jana Seta, Latvia. Contact Aivars Beldavs
Landinfo, USA
Mapstor, USA
Omni Resources, USA
TopKart, Poland

A well-researched and well-written story by Greg Miller about Soviet mapping appeared on-line in July 2015 here at WIRED.COM.
This included a very useful translation of the 'sparvka' (description) from the map of San Diego.
An interesting report on Soviet mapping of Sweden was published in Pravda-Online on 21 February 2003.
The Cartographic Journal, December 2006, contains a review by John Davies of the book Russian Military Mapping published by East View Cartographic.

Read Soviet Military Mapping of the Cold War Era by John Davies on the British Library website, February 2107

The story of Soviet maps of USA which was presented in Columbia SC in January 2014 can be downloaded here.

John Cruickshank has written extensively about German and Warsaw Pact military mapping:

  • ‘German military maps of UK & Ireland of World War II', Sheetlines 69 (2004)
  • 'The Reichsamt für Landesaufnahme and the Ordnance Survey' (part 1), Sheetlines 72 (2005)
  • 'The Reichsamt für Landesaufnahme and the Ordnance Survey' (part 2), Sheetlines 73 (2005)
  • 'The Reichsamt für Landesaufnahme and the Ordnance Survey' (correction), Sheetlines 78 (2007)
  • 'Kaiser Bill thought he knew where you lived', Sheetlines 77 (2006)
  • 'German-Soviet friendship’ and the Warsaw Pact mapping of Britain and Western Europe', Sheetlines 79 (2007)
  • 'Виды из Москвы – Views from Moscow', Sheetlines 82 (2008)
  • 'Khrushchev preferred Bartholomew’s maps', Sheetlines 87 (2010)
  • 'How big a map does it take to build socialism?', Sheetlines 89 (2010)

  • A study of the Soviet mapping of Ireland by Desmond Travers appears on the Parallel History Project website
    Lists of Soviet maps of Belgium and Netherlands at
    Polish military maps from 1919-1939 for comparison can be viewed and downloaded at
    Military and other historic maps, primarily of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia can be found at
    German, Russian and other mapping of World War 2 era and much else is at John Calvin's comprehensive collection of WWII Aerial Photos and maps
    You can visit Secret Soviet bunker at Ligatne, Latvia and the British Secret Nuclear bunker at Kelvedon, Essex