By now, most people have read the very neat story from CNN via Mental Floss , Boing Boing and the Wall Street Journal about how regional silk escape maps were smuggled to WWII POWS in Germany using the game Monopoly. But how else were maps smuggled? On Map Forum, Debbie Hall covers Escape Maps of the World On the USAF Academy website they show how the real Stalag III smuggled maps in the lining of jackets. An archive of first person WWII stores in the BBC recounts a soldier’s use of one.The virtual WWII Museum shows how something as small as a button concealed compasses. Omnimap actually sells unused WWII silk escape maps for about $20.00. The silk escape maps inspired this IT guy to make a million selling silk travel scarves. And on Ebay some orignal silk escape scarves are selling for $300 dollars or more.
Keeping in the spirit of anyday gifts here is a neat $100 13 foot x 18 foot world map mural that shows “Major cities, World Time Zone, Land Elevation and Distances, Up-to-Date Political Boundaries, Ocean Depths & Shipping Lane, Nautical Miles/ Longitude & Latitude ” I think it might be the same one used here in this map themed bedroom Notice how the laminated map takes up the whole wall and kids can write on it with grease pens. Of course, you could laminate your own maps and use them the same way.
Although the National Applications Office, which we talked about a couple of months ago, has been put on hold for the time being, there are still lots of issues related to the domestic use of spy satellite imagery. In an article titled Domestic Spying, Inc, Tim Shorrock of CorpWatch (a watchdog group that focuses on investigating corporate corruption and fraud) discusses some of the issues related to the issue of domestic spying and geospatial intelligence, especially the heavy reliance on contractors. He discusses the work done by leading contractors such as BAE Systems and Harris, illustrated through their presentations and exhibits at GEOINT 2007. While Shorrock’s message is cautionary, and focuses on the need to ensure that there is appropriate oversight of the work to be done for agencies like the NGA and the proposed National Applications Office, the article is still an interesting read and raises some relevant issues in geospatial intelligence that we should all be aware of.