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WW2 Balsdean Walk Maps


Composite of maps, edited by myself (David), from the National Library of Scotland, re-useable for non-commercial purposes under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-SA) license: 1946 Ordnance Survey map (surveyed before 1941); and a Bing satellite map, from Microsoft: https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=18&lat=50.83858&lon=-0.04681&layers=168&b=4

Yesterday’s ‘special’ History Healthwalk seemed to go down well, despite it being a bit breezy and wet under foot. On the walk I promised to add to this blog the composite map overlays I showed people on the walk of the Balsdean and Norton Farm areas.

The National Library of Scotland (NLS Maps) website is an incredible resource for historians and archaeologists and I can strongly recommend visiting it, and playing with their wide range of mapping resources. If I find the time I could post other base maps combined with other overlays. Meanwhile I can strongly recommend exploring their maps yourselves. For the more adventurous/knowledgeable there are an even wider range of Ordnance Survey maps which they have not yet georeferenced. These can be manually copied, resized and overlaid with other mapping using image editing software such as Photoshop or its free, libre and open source (FLOSS) equivalent, Gimp. I have learnt a lot from such exercises.

However, one thing I discovered from overlaying maps is that they are not perfect; they are abstractions and were made by human beings.

A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.

— Korzybski, Alfred (1933). Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics. International Non-Aristotelian Library Publishing Company. p. 58.

We have to walk the map. See, for example:

Eddie Procter (2017) Deep topography practice – landscape walks as PhD fieldwork.

2 replies on “WW2 Balsdean Walk Maps”

Thank you David for yesterday’s really interesting and enjoyable walk. I learnt so much and it has enhanced the fascinating Balsdean experience even more!

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