National Geographic : 1918 May
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WAR-ZONE MAP HE MAP of the western theater of war appearing in this issue of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGA ZINE fills a long-felt need., Existing maps available to the casual student of the war's progress have scales and letter ings which preclude the use of more than half of the place names in the war zone.. But it often happens that a little village of a score of houses, which has never attained to the dignity of mention on the maps of general circulation, figures more prominently in the news from the front than a place of several thousand popula tion. Therefore the National Geographic So ciety decided to bring out a map in which practically every name in the battle area, however unimportant, might have its place. The only maps extant answering to this demand are the big official maps of the French and Belgian Departments of War, made in sections and projected on a scale of approximately three miles to the inch. Of course, to reproduce them on that scale would make a map altogether beyond the compass of con venience. It would cover 3,960 square inches and would be too large even for a wall map, as one studying it would either have to get down on his knees or uponastooltoreaditfromtopto bottom. How to condense the information of more than 27 square feet of map into a little more than five square feet without destroying its legibility was the problem confronting those in charge of the under taking. As the battle area is only about a hundred miles wide at the widest, while the battle line is some four hundred miles long, another problem was so to divide the line into two sections and so to ar range these sections that 400 miles of battle line could be put into a map on a scale of approximately seven miles to the inch and of convenient size. Battle lines as of specific dates have been omitted because the line is always changing; the map showing it is out of date in a few weeks. But by reference to the inset map the lines in the fall of 1914 and the spring of 1918 can be fixed. By starting in at Dunkirk and under scoring each principal city along the battle line in red-taking Ypres, Arras, Bethune, Amiens, Montdidier, Noyon, Laon, Rheims, Soissons, Verdun, Lund ville, Nancy, Toul, etc.-the general trend of the line may be followed. If the reader will remember that the news speaks of this sector and that, corresponding usu ally to these principal names, little trouble will be experienced in locating places. For those who want to study the map in detail, however, an index has been pre pared. As the squares into which the map is laid off are ten miles each way, and therefore contain one hundred square miles of territory, the reader can easily estimate the terrain lost or won in any given drive. In this map the aim has been to com bine legibility with completeness, and ex cept in one or two sections, where names were so thick that even with the small lettering used they could not all be put in, the reader will always find the place he is looking for. Fully 95 per cent of the names mentioned in the daily news appear on this map. The excellence of the map is due to the patient perseverance of the Society's chief cartographer, Mr. Albert H. Bumstead. who met and overcame many unusual obstacles in the production of a readable map containing a maximum of informa tion in a minimum of space, and to the unusual photographic work of Mr. Charles Martin, chief of the Society's photographic laboratory. Those desiring the index can obtain it by remitting 25 cents to the National Geographic Society, 16th and M Streets. Washington, D. C. Additional copies of the map can be obtained at 75 cents each (including in dex) and of a special edition, printed on linen-back map paper, at $1.50 each (in cluding index). Foreign postage, 50 cents. Additional copies of this May issue, postpaid, 75 cents each in the United States.