Evolution of Mapping on the Western Front (1914-1918)

The following is a point-form outline of the evolution of British mapping during WWI based on the sources found under the 'References' tab on our WWI Trench Maps & Aerial Photographs webpage. It is hoped that it will help the map reader, when examining the maps in our collection, to understand more fully the information presented therein and to explain what appear to be inconsistencies, but are instead, differences resulting from the various stages of development.

Errors may be present in the sequencing of events within each year as minor discrepancies were found among the sources used to compile this chronology. It was also impossible to pinpoint the exact month in which each event occurred as evolutionary changes occur gradually and are not always adopted simultaneously and universally.

For further information on this subject, you may freely download and view the PowerPoint lecture, "Bleeding into the Margins: The Evolution of Cartography in WWI," which can be accessed from The Beck Lectures on Historical Cartography.