Cartographic Censorship Maps

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Maps have become one of the things that most people consider useful and largely available. Road maps and street maps are used by every individual when going to a place they have never been before. Maps have been available for centuries and each one of them has been created with the purpose of helping people find their way in unknown territory. Maps are often detailed and, although the modern map only includes geographically relevant information, old maps used to include also information about the place’s culture and so on. Now with the emergence of electronic modern maps people think they are able to see everything there is in the world. Internet software such as Google maps or Google Earth may provide individuals information they are highly interested in but they also left out important information as well. Here one can learn more about cartographic censorship and why some place never appear on the map.

Cartographic censorship is a way of dealing with the description of potentially strategically important information on maps that are available to everyone. Such information may include objects such as military bases, transmitters, or power plants. The appearance of such objects as well as others to the large public can be considered undesirable and this may lead to their concealing from the map.

There are different ways in which maps are being censored. For instance, in the past putting in high or low values could have been a much needed type of map censorship that would distract the enemy and bring him into a natural trap. Nowadays map censorship is much more difficult and much more ineffective because satellites make it more difficult to hide areas or objects. Yet, even in the era of the electronic maps based on satellite imagery some areas on the maps may be concealed through the so called ‘dead maps’ in which the sensitive area is turned into gray.