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A exercise in quick mapmaking

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#1
woneil

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    Will O'Neil

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For a presentation on Pearl Harbor in October at Johns Hopkins University (and elsewhere later) and an accompanying brief book I wanted a series of maps showing Japanese expansion between 1930 and 1942—and I didn't have a great deal of time to devote to the project. The principal practical problem was boundary delineations for that period. What were the boundaries of "Manchukuo," for instance? 

 

Rather than wrestle with these issues I decided to take a shortcut by using one of the West Point Atlas maps as a base: http://www.westpoint.../WWIIAsia02.pdf . Lieut. Col. Ray Hrinko, the West Point cartographer, readily gave his blessing. 

 

I disassembled the PDF in Nuance Power PDF Advanced, discarding what I didn't want and saving the rest in separate layers which I imported into Adobe Photoshop, where I added layers (including all the titling and a little symbology) with the information needed to emphasize the points I wanted to make. One constraint is that the colors have to such as to show well in greyscale for book printing.

 

The results are attached.

 

I recognize that a serious cartographer would have used Adobe Illustrator in place of Power PDF and Photoshop, but as an author and consultant who's only an occasional mapmaker I don't feel it is worth either the money for Illustrator nor the time I would have to expend to develop and maintain skill in its use. I would rather have done the mapping in Manifold if I knew where to find boundary shapefiles, but feel that this method has served my purposes adequately. Any ideas for future improvement are welcome.

Attached Thumbnails

  • EAsia-&-WPac-1930-sm.png
  • EAsia-&-WPac-1932-sm.png
  • EAsia-&-WPac-1939-sm.png
  • EAsia-&-WPac-1941-sm.png
  • EAsia-&-WPac-1942-sm.png

Will O'Neil
Author and amateur cartographer

http://analysis.williamdoneil.com/w.d.oneil@pobox.com

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Looks good! The only thing I would add is a title (year) to each map, unless you're covering that in your presentation and/or book text of course. Also, I'm not entirely sure about labelling Australia as [UK], from what I know of that era (but I'm not a historian) the Australian armed forces had a certain amount of independency within overall UK control (it was, after all, the ABDA command that resisted the Japanse in 1941-42)

 

You don't have to use Illustrator to be a serious cartographer, in the end it's about using the right tool to get the job done and it looks like for you Power PDF and Photoshop did the trick.

 

On a side note, I think it's not very useful to compare maps made in application X with maps made in application Y to see which one is better. In the end, you end up comparing cartographers, rather than cartography applications.


Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
woneil

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    Will O'Neil

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Very good suggestion regarding the years. I shall take it up.

 

I fear that I shall always be an admirer of serious cartography rather than serious cartographer myself, but within my limits of time, tools, and talent I strive to do my best. 

 

When I feel I have the right opportunity I'd like to try Inkscape.

 

The question of Australia's actual status in 1941 is somewhat murky. As a practical matter, Australia had had substantial scope for autonomy for many years. The Statute of Westminster had set the framework for formal autonomy within the Commonwealth in 1931, but Australia had yet to take any action under it in 1941 and thus was still formally a dominion of the Empire. This is reflected in political maps of the period. In practice of course it was understood clearly that the Australians would accept direction from London just insofar as it suited them and their ideas to do so.


Will O'Neil
Author and amateur cartographer

http://analysis.williamdoneil.com/w.d.oneil@pobox.com

#4
IainS

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I think you will find that although the Australian armed forces were to some extent embedded in with those of the UK (in particular the air force via the empire Air Training Scheme) with the onset of the Pacific War divisions of the 2nd AIF were withdrawn from the Middle East back to Australia - there was quite a row about aspects of this with Churchill who wanted them to go to Burma. The AMF and Militia in Australia came under the S-W Pacific command which was McArthur.

 

Of course Australia was an independent country with its own Parliament from 1901 and in practical terms if the British Parliament legislated to change Australia's laws there would have been an immediate outcry which is why they didn't and the matter was not tided up until the partition of the Canadian constitution reminded everyone that the power was still there. Australian was represented in the League of National and the UN as well as the treaty of Versailles. So I would say were were not UK but of course you can colour us pink as we have a Queen just like the UK.

 

Iain     



#5
woneil

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    Will O'Neil

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There are complications to it but in 1941 Australia had not claimed the limited sovereignty allotted to dominions under the Statute of Westminster and so was not sovereign under International Law. She was an autonomous territory in the eyes of the League (which suited Whitehall well enough) and so represented there, but maintained no diplomatic representation in foreign capitals, not even Washington. It was all hurriedly repaired once war reached the region, but not in 1941.

 

No one in Whitehall imagined he could boss the Aussies about—Billy Hughes had put paid to any notion of that long before. But formally it was their prerogative. 


Will O'Neil
Author and amateur cartographer

http://analysis.williamdoneil.com/w.d.oneil@pobox.com




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