In November, the CIA Cartography Center declassified a collection of maps from significant historic events and world issues, ranging from the 1940s to 2010s. Some of these maps released were of a divided Berlin after World War II, air missile sites in Cuba before the Cuban Missile Crisis, Saddam Hussein’s residence in Baghdad from 2003, threats of elephant poaching in 2013, and many others. The cartography center’s maps have dramatically evolved over the decades. For example, maps went from hand drawn to being digitized by the late ’60s. Additionally, the agency began to publish maps illustrating natural disasters and pandemics, going beyond traditional national security issues. See the entire collection of newly released maps via the CIA’s Flickr account.
The cartography center is also celebrating its 75th anniversary, having been created under the Office of the Coordinator of Information only days before the start of WWII in 1941. The center later became part of the CIA in 1947. According to the agency, the cartography center’s mission is to provide a full range of maps, geographic analyses, and research in support of the agency, the White House, senior policymakers, and the Intelligence Community at large.
Photo Credit: CIA