Innovative Cartography in palestine 1917-1918

Dov Gavish, Gideon Biger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the First World War a major turning-point in the history of cartography was made in Palestine. The British forces, which were marching toward Palestine, had no town maps of some of the key towns of Palestine. Towns situated beyond the front line, such as Gaza, Beer-Sheba, Ramleh and others were photographed by the Air Squadrons and maps of the towns were made. The first map, that of Gaza, was produced on 25 January, 1917 being probably the first town map ever made by the use of aerial photographs. Other maps, which were produced during 1918, like those of Nablus and El Kerak were maps which demonstrated a new solution to the problem of the use of aerial photographs for the purpose of mapping towns situated in hilly areas. Town maps for the Palestine Front were an immediate necessity, not an academic exercise and the war served as an immediate catalyst. The photographs and maps produced then are excellent historical documents, particularly because of their high quality and preservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalCartographic Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1985


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