The History of Cartography, Volume 6

Cartography in the Twentieth Century
Year Published: 
Edited by Mark Monmonier

Much of this volume, published in two parts, covers the extensive mapping projects completed by the Canadian military over the past century. The book was compiled at the University of Chicago with input from Earl Schaubel and David Carney.

The military mapping agency, renamed the Mapping and Charting Establishment in 1966, was limited to mapping in direct support of military requirements with the exception that, to maintain expertise, the unit was permitted to carry out northern survey operations for the Surveys and Mapping Branch. The military unit continued surveying the polar region in support of 1:50,000 mapping until the task was completed in 1987. The trend of increasing demands for dedicated defense mapping continued into the later part of the twentieth century, as new warfare technology significantly changed the nature of survey and mapping requirements, and the military’s role in mapping Canada diminished. Despite this trend, military mappers were instrumental in providing rapid geomatics support to national natural disasters such as ice storms, forest fires, floods, and winter storms. Throughout the twentieth century, the mapping carried out by the Canadian military, while contributing to national mapping, has had mapping for defense as its basis.

For a full description of the books, go to the University of Chicago website at