readers' comments

*** Amazon.com, 1 Nov 2017
An interesting look at Soviet mapping. I was expecting more of a "how they did it" with stories of secret measurements, dead drops, and the stealing of city plans. Instead it's more of a comparison between maps (the British map says the water depth was 4 meters while the Soviet map says it was 4.1 meters). While it wasn't as thrilling as I hoped, it was an interesting piece of cold war history.

***** on Goodreads, 12 Oct, 2017
A treasure of data for scholars and a feast of amazing images for lay people. I will caveat slightly that this, for me, is not totally a reading book per se but more one to experience. Creepy and cool to see Cold War depictions of places I have lived in and visited. Seeing the letters for Potomac in Cyrillic is particularly unnerving. The level of detail that they had globally was just incredible.

Charles Aylmer, emails 24 Oct and 25 Oct, 2017
I've checked the Beijing 1:25,000 town plan and objective 181 is listed as "Sobranie narodnykh predstavitelei vsekitaiskoe" i.e. National People's Congress, which is the body that convenes in the Great Hall of the People. I don't know where the alleged misattribution you cite has come from.
p. 49: Schischova > Shishova, Olienikova > Oleinikova, Schlyago > Shlyago
p. 89: Flughaven > Flughafen
p. 127: Lomondsov > Lomonosov
p. 138: Militärtopographicgraphischer > Militärtopographischer
p. 215: [a] > a

Bernard Anderson, email 23 Oct
I fully appreciate the particular interest there is in the City plans, so I would not quibble too much about the decision to focus on larger scale mapping in preference to the 1:50 000 and 1:100 0000, although personally I think these are equally fascinating. Like the large scale plans these also include items which were deleted for security reasons from OS maps – the two naval depots on the Stour Estuary in North Essex for instance.
One possible error, plate A1.14. I have a copy of the Liverpool Sheets and these were among those rapidly extracted for further inspection. You are correct about the date for the closure of the Liverpool Overhead Railway, however, directly beneath this and running for almost the entire length of the dock estate was another set of tracks belonging to the Mersey Dock Board, these remained in situ and in some places in use into the early 1970s. They were far less prominent and as they only carried freight traffic were less well known. When I moved to Liverpool in 1975 they were no longer in use but still there, the parallel road was crossed at numerous points by links between them and the national network as is shown on the plan. Not on your chosen extract but on the original, there is an error at the northern end as it does show the original Seaforth Station of the Overhead but that had certainly gone by the time I lived in the area. Interestingly, the same error is present on my A-Z streetmap.