Maps in the News: Hiroshima, Japan
Today U.S. President Barack Obama will be the first sitting President to visit the city of Hiroshima following World War II. The President’s trip coincides with the G7 Summit in Japan.
The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a large collection of city plans published by the Army Map Service during World War II. The maps were used for strategic planning during the war, and the GRMC collection includes critical cities throughout Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia. These maps include the locations of railroads, roads, temples, schools, and topographic contours.
The map above (click to enlarge) is a portion of the Hiroshima Prefecture map published in 1945. The map indicates the areas of bombing damage with red lines (completely destroyed) and red dots (partially destroyed). The map includes detailed locations of military buildings, hospitals, factories, and power lines. The map is based on a 1933 map published by the Japanese Imperial Land Survey with updated military intelligence from 1945.
The second map is a zoomed area showing the location of the Gembaku Dome—shown on the map as “Commercial Display Hall.” This was one of the only remaining buildings near the hypocenter of the atomic bomb and was left untouched. Today the structure is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The park was the site of Obama’s address today.
The Army Map Service maps circulate from the GRMC for research and learning. Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer. For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.