Central Intelligence Agency, Guam
1943 Army Map Service, northern Guam
1943 Army Map Service, Apra Harbor, Guam
1975 USGS northwest Guam
1975 USGS northeast Guam
1975 USGS Apra Harbor
2006 nautical chart of northern Guam
2006 nautical chart of Apra Harbor, Guam
Google Earth current satellite image of northern Guam
Google Earth current satellite image of Andersen Air Force Base
Google Earth current satellite image of Apra Harbor
Guam is an island in the Pacific Ocean that is a United States territory—about the size of Chicago. The population is just over 160,000 people, who are American citizens by birth. The main industry for the island is tourism, with the U.S. military in a close second place.
Guam was captured by the Japanese just after the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. It has been a critical location for the U.S. Armed Forces ever since: Andersen Air Force Base on the island played a major role during the Vietnam War, and the U.S. keeps a Naval base and Coast Guard station on the island. In fact, the American military takes up 30% of Guam’s land (See CIA map).
According to the Pacific Air Forces report, two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers flew from Andersen Air Force Base for a 10-hour training mission with Japanese and Republic of Korea planes over the East China Sea, Kyushu, Japan, and the Korean peninsula on Monday. On Tuesday, the North Korean army announced that it is examining operational plans for attacking the island of Guam.
The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a set of maps of the island of Guam. The Army Map Service published a map of Guam in 1943 (above, click to enlarge) in preparation of recapturing the island during World War II. Palm trees mark the beaches along the northern part of the island where the Andersen Air Force Base is now located. And the area around Apra Harbor is completely undeveloped with just a few streets near the historic Spanish fort. An unmarked airfield is shown on the map, just below “Botadero,” and seaplane landing sites are identified.
The GRMC also includes a complete set of U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps of Guam that were published in 1975. These maps detail the development of Andersen Air Force Base. And the map of Apra Harbor—now marked “Apra Harbor Naval Reservation”—shows the development of power plants, a sewage disposal plant, and a fire station. The airfield is identified as abandoned, and the map marks the location of a Japanese cemetery and caves from World War II.
The topographic maps of the Andersen Air Force Base provide details about the military buildup near the end of the Vietnam War. Airfields had been built on the northwest and northeast areas of Guam. The green on the map denotes wooded areas.
A 2006 nautical chart from the GRMC provides information about water depths around the island. The street patterns have remained largely unchanged. Nautical charts also identify the locations of wreckage, as seen near Apra Harbor.
For more information about using historic maps and charts to study development and urban planning, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.