People today usually imagine intelligence as people equipped with the most modern devices.
However, one of the basic tools of every spy is far simpler: either for scouting, trade, invasion or espionage, maps were an irreplaceable part of every plan and operation, as reported by Express.hr.
In order to mark 78 years of the cartographic department, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) took off the mark of confidentiality and published a large number of maps from the period of 40’s of last century to the present day.
During recent years, the CIA and other intelligence agencies rely more on digital maps and satellite images, than in previous decades when geographers and cartographers were crucial part of planning and carrying out operations all around the world.
These maps meant “life and death” for their soldiers, their absolute precision was imperative. Collection of published map reveals that the US monitored and watched the world through the decades. During the 40’s, the focus is on Germany and the Pacific, and Japan. After World War II, attention was diverted towards Soviet Union, Vietnam and the Middle East.
It could be said that these maps have an important role in shaping the politics and history of the 20th century. You can see the entire gallery of published maps on the CIA’s profile on Flickr, and as you can see, in the nineties and eighties CIA was closely watching Yugoslavia and its former republics.