20/20 Bomb Sight

As I scanned through the list of HGIS projects on the GeoSpatial Historian website, there were many I found interesting and of which utilized their maps to communicate its historic topic. The one which intrigued me the greatest was Bomb Sight.

Bomb Sight is a HGIS project which maps all the recorded bombs dropped on London during the Blitz from Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe.  When the map is zoomed out to fit the entirety of London, the copious number of pins representing bombs dropped communicates just how large the scope of the attack was. In addition, when I zoomed in to be able to see the specific locations of each pin, I discovered that many of the pins represent multiple bombs dropped on the location. The website itself is well designed and very easy to use. The default data set represented is the aggregate bomb census from the 7th of October 1940 to the 6th of June 1941, however it also gives users the option to display bombs dropped on the first night or the first week of the Blitz.bombsight-org-660x440

As for the map, there are may options to customize to portray different data sets. The default map is a street map view however it can be changed to a satellite image as well as a georeferenced bomb map from the 1940s. This provides a user with many experiences with the maps data as viewed through to street view to make it easy to digest each bomb’s location as well as having the historical map which gives insight on what London looked like at the time and perhaps answer questions of why some bombs were dropped in their specific location. The website makes it easy to locate any area within London through its “Explore London” section, as well as having a search tool within the map. The project uses geographic and time data.

The project also offers an Android version of the maps. This Android version offers an augmented reality mode where a user can use their phone’s camera and GPS to display all the bombs which dropped within their vicinity.

I found it difficult to find any noticeable issues with the project. The only thing I could see them improve is their “Weekly Bomb Census” which only gave me access to the first week of the Blitz bombings despite my attempts to access other weeks. Overall, Bomb Sight is a fantastic project which I found both fascinating and informative and encouraged me to go beyond the project and do more research bombing within the Second World War.


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