Soviet spy maps of western cities


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/27/soviet-spy-maps-of-western-cit.html


#2

ShockingMelodicChameleon-size_restricted


#3

Wow, got 8/11 correct.


#4

10/11

only got Istanbul wrong


#5

#6

I got 10/11 correct. My method was simple: choose the city that a writer for the Guardian would select as being the most important. This method only failed me for the second map.

Of course, geographic and historic knowledge help: e.g., once you see that there’s a big purple wall bisecting one of the cities, it doesn’t take much to conclude which city that is.

I have a question about this quiz: Why are some of the option sets alliterated, but not all? Strange inconsistency.


#7

Aww. Mistook Edinburgh for El Paso. Derp.


#8

That’s OK. I flubbed San Francisco, mistaking it for San Diego. My own fault for forgetting where one particular interstate highway ends versus another.


#9

Out in the east Scottish town of Edinburgh,
I fell in love with a MacIntosh girl.
Nighttime would find me in Fergus’ cantina;
Bagpipes would play and the tartans would whirl


#NeedsMoreLikes (formerly known as "All the Likes")
#10

In Soviet Russian we can see your house from here.


#11

Yeah, I do that all the time.

(9/11 here. I wouldn’t recognise any in no.3 anyway and a key road in no.7 has since been demolished.)


#12

11/11, many of the maps had the city or major river name on them and most Cyrillic letters aren’t that different from Greek. I got lucky on the others.


#13

woo. thanks to a few hints from y’all and being able to make some educated guesses at the cyrillic 11/11.


#14

Got an honourable 8/11. A couple I dithered on, I went the wrong way. I need to brush up on my Cyrillic.


#15

I’ve had to drive some of those nightmare interchanges in #3, so there’s that.


#16

Last time I read about Soviet maps of abroad (The Guardian, a long while back) what was most notable was that the Soviet maps were more accurate than Ordnance Survey (for UK) because they correctly showed, in glorious, accurat and up-to-date detail, many places that the OS had been asked/told to leave off the maps. As you can imagine, our Soviet friends were rather interested in these places as they were typically military establishments of one type or another.


#17

If you are interested in this, these are taken from John Davies and Alex Kent’s book The Red Atlas: How the Soviet Union Secretly Mapped the World, which I highly recommend if you are into maps or the Cold War (or both).


#18

Same here. A decent knowledge of Russian certainly helps, but those maps really hurt my eyes to look at.


#19

Why did they bother? I thought Soviet war planning assumed the war would go nuclear from the start and all those pretty cities would turn into radioactive dust.


#20

Espionage