Allied military model making during World War II

Alastair Pearson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    It is generally accepted that the three-dimensional nature of the digital terrain model enhances our visualization of surfaces. Modern techniques enable a detailed landscape to be constructed as a facsimile of reality that provides an opportunity to move through or fly over the landscape. Given these benefits, it is little surprise that simulations using digital terrain models are employed as essential visual aids for briefing and training military personnel prior to land, air, and sea operations. Though these capabilities are significant, they are not necessarily, in the basic sense, new. This paper traces the development and examines the role of terrain models made by the Allies during World War II, a period prior to the development of computer-based modeling. Though made from basic materials, these sophisticated terrain models were hand crafted by enlisted sculptors, architects, stage designers, and artists, who carefully modeled a sculpture of the landscape to be an invaluable aid during key military operations of World War II.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)227-242
    Number of pages16
    JournalCartography and Geographic Information Science
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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