Andrew James John Mackenzie
an historiography
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Bomb Sight; Mapping the London Blitz

An exciting new initiative headed by a joint collaboration between The National Archives, JISC and the University of Portsmouth has been announced, a compilation of the location and dates of all German aerial bombs deployed over London during the Blitz between 7 October 1940 and 6 June 1941 in an incredibly detailed interactive online map. Bomb Sight, the project overseeing the bomb census mapping, has uploaded data only accessible from the Reading Room of the UK National Archives into the public domain proper, including the introduction of a smart phone app with augmented reality technology.

All of the bombs listed are compiled on an electronic map with each individual bomb listed as a separate marker. Once pressed upon, the marker reveals details of the bomb that was dropped, first-hand accounts of survivors involved and photographs from the Imperial War Museum and the BBC’s People’s War archives.
A separate Smart Phone app is also in the process of being developed for release on Android® platform devices. It utilises augmented reality and GPS to allow the user to pinpoint the exactitude of fallen bombs within any given location in the London boroughs. Users outside of the city can also access the bomb locations using the app interface.
The sheer scale of those bombs dropped over wartime London is measurable through a number of mapping tools available on the site and on the planned app. An overview of the bombing locations on the first night as compared with the total number of bombs dropped over the nine month campaign is particularly telling. With over 200,000 civilians killed and one million buildings destroyed, the map cannot begin to convey the true horror of the bombardment suffered by so many millions of Londoners but it does go in some way to demonstrating the previously unimaginable scale of terror wrought.
In this image, the map records the number of bombs dropped on the first night of the Blitz:

In this image, the map records the number of bombs dropped within a week one month after the beginning of the aerial bombing campaign:

Finally, in this image, the map records the total aggregate number of bombs dropped over London between 7 October 1940 and 6 June 1941:

Bomb Sight Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Licence.
All copyrighted material used in this article or cited by this website is the property of their respective owners and in no way accepts any responsibility for an infringement on one of the above.
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