Scenario Design - Excellent tool for terrain research in Germany

von Marwitz

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I have found an excellent tool to research terrain for ASL scenario design.

This tool covers only some areas of Germany, but what you get does beat Google maps by lengths.
I have previously hinted at this tool in the ASL Designers Forum (http://forums.gamesquad.com/showthread.php?109214-Very-nice-tool-for-researching-terrain-in-Northrine-Westphalia-Germany) but the thread title that I selected might have been somewhat unfortunate. For that reason please excuse me for pointing at this tool again - and with more meaningful examples.

It is possible to select English as a language for usage with the tool, which will be a very welcome setting for most of the ASL community.

Here is the link for the tool:

http://www.tim-online.nrw.de


Below, you find a screenshot with the English menu showing what area of Germany is covered.

View attachment 40430


Next is a screenshot of a piece of terrain from above. You will be able to easily discern numerous fortifications and trenches originating from WW I and WW II, that piece of land being situated at one tip of the Reichswald right next to the Dutch border.

View attachment 40432


Follwing you see a screenshot with a 3D view of the same ground. It is very interesting how much you can see the fortifications relating to the lay of the land.

View attachment 40433


At last, see a 2013 picture of Google Maps of the same area. It is striking how much superior the tool isto Google Maps is for a scenario designer. Google Maps can still be valuable to find out about the current terrain types, though. But the tool can do that, too for many places. It is sometimes even possible to blend in historical maps besides current ones over the terrain.

View attachment 40431


I hope this may be of use for some of you.

All the best
von Marwitz
 
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von Marwitz

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I have been asked if there were sources for historical maps of Germany that could be of use for the purposes of ASL, because the tool as desribed above shows the current terrain.

Here are some links that will provide you with maps of 1:100.000 scale:

http://kdr100.de/mapselect.php

http://www.deutschefotothek.de/db/apsisa.dll/ete?action=viewPage&page=kartenforum-sachsen-koenigreich.xml&sstate=eJyNVGlvEzEQzSY9N5S0ppQegCDiQ4XaKHukTYoQiB5SEWpLQ79FiryxtzHZXQfb24Nfz3gP1G0bxJeNZ96bN-MX23MG2jYRJePGr5iK24ZUOCJYkEVjtVSvEEY2S23j89rXuRxY3zKfaXrA-Sge_-Wj0nqpvmCWkt-KCkbvS5tGe7lumpVDq4kMa9Wov9NrC22MsFA08rmIw21CYyUHwwBUGjdhAKxFzbLR7CCUWWZdZxy0RHxCrxpCylupaNggFLBE3031q3rdQuWI58AOMpq55C6aPeHf9SZzahuV7RYECzrooKmASQXhvFk-tFPFJ4DYTaR9yCMLVbAcZDQnpdVg6aJZ2NE1WJE0Lx_CILZuvgbrDlry8GC0Z21ZH1iEB4pd6eFfJtCypGMssOIiwf8TfZ2gK1nPvW27VdSGEboWKicmPTUrXTB-WnGFtaFLOrbRnC8oU_RGpXvrgscV7vupYV1w9Y5hq5ABJ2o-CxQVx9EVk8wLtDjSiIXmWcQgmeZe6ZyNlrsKq1h-45csgs8lJadx3syGZvAX55GbR0lpa2LpsoZ3UdXDckRV_4rR67yoPbGopuEOmgEnb70g4zvNiXy9WcdCtTAOFBsH9JxKWMn0qHQdG00xOL6ZT46DZglVmAUyL3UfK024LeAy0k9PUFVndrJDmBS2HyvU_jgdVAnxOD0VXXfi5LqJ27w7kP6vXQvNsWgQxISSrJVro5oc8ut9HoY0UkdchJkvrjNRPdFyH2q1Jmrt_FurXdBKUp1CCm5WV3tGfQxuZJxW80FZq7jD52aV-P3BEI_hsEo0hQXFkN4opk2fK34psE8jAN8WwUUc-xEehpTA-GH_t_ayXqQsjeHLIxr1R5wKHSSPVYEz77GARExKfS1eFLEZNaRh0vv-vBweyOTpKKThDRYYlHTFmyJU495PGJRREUeX6bD3i0MohdfaA2ilCE0rQamVXK4FyIf4Jr3lEhn6ZJ6YVbjbkILro4boY6_3qbe_18Nj2SNe7-DIblrW2cWXb8f7_bPz04OL_R_HpycAa9zXYO-aeoJzpemrxh_rYq3k (Hold SHIFT-key to move the map after zooming.)

It should be noted that some of the mapsheets could be quite old - data ranges from 1880(!) to 1921. While the first link seems easier to navigate, the second one does display more data about the mapsheet as, for example, the date of publication. The mapsheets were regularly updated and versions are available ranging into the late 1930s and early 1940s but I have not found these for free. Even these older maps are not downloadable but only viewable. Screenshots will do for the purposes of scenario design, though.


Here is a link that will provide you with maps of 1:25.000 scale:

http://www.deutschefotothek.de/db/apsisa.dll/ete?action=viewPage&page=kartenforum-sachsen-messtischblaetter.xml&sstate=eJyNVGlvEzEQzSY9N5S0ppQegCDiQ4XaKHukTYoQiB5SEWpLQ79FiryxtzHZXQfb24Nfz3gP1G0bxJeNZ96bN-MX23MG2jYRJePGr5iK24ZUOCJYkEVjtVSvEEY2S23j89rXuRxY3zKfaXrA-Sge_-Wj0nqpvmCWkt-KCkbvS5tGe7lumpVDq4kMa9Wov9NrC22MsFA08rmIw21CYyUHwwBUGjdhAKxFzbLR7CCUWWZdZxy0RHxCrxpCylupaNggFLBE3031q3rdQuWI58AOMpq55C6aPeHf9SZzahuV7RYECzrooKmASQXhvFk-tFPFJ4DYTaR9yCMLVbAcZDQnpdVg6aJZ2NE1WJE0Lx_CILZuvgbrDlry8GC0Z21ZH1iEB4pd6eFfJtCypGMssOIiwf8TfZ2gK1nPvW27VdSGEboWKicmPTUrXTB-WnGFtaFLOrbRnC8oU_RGpXvrgscV7vupYV1w9Y5hq5ABJ2o-CxQVx9EVk8wLtDjSiIXmWcQgmeZe6ZyNlrsKq1h-45csgs8lJadx3syGZvAX55GbR0lpa2LpsoZ3UdXDckRV_4rR67yoPbGopuEOmgEnb70g4zvNiXy9WcdCtTAOFBsH9JxKWMn0qHQdG00xOL6ZT46DZglVmAUyL3UfK024LeAy0k9PUFVndrJDmBS2HyvU_jgdVAnxOD0VXXfi5LqJ27w7kP6vXQvNsWgQxISSrJVro5oc8ut9HoY0UkdchJkvrjNRPdFyH2q1Jmrt_FurXdBKUp1CCm5WV3tGfQxuZJxW80FZq7jD52aV-P3BEI_hsEo0hQXFkN4opk2fK34psE8jAN8WwUUc-xEehpTA-GH_t_ayXqQsjeHLIxr1R5wKHSSPVYEz77GARExKfS1eFLEZNaRh0vv-vBweyOTpKKThDRYYlHTFmyJU495PGJRREUeX6bD3i0MohdfaA2ilCE0rQamVXK4FyIf4Jr3lEhn6ZJ6YVbjbkILro4boY6_3qbe_18Nj2SNe7-DIblrW2cWXb8f7_bPz04OL_R_HpycAa9zXYO-aeoJzpemrxh_rYq3k (Hold SHIFT-key to move the map after zooming.)

Again, note that the individual mapsheets may range from 1870 until 1943 regarding their publication. As above, there were regular updates, but again, I am pretty sure these would only be available comercially unless one would dig very deep.


For the area described in the opening post, the tool is able to blend these 1:25.000 maps over the relief terrain and/or modern maps. However, this will only work, if you select a scale of 1:25.000. Afterwards, it is possible to lower the scale but not to enlarge it without the display of the historical map being lost. See the following screenshot for an example:

In the dropdown menu top right, the scale has been selected to 1:25.000. Now, on the On the left in the "Add themes" menu, you can select the "Prussian Maps" from the "Historical Maps" folder. You can see the historic map superimposed except for the left part very close to the Dutch border, for which no historic map seems available via that site.

View attachment 40438

The next screenshot is zoomed in on the village of Frasselt to roughly 1:10000. You will note that the current village (colored) has expanded in comparison to the old (b/w).

View attachment 40436

Now it is possible to uncheck the "NRW Relief" in the "Add themes" menu leaving you only with the historical b/w map.

View attachment 40437


The topographical aspects of the terrain will not change much throughout history, but the terrain type or extent of built up areas might. The tool allows you to switch back an forth from relief view with current terrain to historical maps for comparison. That said one should however find out from which date the historical map displayed by the tool originates for which I have not found a solution as of now. However, my focus in this rested on the idea of getting a "feel" for the topographic lay of the land.

von Marwitz
 
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Cult.44

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Thanks. These look like good resources.

I'm currently looking at the Chir River battles of late '42 in Russia, seeing if I can pluck a scenario from them. It be nice if that area of Russia had the same treatment as the German region above.
 

von Marwitz

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Phew, dunno. But there's Raymond Woloszyn active in this forum. I am not completely sure of his forum name, but I think it is (or includes) his last name. He is an American who is fluent in Russian (and currently working in the Ukraine AFAIK). Maybe if you approach him kindly, he might be able to find out for you.

von Marwitz
 

von Marwitz

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I have seen something very similar that allows to blend in other historical maps to Google Earth.

I did not post that because it can have a serious drawback for those concerned about privacy:

Google is always very interested in your personal data...

By installing Google Earth, your browser will be "enhanced" by a plugin "Google Updater". This might also be run as a service. It phones home and helps Google to track your internet activity even if not using the search engine. And this plugin cannot be removed without some pain.

Might be of no relevance for those who want to use Google Chrome as a browser or any of the Google services such as Google Earth but could be very unwelcome to those caring for privacy.

von Marwitz
 
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