World War II, Google Earth, and the South Etruria Survey

The British School at Rome’s celebrated ‘South Etruria Survey’, conducted by the School in the 1950s to the 1970s was partly in response to the rebuilding of Italy in the wake of World War II. As a research assistant on the BSR’s Tiber Valley Project in the late 1990s, I was helping to re-evaluate the SES. We would examine the original files & maps, unpack the original finds crates, and enter all of it into a GIS. The results from the restudy are still coming out.

How I wish we’d had something like Google Earth! Google has just added imagery from World War II to Google Earth. We did have access to the original military maps of the region, and aerial photographs, but what I love about Google’s implementation is the sliding ‘clock’ bar. Watch how a zone has changed over time… So the connection with the SES – some of the Google material overlaps the study region; hopefully more is to come…

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