Aviation cartography encompasses a wide range of way-finding charts and maps associated with flight. These include aeronautical charts for visual air navigation; hyperbolic navigation plotting charts; instrument flight charts; approach and plates; airline souvenir maps; and moving map displays in cockpits and passenger cabins.
Aeronautical Charts for Visual Air Navigation
Aeronautical charts are special purpose maps specifically designed for guiding pilots and navigators from one geographic point to another in slow or medium speed aircraft and for monitoring their positions along the way under visual flight rules (VFR). Designed for visual navigation, they have played a vital role in air navigation since the beginning of cross-country flying in 1909.
Aeronautical charts were initially known by a variety of names such as fliegerkarte (Germany), flying maps (Great Britain and her colonies), air navigation maps (United States) and carte aéronautique (France). Recognizing their similarity to nautical charts, the U. S. Coast & Geodetic Survey adopted the term aeronautical chart in 1934. [Lyon 1934] Its usage became widespread during World War II through the worldwide distribution of the U. S. Army Air Force’s standard 1:1 million “World Aeronautical Chart” (WAC) series. [Ehrenberg WAC] The Pan American Institute of Geography and History formally approved its usage in 1943 and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) a year later. [Randall 1944; Park 1956] While the term now generally embraces all aviation charts, it was originally limited to charts designed for visual air navigation with scales ranging from 1:250,000 to 1:1 million.
Aeronautical charts are also referred to as VFR Charts, in recognition of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) visual flight rules under which they have been prepared and published since 1964. In that year, the increasing use of high altitude jet-powered aircraft and the expanding maze of airways led the FAA to divide air traffic into two categories; flights flown below 18,000 feet mean sea level (MSL) were to be controlled by visual flight rules (VFR) while flights above that were to be regulated by instrument flight rules (IFR).
VFR charts are used for planning, plotting flight courses, notating checkpoints, measuring flight distances, computing flight time, and determining headings. They provide critical navigation details about airports, navigational aids (radio aids, magnetic variation), airspace, and procedural information. They also depict landscape features easily viewed from the air, such as topographical terrain (contour lines, shaded relief, color tints, and spot elevations), lakes and rivers, canals, oil lines, populated areas, racetracks, railroads, and stadiums.
The aeronautical chart was first developed in Europe. Prussian balloonist Hermann Moedebeck promoted the idea of special air maps beginning with a series that he prepared for Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin’s airship line in 1909. Moedebeck further advanced aviation cartography through publications and public forums that inspired aeronautical clubs throughout Europe to establish map committees. The Aero Club of America followed suit, establishing a Committee on Aeronautical Maps in 1911.
During World War I, more sophisticated aeronautical charts were developed. These air maps were generally formatted as scroll maps for use in compact wood or metal devices fitted with rollers for ease of handling in the open cockpits of that era. The primary visual charts used on the Western Front were the Carte Aéronautique de la France du Service Géographique de l’Armée (Aeronautical Chart of France of the French Army’s Geographical Service) and the Carte Aéronautique de l’Aero Club de France (Aeronautical Chart of the Aero Club of France). Both were drawn at a scale of 1:200,000. The British Admiralty Air Department and the Italian Air Force also issued special air charts. The Prussian General Staff provided a 1:300,000 aeronautical chart for the Central Powers.
Chart content changed little during the following decade. They were designed for visual navigation in aircraft with slow speeds (75-122 miles per hour), short range (200 miles), and low ceilings (generally below 12,000 feet mean sea level). The delineation of railroads was particularly important. Dubbed the “iron compass” by pioneer pilots, railroads were considered more dependable guides than early magnetic compasses, which were often compromised by the engine and other metallic alloys scattered throughout the aircraft. Prominent landmarks such as bridges and churches were often illustrated by small perspective drawings for use as checkpoints.
The U. S. Army Air Service developed the first operational aeronautical charts in the United States, initially for Army flight schools and for the U. S. Post Office Airmail Division. During the immediate post World War I period, airmail pilots were the only aviators in the United States flying long distance scheduled flights on a daily basis. Initially, they navigated by standard Post Office Department state maps trimmed to fit scroll devices, but these maps were unsatisfactory and not always available to pilots when needed. The Post Office turned to the Army Air service for assistance, which responded with a set of photo processed blueline strip maps produced jointly with the U. S. Geological Survey. These special maps were designed for visual cross country flying at an altitude of 5,000 – 6,000 feet mean sea level in accordance with guidelines prepared by James Edgerton, the Post Office Department’s Chief for Flying Operations. At that height, a pilot can generally see approximately 100 miles, sufficient distance to locate checkpoints or emergency landing fields. From late 1919 to 1923 these blueline strip maps were the primary aeronautical charts linking Eastern and mid-western cities. A master set of these maps was maintained by the Air Service, which furnished photoprocessed blueline copies on demand to pilots and airport managers.
In 1923, U. S. Army cartographers introduced a new series of aeronautical strip charts. It was designed for use on America’s military and government airways following experimental flight tests along the Army Air Services’ model airway system that extended from Washington, D. C. to Dayton, Ohio. (See Selection 3) The U. S. Navy followed shortly thereafter with its own series of aeronautical charts of the coastal seaboard designed for floatplane pilots. Initially, both series included detailed inset maps of airfields located along the military airways. (Digital images of the initial series of U. S. Army Air Corps aeronautical strip charts (1924-1934) are also available for viewing and downloading at the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division’s website [Library of Congress 2012]).
With the passage of the Air Commerce Act of 1926, the responsibility for developing a national airways network and associated aeronautical charts was transferred from the Army and Navy to the newly established Commerce Department. Charged with fostering and promoting commercial aviation, the Commerce Department and its mapping agency, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (USC&GS), assumed responsibility for mapping the nation’s civilian airways. By the end of the 1920s, the aeronautical strip charts produced by the Army, Navy, and USC&GS were among the best aeronautical charts in the world designed for cross-country flying.
In the period immediately following Charles Lindbergh’s epic flight in 1927, the number of civilian airplanes purchased for private use mushroomed to nearly eight thousand. Within a year, more flying was carried out away from the established airways than on them. Recognizing that the existing aeronautical strip charts were of limited value for this type of flying, the Rand McNally Company and the USC&GS began issuing visual charts designed for area or regional use rather than for airway flying.
The Rand McNally Company introduced an innovative series of state visual charts titled “Standard Indexed Map with Air Trails” (1928-36; various scales). (See Selection 2) These maps were accompanied by an eight-page pamphlet describing the basic elements of air navigation, the first standard work on air navigation published in the United States. Compiled by Thoburn Lyon, this work was later expanded into a book length work, which was published by the USC&GS under the title Practical Air Navigation and the Use of the Aeronautical Charts of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. More than a million copies of Lyon’s manual were sold between 1935 and 1972.
The USC&GS followed in 1930 with its 1:500,000 “Airway Sectional Chart” (later “Sectional Aeronautical Chart”), which is generally recognized as the first modern navigational chart. It provided coverage for the entire United States in 87 sheets and is now being produced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A variety of visual reference aids were displayed, including flashing or rotating light beacons for night flying, railroad lines, highways and roads, cities and towns, landmarks, mines, dams, and racetracks. Topography was indicated by contour lines, hypsometric tints, and spot heights. (See Selection 6)
The introduction of the “Airways Sectional Chart” coincided with the development of the installation of a national airway infrastructure based on short-range airborne radio navigation known as “radio range” or “radio beam” flying. The radio range system was comprised of a nation-wide series of ground-based radio beacons that continuously transmitted radio signals for four bearings in Morse code, which were received and interpreted aurally through a pilot’s headphones. For the first time, pilots could fly in all types of weather, without reference to visual landmarks, geographic coordinates, or navigation instruments. Pioneered by Otto Scheller in Germany in 1907, the radio range system was adapted by the U. S. Bureau of Standards for the Department of Commerce. Some 400 radio directional beacons eventually comprised the American “radio beam” airways system.
The airways that comprised this system were identified on the sectional charts by names from the color spectrum and route numbers. Airway “Amber 4,” for example, depicted the route that linked the Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Springfield, Missouri, radio range stations on USC&GS Tulsa (S-6) Sectional Aeronautical Chart. These charts are drawn on a Lambert conformal conic projection since radio signals, which follow a great circle, could be laid down as straight lines.
In response to major advances in aircraft design and production during World War II and the worldwide nature of that conflict, the U. S. Aeronautical Chart and Information Center (USACIC) developed five basic VFR chart series that spanned the world and laid the foundation for international standards. These included planning and plotting charts (1:2,000,000-1:5,000,000), long-range enroute charts (1:3,000,000), visual enroute charts (1:500,000-1:1,000,000), and approach plates.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations agency established in 1945 to foster international air transport and improve air navigation, undertook the development of standardized international specifications for aeronautical chart scales, symbols and formats.
New aeronautical charts appeared in the 1950s and 1960s following the introduction of jet aircraft and the installation of Very-High-Frequency Omni Directional Radio Range (VOR) navigation stations and its military version, Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC). Beginning in 1950, VOR stations and their airways, designated “Victor” airways, gradually replaced the existing radio range stations and their “named” airways as VOR stations were installed across the country. The letter “V” and route numbers designated the new Victor airways. For example, Airway “V 148” connects the VOR stations in Redwood Falls and Anoka, Minnesota, on the National Ocean Survey’s 1973 “Twin Cities Sectional Chart.”
New chart formats were also developed to accommodate airliners and military aircraft that cruise at nearly the speed of sound for long distances at high altitudes. These include the U.S. Air Force’s 1:1,000,000 scale “Operational Navigation Chart” (1958-present) and 1:2,000,000 -1:3,000,000 scale “Jet Navigation Chart” (1953-present). They have been printed in larger formats (106x147 cm) to compensate for this increased velocity, range and altitude (5,000 miles at 25,000 to 50,000 feet MSL) and illustrated with shaded relief, improved typefaces, and the removal of nonessential details to provide quicker visual interpretation when traveling at faster speeds (700 mph). [Schreiber 1954]
Hyperbolic Navigation Plotting Charts
Visual charts are useless for flights over oceans and deserts, which cover about eighty-percent of the earth’s surface. Pioneer aviators such as Lindbergh plotted their flights across the Atlantic and Pacific in a series of short flights using naval hydrographic charts with Mercator projections. During World War II, special new radio navigation charts of the hyperbolic type such as Consol, Decca, Gee, and Loran were developed to assist heavy bomber and transport aircraft navigators plot long distance non-stop precision flights.
Hyperbolic navigation was a form of radio navigation in which hyperbolic lines of position were established for determining flight position from synchronized signals emitted from two or more ground radio stations. These radio signals, identified by frequency, basic pulse rate and recurrence rate, were read by navigators from cathode ray tubes and then plotted on hyperbolic charts overprinted with curving blue, green, purple, and red lattice lines that represented the radio transmission stations.
Hyperbolic charts were essentially outline charts that displayed the lattice lines over light grey or yellow colors, and spot heights that indicated land and topography. Mercator, Lambert Conformal Conic, and Polar Stereographic projections were used, depending on the purpose of the chart and the latitude involved. Scale ranged from 1:1,000,000 to 1:5,000,000.
Following the war, these navigation systems were converted to peacetime use. Loran (renamed Loran C in 1957) and Decca Navigator supplemented celestial navigation during oceanic and desert crossings, and found new uses as aids in coastal and helicopter navigation. In the high-density air traffic areas of Western Europe and North America, networks of radio beacons, radio ranges and area coverage systems such as Loran, Decca, and Consol were established to bring structure and order to aircraft traffic flow. Government and military mapping agencies produced most of the hyperbolic plotting charts, but airlines with major overseas route networks such as KLM prepared their own. [Kok, 2005]
Instrument navigation charts and onboard inertial navigation systems superseded hyperbolic air navigation charts in the mid-1960s.
Instrument Navigation Charts
Instrument navigation or blind flying refers to navigation by radio signals under conditions where neither earth nor sky is visible to the pilot or navigator. Army Lt. James H. Doolittle laid the groundwork for instrument flying in 1929 under the sponsorship of the Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics. He took off and made a successful landing using a radio beacon furnished by the National Bureau of Standards and two new flight instruments developed with his help by the Sperry Gyroscope Company - a directional gyroscopic compass and an artificial horizon.
Since the charts associated with instrument navigation are designed specifically for radio navigation, they display only the locations of radio stations, radio frequencies, airways, directions and distances between radio stations, and restricted air spaces. Unlike VFR charts, no topographic or cultural landscape features are shown. All commercial flights are conducted according to IFR.
United Airlines pilot Elrey B. Jeppesen developed the first air navigation charts designed and marketed solely for instrument flying shortly after Doolittle’s historic flight. Jeppesen initially prepared his own flight charts from data that he gathered personally during flights and ground reconnaissance. After enquiries from fellow-pilots, he self-published his first Airway Manual in 1934, which included enroute maps marked only with radio navigation aids and individual airport approach charts. Jeppesen’s instrument enroute charts (1934-present) and approach charts (1936-present) were eventually made available to pilots on a 28-day cycle. Sold on a subscription basis, they were designed for a loose-leaf handbook, which encouraged easy replacement.
Instrument flight charts remained essentially unchanged in form and content until 1964 when the FAA established its two sets of regulations that controlled the preparation of flight charts, one for visual flight and another for instrument flight charts (IFR). IFR Charts were further divided into two categories: Low Altitude Enroute Charts for navigating Victor Airways below 18,000 feet MSL (See Selection 9) and High Altitude Enroute Charts for Jet Airways above 18,000 feet MSL.
Jet airways are also superimposed in a lighter color on Jeppesen Low Altitude Enroute Charts to illustrate their relationship with Victor Airways. To the uninitiated, the low altitude enroute charts appear as a maze of lines and nodes much like a layered series of spider webs, but in reality they represent a sophisticated three-dimensional airways map where each line, designated by the letter “V” or “J” and route number, displays its distance and altitude, and each node depicts a VOR’s compass rose that provides location, course, and radio frequency.
Jeppesen’s 1934 one volume publication containing some 100 enroute and instrument approach charts had grown to over 100,000 charts, often tailored for individual airlines. By the end of the century, Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc. dominated the instrument navigation chart industry with an 80% market share. “Jepps” guided more than 300,000 pilots flying for some 400 commercial airlines in 2001. [Katok & Tiedeman 2001, 7]
The USC&GS (later U. S. National Ocean Service (NOS)) soon followed with a similar series. A critical analysis of the Jeppesen and NOS instrument flight charts that focused on cost, clarity and clutter, concluded that the Jeppesen charts offered the best value and were the most accurate. [Bertorelli, 1991]
Approach and Departure Plates
Approach and departure plates are used to guide pilots in landing and taking off, one of the most dangerous aspects of flight. During the first decade of flight when grass landing fields were abundant and aircraft were slow and more forgiving, there was little need for separate landing field maps. When a pilot’s knowledge of his location with relation to terrain was critical, large-scale visual charts of local areas (1:250,000 or 1:300,000) were sufficient. Airport diagrams became more important with the development of more powerful aircraft during World War I and the scheduled flying by the Airmail Service in the 1920s. These were initially printed as insets in the borders of visual strip maps, a practice that continued well into the 1940s in colonial and frontier regions.
In early 1923, the U. S. Army Service began issuing standard printed map diagrams of landing fields, which was continued by the USC&GS. Formatted as small, one-to-two-page bulletins (7 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches), these airport map diagrams were carried in three-ring, loose-leaf binders or aviator’s logbook. They were published by the U. S. Government Printing Office with the titles Aeronautical Bulletin State Series (Air Service/Air Corps) and Airway Bulletin (Coast & Geodetic Survey). The first page generally included two sketch maps, one illustrating the airport’s position with respect to its immediate surroundings; the other an outline of the landing field. The second page or verso provided standard information on the landing facility. The bulletins were issued in press runs of 1,200 copies. The data for preparing these maps was obtained by distributing preprinted sketch forms and questionnaires to the towns and flying fields located along the airways. Army pilots were also sent out to sketch and photograph landing facilities, particularly those located in towns that did not respond to the questionnaires.
State aeronautical offices continued this practice, often to encourage and promote out-of-state fly-ins. The Aviation Section of Missouri Resources and Development Commission, for example, issued a Missouri Landing Facilities bulletin in 1961, which included maps of landing fields displaying oblique aerial photos of “Personal Use landing strips” as well as those for “airports and airstrips serving … various resort and recreation areas.”
In response to a dramatic increase of commercial air traffic, international flights, and flight complexity during the early post World War II period, the airline industry turned its attention to improving descent and runway approach procedures. Working with the Civil Aeronautics Authority (later FAA), Jeppesen introduced standard instrument approach procedures (1947) and instrument landing system approach charts (1948). The introduction of VOR Approach Charts soon followed.
Approach charts generally also served as departure procedure charts, but with the emergence of busy, complex airport hubs in the early 1970s, pilots and air controllers demanded that the FAA furnish separate written procedures for entering and leaving airways. In response to user comments, Jeppesen converted these narratives to graphic form with standard instrument departure charts (SIDs) and standard terminal arrival routes (STARs).
Airline Souvenir Maps
Airline passenger maps were small-scale maps designed to promote airline companies and their sponsors, aid customers in flight planning and scheduling, and entertain passengers during long flights. They often formed part of the complimentary air traveler’s flight packet that airlines distributed from the 1920s to the 1970s. In addition to the passenger’s tickets, these flight packets generally included a flight timetable with systems map, post cards embossed with the airlines logo or systems map, several sheets of writing stationary and airmail envelopes, leaflets or booklets promoting the airlines, occasionally a set of playing cards and frequently a souvenir map. More recently, souvenir maps are found in airline in-flight magazines.
The first souvenir maps were generally formatted as elongated strips that displayed a narrow band of geographical and aeronautical data along the line of flight, often in some detail. While the strip format route map as a travel map genre dates from the thirteenth century, the design and content of airline souvenir strip maps appears to have been influenced by contemporary aeronautical strip charts used for navigational proposes as well as strip format highway maps. Descriptive notations along one or both map margins often provided supplemental information about the route. These maps varied in scale but displayed sufficient cultural, geographic and topographic detail for air travelers to identify notable landscape features from their aircraft.
Airline souvenir strip format maps appeared in Europe shortly after English, French and German airlines commenced scheduled commercial flights following World War I, and remained popular as a genre until the mid-1930s. A resurgence of strip maps followed in the decade after World War II, although the new map series were typically smaller in size.
The first American airline souvenir maps appeared in the 1928, issued by Western Air Express and Pacific Air Transport, forerunners of Trans World Airlines (TWA) and United Airlines (UAL), respectively.
These early flight souvenir maps were designed for relatively slow-flying, low altitude aircraft with large observation windows. The maps ranged in size from five or six inches to 60 inches in length and three to eight inches in width, and were generally folded within small booklets that fit conveniently into a pocket or briefcase. They were commonly printed in color, with a bold red or black line marking the route. Distances were conveniently marked in both directions, typically at standard intervals of 20, 50, or 100 miles. Often insets of aerial photographs or drawings of prominent buildings or landscape features provided additional visual information to aid the air traveler in processing the geographic and cultural information viewed. (See Selection 1)
In the mid-1930s, major American airlines and their map publishers, notably H. M. Gousha, Rand McNally and General Drafting, began to replace the strip map format with area maps and atlas formats to portray the increasingly complex networks of airline air routes that emerged in the United States following the first major consolidation of its airline industry. These new maps and atlases were similar to contemporary automobile road maps. They customarily displayed a comprehensive network map, an index map, and individual route or sectional strip maps enhanced with insets of scenic views and narrative descriptions of cities and landmarks along the route or routes. (See Selection 4)
The look of the airline map changed in the late 1940s following the introduction of long-haul aircraft with pressurized cabins such as the Lockheed Constellation, Douglas DC-6, and Boeing 377 Stratocruiser that could fly longer distances at greater speeds (265- 340 mph) above the most turbulent weather and clouds (25,000-33,000 feet mean sea level), too fast and high to see particular landscape features. As aircraft capabilities to fly faster and higher progressively increased, airline maps became less detailed and more focused on providing a mental image of the land along the route rather than a detailed topographic rendering. (See Selection 5) At the same time, new “Air-age” map projections such as the azimuthal equidistant projection were introduced to project the image of globalization, a projection popularized during World War II.
American airline souvenir map production reached its peak during the first Jet Age (1958-1970), a period of unprecedented increase in passenger volume reflecting the nation’s expanding leisure time and rising personal wealth. Major American map publishers produced airline maps, with Jeppesen/ H. M. Gousha furnishing maps for 27 airlines and Rand McNally for ten airlines. The number of maps produced for the United Airlines popular souvenir map series by Jeppesen/H. M. Gousha, for example, averaged 1.3 million maps yearly from 1959 to 1970, with a high of 2.5 million maps printed in 1967. (See Selection 7)
The production of individual airline souvenir maps decreased dramatically in the 1970s as the Arab Oil Embargo forced airlines to turn to more-economical wide bodied “Jumbo” jets, hub-and-spoke networks, and in-flight movies. By 1977, most major American and international carriers had ceased publishing these traditional maps and atlases. In-flight magazine page maps took their place. The in-flight magazine was a product of the jet age, and by 1968 one of its major features was a network map. Hub-and-spoke network maps dominated this genre, following the widespread development of hub-and-spoke networks of connecting flights that was triggered by airline deregulation in the United States in 1978. (For a similar, though separately issued map, see Selection 10)
Moving Map Displays in Cockpits and Passenger Cabins
Global Positions Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are the latest technological innovations that have been adapted by the aviation industry to aid navigation. Pilots have used GPS for precise guidance during descent and approach since 1994. More recently virtual three-dimensional images of the landscape are replacing traditional aeronautical charts. Synthetic vision systems, as the aviation community calls them, are currently undergoing aircraft flight tests under the sponsorship of NASA’s Aviation and Safety Program. Designed to improve aviation safety, these terrain maps guide pilots along their projected flight paths in all weather conditions, day or night. Aeronautical charts are generated and viewed on display screens mounted in aircraft cockpits, either on the instrument panel or in front of the pilot’s eyes. The synthetic visions systems combine GPS satellite signals and onboard digital navigational terrain databases to provide real-time computer generated terrain images.
In 1984 electronic “moving” or animated map displays were installed in the airline passenger cabins of SAS and Swiss Air by Asinc Airshow, a California firm. Synchronized with a plane’s flight-deck airborne electronics and viewed on bulk-head or seat video screens, they provided for the first time a real time map display that depicted the flight route, groundspeed, altitude, and distance-and-time to destination.
Although the history of aeronautical aviation is more than a hundred years old, little has been written about it, partly because its development is so complex and challenging and partly because of its ephemeral nature. VFR and IFR charts are date sensitive and generally destroyed when updated. Many were experimental in nature and printed in limited runs.
Two excellent books by Terry T. Lankford, Understanding Aeronautical Charts and Using Aeronautical Charts, provide good introductions to this subject from a pilot’s point-of-view. The basic reference work on the development of aeronautical charts through the 1950s is Walter W. Ristow’s Aviation Cartography. A Historico-Bibliographic Study of Aeronautical Charts, which provides a comprehensive introduction to the field with an extensive bibliography. Ralph E. Ehrenberg provides a more detailed analysis of the early development of the aeronautical chart in the United States based on archival records in “‘Up in the air in more ways than one:' The Emergence of Aviation Cartography in the United States.” John Ruley reviews the history of USC&GS charts in “Historic Aviation Charts” and Alton K. Marsh examines the history of state aeronautical charts in “Mapping the States.”
James E. Terpstra has provided detailed analysis of IFR charts and electronic charts in two extended series of essays. His treatment of the IFR chart is found in a series of 16 articles written under the title “The Chart Clinic” in Flight, June, 1974 – Sept. 1975. This has been followed by a series of nine articles titled “Jeppesen Electronic Chart Clinic,” available from http://ww1.jeppesen.com/personal-solutions/aviation/chart-clinic.jsp
The literature on airline maps is surprisingly limited despite its evolution in concert with the inception and advancement of air travel, a new and distinct transportation culture that grew dramatically from Zeppelin’s airship line in 1909 to some 230 commercial airlines worldwide that now transport nearly two billion passengers annually. Roger E. Bilstein’s Flight in America is the standard general work on aviation in the United States. A more detailed analysis of commercial air travel is found in his “Air Travel and the Traveling Public. ” Douglas K. Fleming analyzes airline advertising maps in the 1980s.
Georg Gartner and Andreas Popp’s informative article describes the design and production of airline passenger maps in Germany at the end of the twentieth century, but is also pertinent to the American experience. C. Thurlow and A. Jaworski’s essay on in-flight magazines contains useful comments and illustrations relating to in-flight magazine maps.
Two useful websites for students of airline maps are “airline timetable images” (http://www.timetableimages.com/) created and maintained by collectors Björn Larsson and David Zekria, and “Archive.com-The Webmuseum of Commercial Aviation” founded by collector Chris Sloan in 2003. (http://airchive.com/html/timetable-and-route-maps).