The Charles Close Society for the study of Ordnance Survey maps

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GSGS (Air) 111b International aeronautical maps of the world, conventional signs for aerial information (black) plates, plate II

83. The GSGS (Air) series was established at the end of the First World War, the earliest known publications appearing in 1920. The series was numbered from 100 only as far as 136, totalling between 45 and 50 published items, and comprising maps, indexes, conventional sign charts, wavelength charts, air routes and a few other items. Several of these have yet to be recorded in even a single copy. The new quarter-inch map of Great Britain was to have played its part, overprinted with air information, with proofs of sheets 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 being recorded in 1921. However only sheets 11 and 12 reached publication. The most commonly found survivors of this series are the International General Aeronautical Maps, a collaborative effort with foreign military authorities, including French and South African. Seven sheets extending from Eastern Europe and across the Middle East and into Africa were published by the War Office as part of this series, and in addition a special sheet entitled 'Britain'. Other than a second copy of GSGS (Air) 111b in the British Library, what are presented here are the only known copies of the conventional sign charts for this series; of particular interest are the manuscript annotations incorporated as the specification for the series developed. The GSGS (Air) series seems to have survived only until 1925: later issues of its maps were allocated numbers in the standard GSGS series, and the final item in the list, the 1:1 million 'Aerodrome location map – British Isles', GSGS (Air) 136, was published as GSGS 3787, in 1926.

From a copy in a private collection