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New Trench Map Conversion Site (tmapper.com)


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      Converting WW1 Trench Maps to Modern Locations


Introducing tmapper.com.

The tMapper Team is pleased to announce release of a new web site to assist anyone wanting to convert WW1 British Trench Maps to modern locations on Google Maps.
tMapper is a web-based application, converting WW1 trench map references to locations you can visit using a GPS, Google Maps or Street Directions. It will run on a PC, mobile phone or tablet. An internet connection and a modern browser is required.  We particularly thank the GWF's Clive & Tom for testing, constructive feedback from Guy, Howard, Rob and a generous offer from John Reed for his Gazetteer of the Western Front and burial location data.
This is a limited-release prototype. It supports single conversions, multiple conversions, elevation profiles, Google Street View, modern locations and Excel export. Known limitations appear below and may be addressed at a later date.
If you would like to assist in anyway, with suggestions, feedback, errors or testing, use the contact form on the web site or post your input in this forum.  It is always appreciated.
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Home Page assumes that within the 1,000 yard grid square (abcd), all locations are written in double-digits. Eg b.37.11 is assumed to be 37 units left and 11 units upwards from the origin of grid 'b'. However, b.4.1 is assumed to be 04 units left and 01 units upwards. It must therefore be entered as b.40.10. However, the bulk conversion option counts the number of digits and correctly converts these for you.
Single-Map overlays a description that is removed after a few seconds. Clicking on the marker icon displays it once again. The table below the map also displays a link to McMaster University where you can see all trench maps for the sheet itself (eg Sheet 36c - Vimy). A link to the National Library of Scotland's extensive trench map resources is also provided. Finally, a link to the highly-regarded Muninn project is provided as a comparison. Their conversions and ours lie within a hills-hoist.
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Street View shows a requested location and a Google image. If the Google image is blank, it is because no camera has visited the location, such as in the middle of a field. Manually move the Street View control and all roads will appear highlighted in blue.
Multi-Map displays multiple conversions. The table can be sorted by a number of columns. It can handle thousands of conversions but only 256 points will be displayed. However all converted points can be exported to Excel.
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Elevation Profile joins and charts 2 points to give an idea of the lay of the land between these. This feature is not supported in Microsoft Edge.
Search displays a list of trenches matching your criteria. The search page needs only 3 letters and terms are case-insensitive - pear and Pear will return the same result.
tMapper will display a maximum of 32 results, with the trench name, nearest town and map reference. Simply click on the hyperlink for the one you want and tMapper will display it.  Note that the location of a trench system or sector may span a considerable area. As a guide, tMapper displays the central location only.
In addition to original work transcribing trench locations into the search engine, the tMapper team acknowledge data from Australian War Memorial, Great War Forum contributors, Rat's Alley by Peter Chasseaud and thanks John Reed for kind permission to incorporate his Gazetteer of the Western Front.
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Overlay allows you to change the opacity of an overlaid trench map with the slider. Move the slider left to make the trench map fade and vice-versa.  Note that the current version of tMapper uses the 'quick overlay' Google Maps facility and is a general guide. This version aligns the map as a simple rectangle with equi-latitude NW and NE corners. A later version may align boundaries with increased precision.
The tMapper team acknowledges the Australian War Memorial and McMaster University as the origin of a number of these, used under the Creative Commons license.
Individual Burial Locations overlays a heatmap interpreting how many bodies were recovered from an area post-war. It is commonly called a body density map but has no direct correlation with casualties. However, the retrieval of 80,000 human remains immediately after the war is a moving tribute to the ferocity of combat in the Ypres and Somme regions. You can toggle it off and change the colour, intensity or opacity.
The tMapper team thanks John Reed for kind permission to use his painstaking transcription of this data.
Export: tMapper's menu bar allows you to export to Excel. If you have Excel on your device, it will load the tMapper Comma Separated Value (CSV) file for you. The 1st entry is always your single conversion. The next 2 are your elevation profile start and finish respectively. Any bulk conversions appear from the 3rd line onwards.
Accuracy: This page displays 65 known church locations, together with a test of prediction accuracy, rated from 1-5. The respective values are 8, 8, 29, 11 and 9.
This suggests that a prediction for a church spire somewhere on the Western Front will place you on, or close to the church roof.
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Currently, work is in progress on adding more maps with Individual Burial Locations, as only a small portion of Map 57d is included.  If you can assist, please contact the team.



Additionally, in the next few weeks, the overlay positioning is planned for an upgrade, as currently it is an approximation and is not yet suitable for GPS navigation on a location-aware tablet.




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Hi Mike,


If I have understood you correctly, simply type 57c.K.1.a.90.40 into the Conversion Targets text box under Advanced Mapping.  Then click on the Muninn button for a comparison.  We put it a few metres south of the position on Rob's site.


I've noticed that contrary to our web site instructions, you do have to enter it into the advanced mapping as 57c.K.1.a.90.40, not as 57c.K.1.a.9.4.  We'll fix this over the weekend.


The project started off as a pure KML output for battlefield touring with Google Earth and a GPS, so if you see the need for KML export as well as Excel, sing out.

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  • 2 years later...



I have only just found tMapper, due to a post made by WhiteStarLines, and I am impressed.  My only critique would be that the “About Us” page tells me nothing about the creators and why they created tMapper, shine your light, don’t hide behind internet anonymity.  I do realize the creators are most likely Australian, or have Australian membership, due to WSL’s involvement, but also the reference to the Hills hoist. 


Could I make one request, can an addition be made to the Elevation Profile page by including an Intervisibility line?  Ideally with an observers eyesight elevation setting of ground level, 0.5M or 1.5M. These levels would replicate the potential view of the observer in a trench or shell hole, one kneeling or sitting and one standing.


Well done, a great resource for researchers, academia, authors and enthusiasts alike.








Edited by green_acorn
Forgot the observers eyeline being from ground level
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A fantastic facility which has allowed me to identify the exact locations of numerous incidents relevant to my research over the last couple of years. Sadly, the locations I have pinpointed on tMapper for this year's school battlefields tour, including the place where our 1914 School Captain was mortally wounded, may not be visited in person for a while yet. 

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  • 2 months later...

A brilliant piece of kit... I can't work this out though... If I'm using side by side, a modern map and a trench map... If I click on the trench map is there any way I can get the modern coordinates please...?

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Hi Gus, it's quite easy and this is what we do when we are finding the centre of a named trench:

  1. Find the location you are interested in - in my example I am in Stuff Redoubt and now I want to know where the railway ran.
  2. Position the railway at the centre of the trench map, by dragging into the black circle, as shown below.
  3. Click Map Centre, then Trench Reference at Centre in the menu (top left corner).


Noting that this snippet is cropped, Stuff Redoubt has a blue pin and the railway is positioned in the black circle.  The map centre is given as 57d.R.21.d.2.7 or WGS84 50.062987, 2.712166.


As a cross-check, copy and paste 50.062987, 2.712166 into the menu option Advanced Users -> Lat, Lon Jump and it should take you back to your railway.  This is how we identify trenches and roundtrip test conversions.


If you have Google Maps and an internet connection, you can paste the lat, lon and ask for directions, then navigate to your WW1 location.

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WhiteStarLine... Some questions if I may please...


Is there a way to write numerous Trench Map references in Excel and upload them to tMapper please?

Is there a way to write numerous Trench Map references in Excel and have tMapper convert them to Lat Lon please? 

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9 hours ago, Gus1914 said:

Is there a way to write numerous Trench Map references in Excel and upload them to tMapper please?

Is there a way to write numerous Trench Map references in Excel and have tMapper convert them to Lat Lon please? 

Yes & yes.

  1. We uploaded our own Gazetteer as a cross-check and converted 20,000 items.  We are making this publically available for an institution that wants to convert several thousand references.  In the interim, PM me and I will upload them to the server, then you can do this yourself.  (It won't be released for a month or so as there is a memory limitation so we batch them up into parcels of 1,850 at a time).
  2. Several years ago we released a spreadsheet that did bulk conversions.  PM me if interested.
  3. If you have less than 256, there is an undocumented feature in the Bulk Conversions that may assist.  If you have a list of trench map references, you can place a description after each one and as long as there is a comma after the trench map reference, anything to the right of the comma is interpreted as a description.
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  • 2 years later...

Tmapper looks great, is it available for the Gallipoli battlefields?



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Hi @Kiwi Bob, while tMapper does not cover Gallipoli, there is a very comprehensive resource that does.  It is free* and includes over 250 georeferenced maps of Gallipoli. 

* Members of The Western Front Association get full zoom and free downloads.  All other functionality is enabled.

  1. Visit this site.
  2. Right click over the map.
  3. Select Gallipoli.

It opens at the map Issued to accompany "The New Zealanders at Gallipoli", Wellington, printed in 1919.  The page supports map selection, an opacity layer to see the underlying modern terrain, search and Google Street View,   Most of the search terms originated in that New Zealand book of place names published shortly after the Great War.

Cheers, Bill


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