Jeju in 1961: not exactly overcrowded

August 18, 2012 by
Filed under: Jeju, Korea, Maps 

With my specific interest in cartography the first thing I always do whenever I am somewhere is asking for a proper map. A proper map is a map which is, in my opinion, not the same as a streetmap or a thematical map with all sorts of funny symbols on them. A proper map is a topographical map. Preferably one with a scale like 1:50.000 or so.

Unfortunately, in large parts of the world you will not be able to get one, or will only be able to get a very old topographical map, quite often one from the US Army or the former Soviet Army.  Because of the fall of the Soviet Union it is now relatively easy to get proper maps of Africa, if you don’t mind the fact that these maps are 30 years old. Previously they were guarded by the Soviets like they were nuclear secrets, but now they are freely available, for instance as scans for sale on DVD’s through Ebay.

The last time I was on Jeju I tried to locate a proper set of maps, topographical maps that is, but I couldn’t find one. Of course there is a tourist map, which is freely available, but I want a map on which I can navigate if necessary. In the English language bookstore in Sin-Jeju I found a somewhat more topographical like map, but still not really what I wanted.

Recently I discovered a map set compiled by the US Army in the early 1960s. This map set has Korea, including North Korea, in a scale of 1:250.000. Jeju is one of the freely available sheets. You can find the scans of these maps here. (Click on any of the “green” maps for the individual maps.)

I will eventually use this full set to compile a complete map of Korea (both north and south) in de 50’s in a form which looks like for instance Google Earth, but for now I have made the Jeju map into such a map. You can find this map here.

Here are some screenshots of the map as you can find it on my mapserver:

Topographical map of Jeju: full screenshot

Topographical map of Jeju: full screenshot

Souther Jeju in 1961

Souther Jeju in 1961


One Comment on Jeju in 1961: not exactly overcrowded

  1. Jason Fay on Wed, 14th Aug 2013 20:45
  2. Hello sir!

    I work for a TV show that’s about to head to Jeju for filming and I’ve been desperately trying to find useful topo maps of the island. I found the 1950’s map that you linked above, but your second link is broken. Is there any way you could send that second file or a better link to me? I’d really appreciate it!


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