U.S. Air Force Transportation Chart GH-9 Northern Hemisphere


The transportation hegemony of the United States in the postwar world.

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In the years immediately following the Second World War, the United States was the undisputed leader in global transportation. The maritime strength of nearly every other nation was severely hampered during the war, and rail and road infrastructure was destroyed across Europe and the Soviet Union (much of which was largely underdeveloped in the first place).

This map vividly emphasizes this trend using a variety of colors and lines to highlight transportation trends around the world. Darker yellow reflects areas that are within 25 miles of an accessible road (nearly the entire United States, Europe and India), while heavy green shows inland waterways. Maritime commerce and railroads are identified in purple, while global airways and corresponding distances are highlighted in red. Bar tables in the upper left enumerate America’s dominance in motor vehicle ownership and railroad mileage, while a brief description in the upper right describes the polar stereographic projection.

Also of interest is the key that outlines the color corresponding to seasonal variation in polar ice. It’s almost ironic to consider that the drastic changes that have occurred between then and now were largely caused by the transportation revolution visualized within the image.

The map was originally designed in 1946 by the Aeronautical Chart Service of the United States Air Force, but this later copy was issued in 1948 for the Troop Information Program of the U.S. Army.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1948

Author: United States Air Force

Sheet Width (in): 35.75

Sheet Height (in): 35.75

Condition: B+

Condition Description: Formerly folded into 12 panels, with varying levels of light to moderate wear along fold lines. A bit of discoloration also evident, most evident near the bottom. Remains in very good condition, with bright color.


1 in stock