Great War Digital is a UK based company whose purpose is to conserve historical maps and documents by digital scanning and then making the scans available on DVD. The Directors of Great War Digital Ltd are Guy Smith and Jerry Whitehead, both of whom have been instrumental in the development of LinesMan.
Guy was technical director behind the IWM CD Rom in 2001. That CD was ground breaking, in as much as it brought a hitherto unseen archive of 175 trench maps to the public gaze. He has subsequently put considerable thought and research into producing a more comprehensive format for presenting trench maps, both as an archival tool and navigation companion for battlefield research, which can be used by both amateur enthusiast and professional historian/archaeologist.
For the past four years Jerry Whitehead has run Kingshead Adventures, a UK based battlefield tour company offering a unique bespoke tour service for individuals, couples, families or small parties of friends, who prefer to travel independently rather than as part of a large group. Over the past couple of years Jerry has been working alongside Guy to develop LinesMan and to test trial versions in the field. The excellent results produced have been the catalyst to developing the final product version.
In conjunction with the above, both Guy and Jerry are members of the Western Front Association, and Jerry is also a Map Associate at the Imperial War Museum in London.
Many hurdles have been overcome since beginning this project, not least of which has been having enough scanned maps to make it all possible. What started as a hobby has snowballed to the point that we now hold a personal archive of over 1100 maps, which have formed the basis of the system. These have been topped up with maps from numerous private collections, (with the help of some very kind people) and, additionally, we have been to some major institutions to source some of the 'Secret' maps that are not generally in private hands. As far as we are aware, this is the first ever application of 'Historical' data into a Global Positioning System, and the combined package has been very rewarding to bring to this level. People's generosity, and trust, has been astounding. On several occasions, we have walked away with thousands of pounds worth of maps to be scanned, with almost no exchange of addresses. In some ways that spirit encapsulates quite why this conflict was fought, and to those people (listed below), we are indebted, as, without their goodwill, this project would not be here in its present form.
In the intermediate years, DVD technology has enabled us now to bring a huge range of maps, and new software has allowed an incredible step change in what can be done with them and how they are presented.
Great War Digital Ltd acknowledge with thanks the following contributors:
Jerry Whitehead (Maps, Sponsor, and Commercial Direction)
Guy Smith (Maps and Technical Direction)
Jason Spiller (Cartographic Consultant)
Private individuals and further map contributors, Nigel Parker, Collin Roberts, Trevor Pidgeon, David Fillsel, Duncan Skillen, Geoff Bridger, Julian Sykes, Andy Tonge, and Richard Dunning.
Institutions that have provided further maps include: The Imperial War Museum, The National Archives, the Royal Geographical Society and the Western Front Association.
Purchase of the LinesMan product and Memory-Map license includes a single PC user license, and rights to install on one PDA device. Any individual found to be copying, selling reproduced copies, or replicating the product for any purpose, will be prosecuted.
Great War Digital Ltd reserve the right to alter the specification of the product as is required to bring it to marketable standard.
Great War Digital Ltd
Orpington, BR6 0GX