Entering German cities within days of their capture by Allied forces, the special Army-led team slipped into bomb-ravaged Cologne in early March 1945.

The Untold Story of the Secret Mission to Seize Nazi Map Data

How a covert U.S. Army intelligence unit canvassed war-torn Europe, capturing intelligence with incalculable strategic value

Scientific illustrations, Humboldt once wrote, should “speak to the senses without fatiguing the mind.” His famous illustration of Chimborazo volcano in Ecuador shows plant species living at different elevations.

The Pioneering Maps of Alexander von Humboldt

Beautiful and insightful, the illustrations of the German naturalist helped shape a new understanding of the world

The map shows locations including accused witches' places of residence, sites of trial, detention and execution

This Map Shows the Scale of 16th- and 17th-Century Scottish Witch Hunts

The interactive tool tells the stories of 3,141 men and women accused of practicing witchcraft

"Tiffany Chung's exhibition opens our eyes to a history hidden in plain sight, illuminating the war and its aftermath from the perspective of those who lived through it," says curator Sarah Newman.

For Tiffany Chung, Finding Vietnam’s Forgotten Stories Began as a Personal Quest

To map the post-war exodus, the artist turned to interviews and deep research, starting with her own father’s past

River basin map of the contiguous United States

These Beautiful Maps Capture the Rivers That Pulse Through Our World

Cartographer Robert Szucs creates colorful maps of the watersheds that creep across states, countries, continents and the globe

The "Faces of Dudley" mural depicts residents of Boston's Roxbury neighborhood

This Map Details More Than 200 Massachusetts Sites Connected to African-American History

You can contribute to the project by suggesting new entries or proposing edits to existing ones via the project’s main hub

During the early Triassic epoch, Washington, D.C. was situated in a massive supercontinent called Pangea

This Map Lets You Plug in Your Address to See How It's Changed Over the Past 750 Million Years

The interactive tool enables users to home in on a specific location and visualize how it has evolved between the Cryogenian period and the present

Drone Captures Thousands of Years of Archaeology on Remote Scottish Islands

A drone survey of Canna and Sanday Islands collected 420 million data points, creating what may be the most detailed 3-D map of islands yet

Easter Island Statues May Have Marked Sources of Fresh Water

A spatial analysis of the island's moai and ahu seem to line up with ancient wells and coastal freshwater seeps

The 'Pole of Inaccessibility' Has Eluded Adventurers for More Than a Century

This winter, explorers will once again set out for the most remote part of the Arctic Ocean

A 1736 map of Scotland—with Shetland in a box.

New Law Puts Shetland on the Map—and Outside of a Box

Cartographers had previously been in the habit of representing the Scottish islands inside a box because they are located so far from the mainland

The vibrant Baltimore Oriole can be found migrating throughout large portions of eastern and central North America.

Scientists Can Predict When Birds Will Migrate Up to a Week in Advance

A new forecasting model using years of bird migration data and weather radar could help us protect migrating birds from harm

Northern Black Widow

Citizen Scientists Show Black Widows Creeping North In Canada

Study shows online observations can help researchers refine the range maps of many species overlooked by field biologists

This New Zealand Natural Wonder Is Probably Gone for Good

A new study reconfirms that the Pink and White Terraces were destroyed by a volcano in 1886 and can't be dug up

New Map Chronicles Three Decades of Surface Mining in Central Appalachia

The data shows about 1.5 million acres of forest have been affected by surface and mountaintop mining since the 1970s

Marc Fries examines a magnetic board looking for iron particles recovered from the sea floor.

A Research Ship Is Hunting Meteorite Fragments Off the Coast of Washington

The research ship E/V Nautilus is combing through samples and sediment hoping to recover the first space rock from the ocean floor

John Wesley Powell by Edmund Clarence Messer, 1889

The Visionary John Wesley Powell Had a Plan for Developing the West, But Nobody Listened

Powell’s foresight might have prevented the 1930s dust bowl and perhaps, today’s water scarcities

A scene from Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan.

Teaching Refugees How To Map Their World Could Have Huge Benefits

A pilot project trained Syrian refugees at a Jordan camp to create maps—an invaluable tool in a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis

This Is the Longest Straight-Line Ocean Path Around the Earth

But don't go hauling your boats out just yet

In the new book North on the Wing from Smithsonian Books, author Bruce Beehler (above left) follows the spring migration of songbirds.

Thirty-Seven Warblers in a Hundred Days

A Smithsonian ornithologist follows the songbird migration north from the Gulf of Mexico. A new book tells his story

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