Interact With Santo

Unquestionably Santo was covered in base infrastructure during World War II. Airfields, roads, ports, docks, hospitals, maintenance facilities, ammunition storage, fuel facilities, even cinemas and bakeries were dotted across the south east corner of the island. But what’s of keen interest to a lot of people is where was everything located? We decided it was time we mapped everything out – to the best of the information we have to hand.

Based on official records, maps, aerial photography and first hand accounts we’ve produced an exciting interactive aerial photograph featuring as many World War II sites that we have evidence of. The base image uses Google Maps’ most recent imagery of Luganville, and we’ve centred the map on the location of the Museum, once it’s constructed. In the top right corner you’ll find a layers icon where you can view the Google map with various layers turned on. But of greatest interest is the 1943 aerial imagery layer you can turn on or off over the Google Map. That way you can compare an area during the war with how it looks today. We’ve tried to be as accurate as we can with the 1943 overlay, but as it’s made up of many smaller images and there was some lens distortion in the original images particularly towards their edges, getting things to line up perfectly was difficult. That said, it’s pretty close.

Many of the markers are also clickable and provide a little background on the particular site along with any supporting photographs we have in our records. Quite obviously there are many more sites to add to the database and as these are discovered we’ll add them to the image. Another feature of the map is below the map is a search window if you want to look up specific locations such as ‘port’ or ‘airfield’. The system will limit your markers to the search term you provide. Additionally, if you click on the little car icon to the right of each marker you’ll be taken to a Google Maps page where you can click on your current location and you’ll be given a route to that marker, with the travel time for both walking and driving. A handy feature if you ever travel to Santo and want to explore some of the locations.

Of course if you know of the location of anything not shown on our map, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to get in contact with us via our Contact page.