West India Islands and the Approaches to the Panama Canal


This large folding map, issued by the London Geographical Institute during World War I, shows the islands of the Caribbean Sea and the approaches to the Panama Canal. The canal had opened to traffic in early 1914, shortly before the outbreak of the war. Protection of the canal against possible sabotage by Germany was a concern of U.S. military planners in World War I and, especially, during World War II. The map shows telegraph lines, undersea cables, and the distances in nautical miles of steamer routes from the key ports in the region to New York, London, Liverpool, and other destinations. British, Danish, Dutch, French, and U.S. possessions in the Caribbean are shown. The U.S. Virgin Islands are shown as still belonging to Denmark; they were sold to the United States under a treaty ratified in 1917. Inset maps provide detailed views of the U.S.-controlled Panama Canal Zone and of two of the most important British colonies in the region, the island of Jamaica and the mainland colony of British Guiana. The map of Jamaica is especially detailed and shows the borders of the island’s three counties and the parishes within each county.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

George Philip & Son Limited, London


Title in Original Language

West India Islands, & the Approaches to the Panama Canal

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

65 x 50 centimeters


  • 69.15 English miles to one degree. 60 geographical miles to one degree. 3.3 kilometers to one degree.

Last updated: November 14, 2017