After the First World War, state cartography and surveying services in Europe were still fulfilling the demand of the army. It became apparent that in case of a new crisis the war would embrace the whole world. Advance preparation of maps against all potential theaters of war was complicated due to the increased requirements of topographic maps and the need to issue maps for special purposes, such as for aircraft and motor vehicles.
Aerial photography made fundamental changes in the topographic and geographic research in the european countries. Aerial photography increased productivity, made it possible to map areas previously inaccessible, as well as improved topographic and thematic maps thanks to the objectivity of the aerial image.
The Second World War (1939-1945) in Europe raised the importance of maps in the general system of topographic support of combat operations. In large operations were used millions of sheets. A major role played equipment of armies with topographic units that had the latest imaging and mapping machines, which not only facilitated the creation of maps in the field conditions, but also reduced the time of their creation.
In Russia in the early twentieth century there was a shortage of exerts for geodetic and topographic services. In 1918 in order to supply Red Army with maps was established on the basis of the former Army Corps - Military Topographic Service that in severe conditions created a large quantity of accurate maps. During the Second World War USSR topographic surveys covered more than 5 million sq. km, i.e. 30% of the territory of Russia, and were published 19.6 thousands of topographic maps. The war showed high quality of Soviet maps in terms of their completeness, saturation evidence, convenience and nomenclature.