“If I recognize this map?”

Contributor: Nam SangSo and Yongsan Legacy Team

The blue print showing the west area of the Main Post Yongsan Garrison was one of the hundreds of  topographic maps plotted by the engineers and surveyors of Trans-Asia Engineering Associates, Inc. (TAE). It had been performed some time in late 1959 and early 1960.

Topic: architecture, construction, Education, Engineering, Landscape, Mapping, People, photography, Yongsan Legacy
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Your email of “If I recognize this map?” August 24.
That topo drawing you showed me in your email induced me some reminiscences, which you architect might find them interesting.
Yes, I do recognize the faded drawing. The blue print showing the west area of the Main Post Yongsan Garrison was one of the hundreds of  topographic maps plotted by the engineers and surveyors of Trans-Asia Engineering Associates, Inc. (TAE). It had been performed some time in late 1959 and early 1960.
The map was drawn by the standard plotting procedures of TAE – showing the longitude and latitude lines for coordinate, the logo of the North mark, and the way the key plan, legend and the title box had been arranged are all in accordance with the standard requirements by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
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At the time the field survey was made, there were no S series EM barracks (five of them) and S 1510 (later TAE’s design office) and two neighboring buildings too had not yet been built.  As you can see the the contour liens around those new buildings do not match with the ground conditions.  The Post Engineer of the Garrison probably inserted those cement block/concrete buildings later forgetting to update the contours.
While we are with that EM barracks, I shouldn’t forget to say that the TAE’s soils and quality control team, I had supervised, conducted an extensive structural bending tests on a second floor of one of the barracks as the Korean contractor had fail to meet with the quality control tests including the bending and compression analysis and tension test on rebars.  The Corps of Engineers had issued work suspension ordered. It was some time in early 1970.
The TAE’s tests performed according to the standards of the U.S. Concrete Institute and the ASTM had, however, showed the quality of the freshly poured concrete barely meets the requirements, a slightly above the failure points.
There had been heated debates among the Corps of Engineers, contractor and TAE. It was a risky recommendation for me but I had submitted a conclusive recommendation that the questionable floor concrete meets with the contract specifications requirement. The Corps of Engineers had accepted our recommendation. And those EM barracks with S-1400s series are standing there today. (This is a contrary story to a failure of quality concrete by Korean contractor at Camp Humphreys which had delayed the relocation of Yongsan Garrison to Pyeongtaek).
The EM barracks were designed by TAE architect and structural engineers, I was involved, and we, knowing well the Korean contractor’s poor quality control in the field, had inserted in our design analysis an extra 30% of the safety factor in addition to the standard requirement of 50% factor. There were more rebars and the columns and floors are 30% thicker than American standard design requirements. We had often practiced this additional reinforcing in the designs so that we could sleep at night after the drawing had left the office.
Now returning to the topographic map story, the US Army Corps of Engineers contracted to TAE topographic surveys and mapping at a dozen of the US Military Camps located along the south of the DMZ in the early winter of 1959.  I shouldn’t spell out the whole US military facilities here but they included Camp Red Cloud, Camp Casey, Camp Falling Water, Camp Edwards, etc on the north (mostly of artillery and tank corps), and Camp Carrol at Waegwan in north of Daegu City.
I was then a debutant instrument man who was responsible to read the distance and angles reflected in the telescope of transit from the Philadelphia rod carried by a rod man.  The attached photo of me wearing a heavy Parker was taken at US Army Camp St. Barbara in Paju country in December 1959.
TAE then had seven topographic survey crews, two leveling crews and two trigonometrical survey teams.  The airial photography was not available then so everything on the ground and underground has to be pick up by visually with the surveying instruments. By triangulation surveys the Korea’s national geographic coordinates had been incorporated into the US Military mapping system.
Nam SangSo conducting a topographic survey
Nam, August 25 2018