For decades the CIA relied on geographers and cartographers for planning and executing operations around the world. During the 1940’s in support of the military’s efforts in WWII, cartographers pioneered many map production and thematic design techniques, including the construction of 3D map models. To celebrate 75 years of serious cartography, the Central Intelligence Agency has declassified and put decades of once secret maps online. Check it out!
You can read more about it here too.