Elements of Cartography: Tracing Fifty Years of Academic Cartography

  • Judith A. Tyner
Keywords: cartography, textbooks, Elements of Cartography, Erwin Raisz


When Arthur Robinson published the first edition of Elements of Cartography in 1953, it marked a major change in academic cartography. Erwin Raisz’s General Cartography, first published in 1938 and revised in 1948, had been the standard text. Robinson’s book represented the metamorphosis in cartography after WWII and set the standard for the second half of the twentieth century. A review of the book’s contents through its 6 editions reveals the prevalent thinking in cartography during a dynamic period in the history of cartography. Through it we can trace changes from hand-drawn maps to the rise of GIS and remote sensing. Although Elements is no longer the major textbook, its impact was enormous. This paper traces the history of late twentieth century cartography through the pages of Elements of Cartography. A content analysis of all six editions of Elements of Cartography was done to determine the emphasis on various aspects of cartography. An analysis of Erwin Raisz’s two editions of General Cartography was also included in order to note the changes in content and philosophy from pre-war to post-war cartography.
How to Cite
Tyner, J. A. (2005). Elements of Cartography: Tracing Fifty Years of Academic Cartography. Cartographic Perspectives, (51), 4-13. https://doi.org/10.14714/CP51.392
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