Cartographic Relief Presentation Revisited – Forty Years after Eduard Imhof

  • Lorenz HurniEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences book series (LNEARTH, volume 115)


Topographic maps represent in a symbolised way the main features of the Earth’s surface shape as well as the major, mostly visible objects covering the topography. The clear and readable depiction of the relief is one of the main challenges in topographic cartography. The Swiss cartographer Eduard Imhof had a significant influence on the development of modern topographic cartography. He published his trend-setting findings 40 years ago in his textbook “Cartographic Relief Presentation”. This overview paper reviews his major contributions to topographic cartography and presents today’s state of cartographic relief depiction, illustrated by current map examples and projects elaborated at Imhof’s Alma Mater, the Institute of Cartography of ETH Zurich.


Eduard Imhof Cartography Topographic maps Relief presentation Contour lines Hill shading Analytical shading Swiss-style colour relief shading Rock drawing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut f. Kartographie, ETH-HönggerbergZürichSwitzerland

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