General Geology

1988 Edition

Cartography, general

  • R. Drazniowsky
Reference work entry

Cartography is the art, science, and technology of making maps, together with their study as scientific documents and works of art. In this context, maps may be regarded as including all types of maps, plans, charts and sections, three-dimensional models, and globes representing the Earth or any heavenly body at any scale. This definition of cartography was adopted by the International Cartographic Association, October 26–27, 1967, in Bad Godesberg, Germany. According to Raisz (1938), “The surveyor measures the land, the cartographer collects the measurements and renders them on a map, and the geographer interprets the facts thus displayed.”

Early Cartography

It is difficult to establish a date for the beginning of cartography. There are indications that some sort of cartography was undertaken 5,000 yr ago. A clay tablet showing an estate in a Babylonian town, which flourished in 2500 B.C., could be taken as evidence of this. Quite a number of Babylonian city plans from the seventh...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Andree, R., 1877, Die Anfänge der Kartographie, Globus 31, 24–27, 33–43.Google Scholar
  2. Bagrow, I., 1964, History of Cartography. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 312p.Google Scholar
  3. Campbell, E. M. J., 1962, Landmarks in British cartography: The beginnings of the characteristic sheet to English maps, Geog. Jour. 128, 411–415.Google Scholar
  4. Colvocoresses, A. P., 1975, Evaluation of the cartographic application of ERTS-i imagery, Am. Cartographer 2(1), 5–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Crone, G. R., 1953, Maps and Their Makers, An Introduction to the History of Cartography. London: Hutchinson, 181p.Google Scholar
  6. Cuff, D. J., and M. T. Mattson, 1981. Design and Production of Thematic Maps. New York: Methuen, 160p.Google Scholar
  7. Harvey, P. D. A., 1980, The History of Topographical Maps. New York: Thames and Hudson, 199p.Google Scholar
  8. Lawrence, G. R. P., 1979, Cartographic Methods. New York: Methuen, 154p.Google Scholar
  9. McEwen, R. B., and A. E. Elassal, 1978, USGS digital cartographic data acquisition, U.S. Geol. Survey Open File Report, 21p.Google Scholar
  10. Peucker, K., 1901, Zur Kartographischen Darstellung der dritten Dimension, Zeitschr. Geog. 7, 22–41.Google Scholar
  11. Raisz, E. J., 1938. General Cartography. New York: McGraw-Hill, 370p.Google Scholar
  12. Reeves, R. G., ed., 1975, Manual of Remote Sensing. Falls Church, Va.: American Society of Photogrametry, 86p.Google Scholar
  13. Robinson, R. B., and R. D. Sale, 1969, Elements of Cartography. New York: Wiley, 415p.Google Scholar
  14. Ristow, W. W., 1943, Maps–How to make them and read them, A bibliography of general and specialized works on cartography, New York Public Library Bull. 47(6), 381–386.Google Scholar
  15. Tooley, R. V., 1952, Maps and Map-makers. London: Batsford, 140p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Van Nostrand Reinhold Company Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Drazniowsky

There are no affiliations available