Normal people don’t have favorite cartographers, but I think many geographers do. I’ve simply fallen in love with the maps of Erwin Raisz. How? It’s not a name you hear too often, if at all, in the world of geography, it’s true. I was introduced to his work by a writing assignment in one of my geography core classes for my PhD. We were asked to write essays about famous geographers and directed to a series of volumes in the library containing short biographies of geographers. I just started flipping through pages, found a cartographer, and went to work researching for my essay. This is what I found:
Raisz developed this style of drawing maps that shows the landforms not as abstract symbols but as they look in real life. They are seemingly more art than science, but appearances are deceiving in this respect because the man was a masterful cartographer.
The detail in these maps and the amount of information is astounding. This is really what I strive for in my own products – the combination of art and science that makes the subject feel so easy to understand, but conveys so much information.
And finally, if all the prettiness didn’t win you over yet, how can you not love the sense of humor in making a map projection in the shape of an armadillo?