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Cartographica Helvetica


Hanspeter Fischer:

Surveying and mapping in Tyrol and western Austria, 1760 to 1793

Cartographica Helvetica 19 (1999) 37–45


Having constructed several different surveying instruments and globes, the Austrian government commissioned Peter Anich, an autodidact, to survey northern Tyrol. After Anich's untimely death, his assistant Blasius Hueber continued the work of surveying and mapping. The resulting Atlas Tyrolensis (20 sheets at the scale 1:103,800, copper engraving, published between 1768 and 1774) served many cartographers as the basis for new maps until the end of the 18th century.

Blasius Hueber himself also had an assistant, Anton Kirchebner, with whom he successively produced various maps of what was then western Austria:

  • Map of Vorarlberg (2 sheets, surveyed from 1771 to 1774, printed 1783),
  • Map of the 'Landvogtei' of Upper and Lower Swabia (2 sheets, surveyed from 1775 to 1780, printed 1782),
  • Map of the County of Nellenburg (surveyed from 1780 to 1785, not published),
  • Map of the County of Upper and Lower Hohenberg (surveyed 1786, published 1788),
  • Map of the 'Markgrafschaft' of Burgau (surveyed from 1788 to 1793, published 1793).

Professor Ignaz von Weinhart, a Jesuit priest, provided scientific background to these Tyrolean 'cartographers', who were actually farmers. The maps themselves represent a historical rarity in the world of cartography in that they are the first modern and, at the same time, the last maps of this extent to be designed by amateurs.

Bibliographic note

  • Edited version of: Werke der Tiroler Bauernkartographen – Vermessungen in Vorderösterreich vor etwa 200 Jahren. In: Beiträge zur Landeskunde, Beilage zum Staatsanzeiger für Baden-Württemberg 5 (1997) pp. 8–15.

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