Latest Headlines

ESRI Press Releases New Edition of Classic Book, Cartographic Relief Presentation

June 1, 2007
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

Redlands, Calif.-A new edition of renowned Swiss cartographer Eduard Imhof’s classic Cartographic Relief Presentation will be released by ESRI Press in June, showcasing the skillful draftsmanship, artistry, and science that went into his relief maps.

Last published 25 years ago and difficult to find since going out of print, this book will continue to instruct and inspire cartographers, geographers, geographic information system (GIS) mapmakers and cartographic scholars and students in the 21st century.

Imhof was a professor of cartography at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and his teachings influenced many students of cartography worldwide. Cartographic Relief Presentation remains relevant, offering guidelines for properly rendering terrain in maps of all types and scales, whether drawn by traditional means or with the aid of a computer.

The comprehensive volume first provides a historical overview of cartographic relief depiction. Imhof writes about early symbols of terrain representation such as using domed molehills to represent mountains and the more intricate bird’s-eye drawing of relief features by Leonardo da Vinci in his maps of Tuscany. The book also teaches readers techniques in symbology, color, hillshading, rock drawing, and contours.

The 1982 edition of Cartographic Relief Presentation was expensive and had a limited press run that made it a rare find in recent years, leaving cartographers and other map aficionados scouring bookstores and checking Internet sites to try to locate copies of a book they consider a masterpiece.

The new volume is affordable, and faithful to the original editions. ESRI Press retained Imhof’s valuable insights and teachings, only editing the text for clarity and consistency and making minor wording and punctuation changes. The color and black and white graphics were reproduced as they appeared in the 1982 English language edition, which was translated from Imhof’s 1965 German language version, Kartographische Geländedarstellung.

Imhof, who died in 1986, wrote that good terrain representation becomes crucial in mapmaking, serving as the foundation for the rest of the map. Yet he believed that aspect of cartography was often neglected and hoped his book would serve as a textbook to fill the knowledge gaps and improve map quality in the future. “Its objective,” he wrote in the book, “was to make maps more reliable, easier to read, and easier to understand.”

Cartographic Relief Presentation (ISBN 978-1-58948-026-1, 420 pages, $59.95) is available at online retailers worldwide. The book can also be purchased at or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, contact your local ESRI distributor. Visit for a current distributor list. ESRI Press books are distributed to the trade by Ingram Publisher Services. Call 1-800-648-3104 or visit

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to POB

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

HxGN Live

More than 3,500 attendees from more than 70 countries attended HxGN Live, the annual Hexagon AB user conference, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on June 3-6. About 450 keynotes and panel discussions were held, and several companies from around the world exhibited their geospatial products. Here are a few snapshots from the event.


POB January 2015 Cover

2015 January

In this January 2015 issue of POB, we take a look at integrated technologies that provide real-time 3D measurements of a Brisbane construction site.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

With the unmanned aerial system (UAS) presence growing in surveying, you will in 2015:
View Results Poll Archive

Point of Beginning Store

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\POB\epubsite\Statues-pic-large.gif
Surveyor Statues

The perfect gift or award for any special occasion.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Facebook logo Twitter logo  LinkedIn logo  YouTube logoRPLS small logo

Google +

Geo Locator

Buyers Guide

The #1 buyers' guide for land surveyors and geomatics professionals. Search listings for software and equipment manufacturers, equipment dealers and professional services. CLICK HERE to view GeoLocator.