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Eduard Imhof (25 January 1895 - 27 April 1986) was a professor of cartography at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Z├╝rich, from 1925 - 1965. His fame, which extends far beyond the Institute of Technology, stems from his relief shading work on school maps and atlases. Between 1922 and 1973 Imhof worked on many school maps. He drew and shaded maps of Switzerland as well her various cantons and the Austrian province of Vorarlberg.


Eduard Imhof was born in Schiers, a town in eastern Switzerland. His father was a Geographer who taught at a local college. In 1902 the family moved to Zurich, were Imhof continued his schooling. In 1914 he began studying surveying at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Imhof continued studying at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology until 1919. While a student his studies where sometimes interrupted by military duty guarding the Swiss border as a lieutenant of artillery. Imhof would return to military service in 1939 and serve occasionally until 1945 eventually gaining the rank of major.

Relief of Switzerland 1:300 000, Eduard Imhof

Upon earning his diploma as a surveyor Imhof began working a faculty member at the Institute of Geodesy at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. In 1922 Imhof married Agnes Untersander. Between 1922 and 1935 they had four children together.

In 1927 Imhof was tasked with reviseing the Schweizerischer Mittelschulatlas, the atlas used in Swiss high schools. All editions of the Schweizerischer Mittelschulatlas published from 1932 until 1976 were under his direction. The Swiss primary school atlas, the Schweizerischer Sekundarschulatlas, published between 1934 and 1975 were also produced under his direction.

Imhof spent several weeks living in a Tibetan monastery in 1930 while he was measuring the height and position of Minya Konka. On this expedition he was accompanied by Paul Nabholz and Arnold Heim.

In 1949 Imhof was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Zurich for his work as a cartographer. In 1951 Imhof traveled to Ankara to work on surveying Turkey. While in Turkey he worked for the Turkish Office for Land Surveying (Harita Genel M├╝d├╝rl├╝g├╝). In 1954 Imhof married Viola May. He also made an ascent of Mount Ararat that year. Eduard Imof retired from teaching academically in 1965. He continued to give lectures and accept many awards for his lifetime of achievement until his death in Erlenbach after a short illness in 1986.



  1. ^ Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Eduard Imhof - Cartographer and Artist Retrieved on 2007-06-05.

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