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Hans-Ulrich Schiedt:

The 'Karte der Schweiz' by Joseph Edmund Woerl, 1835/36

Cartographica Helvetica 32 (2005) 33–39


The little known map Karte der Schweiz by Joseph Edmund Woerl constitutes an important documentation of the Swiss road network in the 1820s. The series, which includes 19 maps at the scale 1:200,000, was published in 1835/36 by Bartholomäus Herder in Freiburg in Breisgau. Chronologically this work may be placed between the Atlas Suisse (1802) and the 'Dufour Map' (beginning in 1842). Although the Bavarian cartographer Woerl compiled his maps from different maps, the Karte der Schweiz was based mainly on the work of Johann Heinrich Weiss, co-author of the Atlas Suisse and Woerl's predecessor at the publishing house Herder. With this road map Herder was counting on the increasing number of travelers and tourists. Different reviews bear witness to the success of the map due to its representation and accuracy, and they also show that at that time the requirements and expectations from maps were quite different.

Bibliographic note

  • Edited version of: Das aktuelle Dokument: die Schweizerkarte von Joseph Edmund Woerl. In: Wege und Geschichte = Les chemins et l'histoire = Strade e storia 2 (2004) pp. 31–34.

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