Robert Helbling – pioneer of stereo photogrammetry in the Andes in Argentina and in Switzerland
Cartographica Helvetica 49 (2014) 15–26
Robert Helbling (1874–1954) was a Swiss pioneer of alpinism and stereo photogrammetry. As a passionate mountain climber with a post-doctorate in geology, he accepted an invitation by his friend Friedrich Reichert to the Andes in Argentina in 1905. While achieving several first ascents in the High Cordillera of Mendoza – almost unknown at that time – the two adventurers discovered the impact of the glacial structure of the Juncal-Tupungato group. As an initial part of a surveying campaign stretching over several years, Helbling began collecting stereo photogrammetric images in the southern hemisphere summer of 1908/09. By 1914 the result of the surveying campaign was a first accurate topographic map of this high mountain region, consisting of several sheets. At the beginning of the First World War, Helbling supported the introduction of stereo photogrammetry in Switzerland and he also assumed a leading part in photo geology.