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Hanspeter Fischer:

The 'Charte von Schwaben' 1:86,400

Cartographica Helvetica 7 (1993) 3–10


The map of Suabia (Charte von Schwaben) 1:86,400 marks the beginning of precise geodetic and topographic surveys in southwestern Germany.

The first of the 62 map sheets was published in 1798 by editor Johann Georg Cotta in Tübingen while the last sheet appeared in 1828. The authors were Johann Gottlieb von Bohnenberger (1765–1813), Ignaz Ambros von Ammann (1753–1840), and later on Ernst Heinrich Michaelis (1794–1873). Exemplary for the map of Suabia was Cassini's topographic map series Carte géométrique de la France 1:86,400, published between 1756 and 1789 (and in 1815).

The map of Suabia is based on a network of fixed points which were determined astronomically and geodetically. It represents an impressive cartographic feat by a private enterprise dating from a period of transition to modern official cartography. The map sheets cover not only Suabia but also a remarkably extensive part of the surrounding countries.

Bibliographic Note:

  • Edited version of: Die 'Charte von Schwaben' im Maßstab 1:86 400. Stuttgart, 1988.

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