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Urban Schertenleib:

School maps by Johann Sebastian Gerster (1833–1918)

Cartographica Helvetica 20 (1999) 19–24


Among the cartographers in Switzerland who worked for the needs of education during the 19th century, Johann Sebastian Gerster's work has gained little attention up to now. During the main period of his work, from about 1868 to 1910, Gerster was active as both a geographer and historian for many cantons and produced thematic atlases, school wall maps and pocket maps. He also wrote didactic outlines, teaching aids for geography, and numerous articles for magazines and encyclopedias. With his critical and undiplomatic character, however, he made himself unpopular.

The author cites two examples, a controversy concerning a teaching aid and disagreements with federal authorities, which illustrate why Gerster always remained unpopular.

Bibliographic note

  • Edited version of: Schulkartograph Johann Sebastian Gerster – eine Erinnerung. In: Vermessung, Photogrammetrie, Kulturtechnik 93, 10 (1995) pp. 626–629.

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