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Kurt Brunner:

Early maps of Kilimanjaro – a contribution to expedition cartography

Cartographica Helvetica 30 (2004) 3–9


Beginning in 1860 expeditions were sent to Kilimanjaro, the legendary, snow-covered highest mountain in Africa near the equator. Expedition maps were often the result of such scientific journeys, at first at the scales 1:500,000 and 1:1 million. In 1889, German geographer and publisher Hans Meyer and Austrian Alpinist Ludwig Purtscheller succeeded in the first ascent of Kibo, the highest peak of the Kilimanjaro massif. Maps of the summit around Kibo at the scales 1:85,000 to 1:250,000 were the result of this and a further ascent.

Beginning in 1890 the maps were produced by the German Colonial Cartographic Institute. These resulted from route descriptions during the expeditions and of course also covered the Kilimanjaro massif. After the turn of the century, photogrammetric methods were already used to produce a map of Kilimanjaro.

Bibliographic note

  • Edited version of: Erstbesteigung und erste Karten des Kilimandscharo. In: Kartographische Nachrichten 39, 6 (1989) pp. 216–222.
  • Edited version of: Karten Ostafrikas um die Jahrhundertwende: ein Beitrag zur Kolonialkartographie. In: Kartographie und Staat: interdisziplinäre Beiträge zur Kartographiegeschichte. Ed. by Uta Lindgren. München, 1990. (Algorismus 3). pp. 47–53 and 96–102.

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