Hans Conrad Gyger

Hans Conrad Gyger (1599–1674) was a painter, mathematician, surveyor and cartographer in Zurich. Gyger was the first to systematically survey a larger area in Switzerland. This resulted in the map “Grosse Landtafel des Kantons Zürich“ (Great Land Board of the Canton of Zurich; 1664–67).

Der Gygerplan

With his map Gyger reached a fundamental progress by displaying mountains – until then drawn in template-like side views – as elevations of mass. Thus continuous mountain ranges and valleys seen from oblique forward became apparent, not unlike today’s bird’s-eye-view-maps.

His map of the Zurich area took 38 years to survey and paint, and is considered as one of the most beautiful cartographic works of that time. Because of its high military importance the map was kept secret, and, unfortunately, had no influence on contemporary cartography. Not until 200 years later were shaded relief maps of comparable quality and beauty produced.

(via Mapzen)

See also

Craft and creativity

The first relief map

“In 1668, Hans Conrad Gyger submitted an outstanding cartographic masterpiece to the government of Zurich. […] Gyger depicted the topography in a naturalistic manner with illumination emanating from the southwest. The map is east-oriented. It was drawn and painted with gouache and pen.” — reliefshading.com


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