Wisconsin Geospatial News

Wisconsin loses renowned cartographer

“Emeritus Professor Arthur Robinson, known for his work, leadership, teaching and scholarship in cartography, passed away October 10.

Arthur Robinson started his mapping career in 1941 working for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA, as the Chief of the Map Division. He oversaw many types of cartographic work, including the preparation of nearly 5000 maps, in support of the war effort. In 1945 the University of Wisconsin – Madison offered Robinson a position in the Department of Geography. It was here that he began teaching and publishing, and built the cartography program at the UW-Madison to the very best in the United States during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. Robinson influenced several generations of students who themselves became leaders in the field.

Among the many books he published, Robinson is best known for Elements of Cartography. After going through six editions, this text is still used in classrooms today.

Perhaps the best-known achievement of Arthur Robison is the Robinson Projection. The National Geographic Society, U.S. governmental agencies and others adopted this view of the earth as the standard map projection for publication and education. Robinson called it ‘a portrait of the earth’.

During his time teaching in the UW-Wisconsin’s Department of Geography, Robinson worked with Wisconsin State Legislature to establish the position of State Cartographer. He was successful in 1974 when Arthur L. Ziegler was appointed as the first State Cartographer and the office was established. ”
WSJ Obit. 10/12/04