Maps are versatile media: they are used to develop resources, plan military operations, symbolise political demands, present scientific findings and decorate homes. They always convey a certain view of the world, which is also shaped by the cartographers and their visual knowledge. In the analysis of maps, however, these protagonists of world image production often get pushed into the background.
Philipp Meyer places Hermann Haack (1872-1966) and Paul Langhans (1867-1952), two extremely productive cartographers, at the centre of his study. In the first half of the 20th century, both made their mark on the most renowned contemporary German publisher of cartographic products: Justus Perthes in Gotha. Using Haack and Langhans as examples, Meyer examines how, in the age of the colonial movement and nationalist discourses, völkisch and racist patterns of interpretation were visually translated in maps.
In the process, the relationship between politics and cartography is illuminated with regard to the connection between economic publishing interests and the visual design of maps.
Philipp Julius Meyer
The historian with a focus on the history of cartography was a doctoral student at the Chair of "Geschichte und Kulturen der Räume in der Neuzeit" at the University of Erfurt and has been a research associate at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig since 2020.
About the book
Philipp Julius Meyer, Kartographie und Weltanschauung. Visuelle Wissensproduktion im Verlag Justus Perthes 1890-1945. Göttingen: 2021. Publishers Information