The professional holiday of geodetic engineers and cartographers is celebrated in Russia on the second Sunday of March

Today we are marking the Day of Geodetic engineers and cartographers.

Cartography originated in the ancient times - there are references to maps in the Bible (Ezek. 4: 1). The first cartographic guidelines were composed by the Greek scholars Eratosthenes (3rd-2nd centuries BC), Hipparchus (2nd century BC), Claudius Ptolemy (2nd century BC). Ptolemy drew world maps showing the coordinates of each point - prototypes of modern longitudes and latitudes. He was convinced of the Earth spherical shape and derived a formula for calculating its circumference. Antique cartographers created geographical maps that took into account the Earth sphericity and provided with a degree grid. The heyday of cartography falls on the Renaissance epoch and the great geographical discoveries era.

Most sources indicate that the establishment of scientific mapping in Russia is associated with the activities of the Academy of Sciences Geographic Department, which in 1758 was headed by Mikhail Lomonosov. The development of cartography is associated with such names as Semyon Remezov, Vasily Tatishchev and others. Russian mathematician and cartographer Alexander Wilbrecht (1757-1823) is considered the author of the "Russian atlas consisting of forty-three maps and dividing the Empire into forty-one provinces” that was comprised in 1800. This atlas is considered one of the masterpieces of Russian cartography. Today, this unique atlas is presented in the museum Collection exposition.

More details on the cartography trends development in Russia are in the introductory article to the "Maps" subsection and in the article "The history of cartography in Russia" in the section "Articles and Reviews".

The biographies of famous cartographers, compilers of the maps that are stored in the museum Collection exposition - Martin Waldseemüller, Alexander Wilbrecht, Johann Homann and Joachim Ottens are in the section “Authors”.