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Early Seismology Maps

Interesting pair of world maps on an Azimuthal projection, showing Strassburg as the center point and Antipode center point of the projection.

The map includes the work of two important seismologists.  Emil Julius Friedrich Rudolph (1853 - 1915) was a Prussian professor of geophysics, seismologist and volcanologist. His work focuses on submarine earthquakes. He is also known for his work in compiling earthquake newsletters and catalogs worldwide. Rudolph and Siegmund Szirtes published Zur erklärung der geographischen verteilung von grossbeben (Explanation of the Geographic Distribution of Large Earthquakes) in 1914.

The key locates:

  • Volcanos active and extinct
  • Tectonic Lines
  • Epicenters of Major Earthquakes
  • Area of Major Earthquakes

The maps were described as follows in 1914 by the American Geographical Society Bulletin:

Two hemispheres on the equidistant azimuthal (Postel's) projection to facilitate the location of earthquakes registered at the seismological station in Strassburg. Circles of distance are drawn for every 1,000 kilometers, and azimuth lines for every 10 °. As the reviewer has pointed out (Ann. Assoc. Amer. Geogrs. , Vol. II, 1912, pp. 49-54 ), the use of Postel's projection for this purpose is entirely correct in principle and has the advantage over the stereographic, whose use was there suggested because it can be more easily drawn, in that the interval between the circles of distance remain the same, while on the stereographic projection it becomes twice as much on the margin as at the center. At all events, it is very gratifying to see that the inappropriate use of Mercator's projection for such maps—which was commented on in “ New Maps " under “ World ” in the Bull., Vol. 43, 1911 , p. 879 — is gradually being discarded.

On the present map, in addition, are shown: volcanoes, active and inactive, tectonic lines, and the epicenters and areas of influence of major earthquakes. Proper editing would have eliminated the obsolete representation of northeast Greenland and the coast of Victoria Island as well as the ultra-conservative treatment of the Antarctic Continent.]

Bulletin of the American Geographical Society; Vol. 46, No. 7 (1914), pp. 554-560
Augustus Herman Petermann Biography

August Heinrich Petermann (1822-1878) is a renowned German cartographer of the nineteenth century. Petermann studied cartography at the Geographical Art-School in Potsdam before traveling to Edinburgh to work with Dr. A. Keith Johnston on an English edition of Berghaus’ Physical Atlas. Two years later he moved to London, where he made maps and advised exploratory expeditions as they set off to explore the interior of Africa and the Arctic.

In 1854, Petermann returned to Germany to be Director of the Geographical Institute of Justus Perthes in Gotha. There, he was the editor of the Geographische Mittheilungen and Stieler’s Handatlas. The Royal Geographical Society of London awarded him their Gold Medal in 1860. He continued his interest in exploration in Germany, fundraising for the German Exploring Expeditions of 1868 and 1869-70, which sought an open Arctic sea. Tragically, he committed suicide in 1878.