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ADAIR, John. (1655 – 1722)

Surveyor and Cartographer. Considered to possibly the first Scottish map-maker to use triangulation in his work.

AINSLIE, John. (1745 – 1828)

Born Jedburgh, Scotland. Surveyor and Cartographer. In 1812 he wrote the standard text for his profession, the “Comprehensive Treatise on Land Surveying comprising the Theory and Practise of all its Branches”. It is still being published in 2013.

Archibald Fullerton and Co

A prominent Glasgow publisher in the 19th century. Books, atlases and maps.

BALD, William. (1789 – 1857)

Surveyor, Cartographer and Civil Engineer. At the age of 17 he was given personal responsibility for mapping the Western Isles of Scotland. These maps were so successful that they transformed the way the isles were depicted in following atlases.

Bartholomew, David Ewen (1767 – 1821)

A royal navy commander, surveyor and cartographer. Saw much active service but is principally recognised for his charts of the River Plate, stretches of the west coast of Africa and the Azores. He was working on a survey of the Cape Verde Islands when he became ill and died. Following much research into his family history, Robert Gordon Bartholomew, a sixth generation member of the Bartholomew map-making dynasty, upholds a belief that all Bartholomews of Scottish origin are related. It has yet to be proved in this particular case.

BARTHOLOMEW, John (Ian) (1890 – 1962)

Cartographer and geographer. Took over the family business of John Bartholomew & Sons Ltd on the death of his father John George Bartholomew.

BARTHOLOMEW, John Christopher. (1923 – 2008)

Cartographer and Geographer. Son of John Ian Bartholomew (1890 – 1962).

BARTHOLOMEW, John George (1860 – 1920)

Geographer and cartographer, eldest son of Edinburgh map publisher John Bartholomew Junior (1831 – 1893). He introduced improved methods of cartography including contour lines signifying hight differences. In 1890 named the continent of Antarctica.

BARTHOLOMEW, John Junior. (1831 – 1893)

Cartographer. Son of John Bartholomew Senior he took overall control of the family publishing business in 1856. Introduced the practise of colour contouring which eventually became a standard cartographic practise. He also introduced the colour red on maps to identify British possessions around the world. This also became a standard map-maker’s practise.

BARTHOLOMEW, John Senior. (1805 – 1861)

A cartographer. Son of George Bartholomew (1784 – 1871) founded the engraving and map making firm of John Bartholomew & Son in 1826. It was to become one of the most admired cartographic publishers in the world


A Geographer and the first Hydrographer of the Royal Navy. Designer of the Admiralty Chart and directly responsible for Cook’s voyage to the yet undiscovered Australia.

Gall and Inglis

Edinburgh publishers of maps. Active between 1810 and1860.

Gall and Inglis

Edinburgh Publishers founded by James Gall in 1810. fl. till c.1860. Maps

GEIKIE, Archibald. OM, KCB, PRS, FRSE. (1835 – 1924)

Prominent geologist. In 1862, along with his chief, Sir Roderick Murchison, published the small geological map of Scotland, followed by a larger map in 1892.

GORDON, Robert of Straloch. (1580 – 1661)

Cartographer. In 1641 he was entreated by Charles I to complete the publication of an atlas of Scotland which had been projected by Timothy Pont. The first edition was published in in 1648. Subsequent editions were published in 1655 and 1662. Said to be the first delineation of Scotland made using survey and measurement.

HORSBURGH, James. FRS. (1762 – 1836)

Hydrographer, employed by the East India Company.  He published his “Directions for Sailing to and from the East Indies, China, New Holland, Cape of Good Hope, and  the interjacent Ports, compiled chiefly from original Journals and Observations made during 21 year’s experience in navigating those Seas” was the standard work for Oriental navigation during the first half of the 19th century.

JOHNSTON, Alexander Keith (1804-1871)

In 1826 joined his brother to form the cartographical firm of W. & A.K. Johnson. He was the first to bring the study of physical geography to England. In 1843 was appointed  Geographer Royal for Scotland, and in 1848 published his “Physical Atlas” . It was followed in 1856 by a second expanded edition. This work illustrated, by means of maps and descriptive text ,  the geology, hydrography, meteorology, botany, zoology and ethnology of the world.

JOHNSTON, Alexander Keith (1844 – 1879)

Son of the cartographer Alexander Keith Johnston (1804- 1871. One of the first to map the African continent, said to be a mapping genius and the most important cartographer of his time. The maps of Africa and charting of the Nile that he put together were the most detailed of their time and led to an understanding of the continent that no one person had had before. Livingstone said that Johnston knew more about the sources of the Nile than he did himself, and used Johnston’s maps during his own explorations. Following his exploration of Paraguay in 1878, his papers were the most detailed of their time and were considered to be a model study of the region. He died the following year in Africa having been tasked by the Royal Geographical Society to find a trade route to the central African lakes.

MACDONALD, James Ronald Leslie. FRGS, KCIE.

As a cartographer he surveyed for railways in India and East Africa.

MACKENZIE, Colin. (1754-1821)

Surveyor General of India. He produced many of the first accurate maps of India

MACKENZIE, Murdoch (1712-1797) FRS

A hydrographer and cartographer, his charts of the Orkney Islands are still in use today and are known as the MacKenzie Charts. Also charted the west coast of GB and Ireland. Invented the station pointer. It calculated a vessel’s position in relation to points on a shore, and despite modern aids is still held in reserve today as a safety precaution by large vessels.

OGILBY, John. (1600-1676)

As a cartographer he is best known for publishing the first British road atlas.

PINKERTON, John (1758 – 1826)

He was a master at the Edinburgh school of cartography that flourished c. 1800 – 1830. He redefined the science by doing away with the then customary fabled beasts and cartouches, and replacing them with greater unadorned accuracy.

PONT, Timothy (1565 – 1614)

A Scottish topographer and mathematician  and the first projector of a Scottish atlas.

ROY, William FRS. (1726-1790)

Born Carluke, Lanarkshire, Scotland. It was Roy’s advocacy that led to the formation of the Ordnance Survey in 1791. His use of spherical trigonometry in his surveys is regarded as the starting point for the modern profession.

Scottish Achievement, Influence & Heritage is a work in progress