Featured Cartographer: Heinrich Berann

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Meet my favorite cartographers with this new series of posts! Hope you enjoy their work as much as I do.

Heinrich Berann

Professor H.C. Berann is a world’s famous artist and cartographer from Tyrol, Austria. Born in 1915, Berann gained his drawing and artistic inspirations from his father who was also talented in this field. He later joined art and design school to advance his cartography and artistic skills. He is the father of the modern panorama map which is famous all over the world.

If there’s anything we can use to describe Heinrich Berann is his great passion for art and his 3D maps, which took his drawing career to the next level.

His Career Path

His cartographic career started way back in 1934 when he drew his first map during the official opening of the “Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse” mountain pass road in Austria and won the prize. He later drew his first panoramic map in 1937 which was the famous “Jungfraubahn” which featured the famous mountain railroad in Switzerland. Some decades later, he drew hundreds of hand-drawn 3D maps after the 2nd world war.

Jungfraubahn Map by Heinrich Berann
Jungfraubahn by Heinrich Berann. Source: http://www.berann.com

At one point, he got an opportunity to join the Anatomical studies with Dr.Wirtingen in Vienna where prof. Gustinus Ambrosi inspired him to be a sculptor. His artistic career as a painter started after the war where Prof. Paul Schwarzkopf gave him all the supported he needed to take his art and design career further.

His Fame And Works

His great fame spread overseas and in 1963 he got a recognition from the National Geographic Society where he was requested to paint two Himalayas maps. These were; the Khumbu Himal and a map of Mt. Everest. This collaboration followed for many years. Also through this collaboration, the famous World Ocean Floor Map was introduced in 1977.

Khumbu Himal by Heinrich Berann. Source: http://www.berann.com, National Geographic Society
Mount Everest by Heinrich Berann. Source: http://www.berann.com, National Geographic Society
World Ocean Floor Map
World Ocean Floor Map by Heinrich Berann. Source: http://www.loc.gov, National Geographic Society

Other contracts included: maps of South Africa in 1977, the map of Mt. Fuji, Japan in 1978 and maps for the water pipelines of Mekka, Taif and Riyadh in 1983.

Later in his last decades in his cartography career, he did a few large area maps like the ones of Europe, North America, and  France for “Mairs GeographifischenVerlag.”

Riyadh Pipeline by Heinrich Berann. Source: http://www.berann.com
Mount Fuji by Heinrich Berann. Source: http://www.berann.com
Southern africa
Large area map of Southern Africa by Heinrich Berann. Source: http://www.berann.com, Mairs GeographifischenVerlag
north america
Large area map of North America by Heinrich Berann. Source: http://www.berann.com, Mairs GeographifischenVerlag

The US National Park Maps

Between 1986 and 1995, Heinrich Berann worked in a series of maps for the United States National Park Service including his final map of Denali National Park and Mt. McKinley. My favorites if you ask me!

Yellowstone National Park by Heinrich Berann. Source: www.berann.com, US National Park Service.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park by Heinrich Berann. Source: www.berann.com, US National Park Service
Mount Denali by Heinrich Berann. Source: www.berann.com, US National Park Service

Later in life, Berann moved to the mountain village of Lans near Innsbruck, Austria and stayed there till his death on December, 4th 1999 where he died at the age of 84 years. His work is celebrated as one of the best panoramic art in history and inspires many cartographers worldwide to this day.



  1. Just for the sake of clarity – and as an Alaskan – our tallest peak is Denali (or Mt McKinley) but not Mt Denali.


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