ESRI Press Releases New Edition of Classic Book, Cartographic Relief Presentation

Redlands, California—A new edition of renowned Swiss cartographer Eduard Imhof’s classic Cartographic Relief Presentation will be released by ESRI Press in June, showcasing the skillful draftsmanship, artistry, and science that went into his relief maps.

Last published 25 years ago and difficult to find since going out of print, this book will continue to instruct and inspire cartographers, geographers, geographic information system (GIS) mapmakers and cartographic scholars and students in the 21st century.

Imhof was a professor of cartography at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and his teachings influenced many students of cartography worldwide. Cartographic Relief Presentation remains relevant, offering guidelines for properly rendering terrain in maps of all types and scales, whether drawn by traditional means or with the aid of a computer.

The comprehensive volume first provides a historical overview of cartographic relief depiction. Imhof writes about early symbols of terrain representation such as using domed molehills to represent mountains and the more intricate bird’s-eye drawing of relief features by Leonardo da Vinci in his maps of Tuscany. The book also teaches readers techniques in symbology, color, hillshading, rock drawing, and contours.

The 1982 edition of Cartographic Relief Presentation was expensive and had a limited press run that made it a rare find in recent years, leaving cartographers and other map aficionados scouring bookstores and checking Internet sites to try to locate copies of a book they consider a masterpiece.

The new volume is affordable, and faithful to the original editions. ESRI Press retained Imhof’s valuable insights and teachings, only editing the text for clarity and consistency and making minor wording and punctuation changes. The color and black and white graphics were reproduced as they appeared in the 1982 English language edition, which was translated from Imhof’s 1965 German language version, Kartographische Geländedarstellung.

Imhof, who died in 1986, wrote that good terrain representation becomes crucial in mapmaking, serving as the foundation for the rest of the map. Yet he believed that aspect of cartography was often neglected and hoped his book would serve as a textbook to fill the knowledge gaps and improve map quality in the future. "Its objective," he wrote in the book, "was to make maps more reliable, easier to read, and easier to understand."

Cartographic Relief Presentation (ISBN 978-1-58948-026-1, 420 pages, $59.95) is available at online retailers worldwide. The book can also be purchased at or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, contact your local ESRI distributor. Visit for a current distributor list. ESRI Press books are distributed to the trade by Ingram Publisher Services. Call 1-800-648-3104 or visit

About ESRI Press
ESRI Press publishes books on GIS, cartography, and the application of spatial analysis to many areas of public and private endeavor including land-use planning, health care, education, business, government, and science. The complete selection of GIS titles from ESRI Press can be found on the Web at

About ESRI
Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world’s mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at