Robinson, Arthur Howard

Robinson, Arthur Howard,

1915–2004, American cartographer, b. Montreal to American parents, Ph.D Ohio State Univ., 1947. The head of the map division of the Office of Strategic Services for much of World War II, he taught at the Univ. of Wisconsin from 1946 until 1980. The Robinson, or orthophanic, map projection, which he developed (1963), presents a pleasing and relatively balanced world map for thematic use, replacing the widely used Mercator projection (see map projectionmap projection,
transfer of the features of the surface of the earth or another spherical body onto a flat sheet of paper. Only a globe can represent accurately the shape, orientation, and relative area of the earth's surface features; any projection produces distortion with
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), which severely distorts the size of areas near the poles (the so-called Greenland problem). His Elements of Cartography (1953, 6th ed. 1995) became a standard textbook in cartography, and he was instrumental in establishing cartography as an academic discipline.