History of Surveying and Measurement

Personalities in History

Efforts are being made to maintain brief details of those individuals over the centuries who have made a contribution to the development of surveying and mapping. Outline biographies concentrating on those aspects that are pertinent together with brief details of birth, family, death etc are being accumulated as information becomes available. The listing at present contains some 1500 names with entries varying from a line or two to several pages. The names cover surveyors, mathematicians, astronomers etc who in some way or other have contributed to the progress of theory, practise, instrument manufacture and the like relating to surveying particularly in the field of geodesy. Together with the potted biographies, summaries are being compiled of the individual's contribution whether it be a publication or details of notable field work eg the measurement of a meridian arc, inter-comparision of measurement standards, pendulum observations, development of a theory, calculation of a figure for the earth etc.

Anyone wishing to offer material for inclusion in this compilation should contact jimsmith1780@gmail.com 

Among useful reference works are:

Dictionary of Land Surveyors and Local Mapmakers of Great Britain and Ireland 1530-1850. 2 vol. Sarah Bendall 1997 The British library. ISBN 0 7123 4509 4

The History of the theories of attraction and the Figure of the Earth. 2 vol. I Todhunter. 1873. Macmillan and Co.

With Compass and Chain. Early American Surveyors and Their Instruments. S Bedini. 2001. Professional Surveyors Publishing Company Inc. 774 pages. ISBN 0-9665120-0-6

Matthew Flinders, a British Hydrographer. Lincoln Cathedral, United Kingdom. Courtesy of Grahame Lindsay.