Panoramic, or birds-eye-view maps convey more than just simple geographical information, they give the viewer a real sense of the terrain as seen from a human perspective. These maps are a joy to explore and they convey the artist's love of his subject matter. This collection focuses on painted landscape panoramas from the 1870s to present day, when the panoramic artist is being replaced by computers and sophisticated satellites. For those interested in birds-eye maps of North American Cities, visit the excellent collection at the:

Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, Panoramic Maps 1847-1929

The collection is listed by the country in which the panorama is located, and also by the artist.
Although panoramic maps have existed as long as perspective has been in use by artists and illustrators. The modern history of these landscape maps in North America and Europe is directly tied to railways. In Europe the opening of mountain tourism in the Alps came with the construction of the Rigi Railroads in 1874 , followed by the Brienzer-Rothorn culminating with the Jungfrau railway to the 3,420 metre saddle in 1912. Enormous hotels were constructed and were promoted using panoramic maps showing hiking or mountaineering opportunities in their regions. In North America, rail lines across the continent in the USA and Canada crossed the spine of the continent, the Rockies, opening a tourist mecca in the mountains.
The modern panoramic artists of Europe show great detail and drama in their renderings. Although many North Americas were very influenced by the European style, many often paintied whimsical scenes complete with cavorting Grizzly bears and bathers on the beach. The great attention to detail and accuracy shown in panoramas of the Alps can be traced to the developments in cartography in Switzerland led by Prof. Eduard Imhof.

This collection is mostly of summer scenes. Panoramic maps have a long history as trail maps of ski areas, and we present only a handful here. www.skimap.com presents an extensive collection of ski trail maps and panoramas on their website.

Virtual Library Eduard Imhof

"Eduard Imhof - Cartographer and Artist" A product of the Map Library of the ETH-Bibliothek of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.
A computer-rendered panoramic map
about the panorama-map gallery | panorama-maps by artist/publisher | panorama-maps by country | Z-Point Graphics | contact us