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Arthur Robinson passed away

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Robinson, Arthur H. (1915-2004)

Arthur Robinson was born in Montreal, Canada, on Jan. 5, 1915, the son of
James Howard Robinson and Elizabeth (Peavey) Robinson. His early education
was in the United States and in England, after which he took the bachelor of
arts degree at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1936; the M.A. at the
University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1938; and the Ph.D. at Ohio State
University in 1947. From mid-1941 until 1946 he worked in Washington, D.C.,
with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA, and
for almost all of that time he was chief of the Map Division of the OSS. In
that position he supervised numerous types of cartographic work, including
the preparation of nearly 5,000 maps, in support of the global war effort.

During the war he was commissioned in the Army with the initial rank of
captain, and was later promoted to major. For his distinguished service in
the OSS he received the Legion of Merit. In 1945 the University of Wisconsin
at Madison offered Robinson a faculty position in the Department of
Geography, and he began teaching there in 1946. He rose rapidly in the ranks
of the faculty, becoming professor of geography and, in 1967, Lawrence
Martin professor of cartography. He retired in 1980 with the rank of
professor emeritus. During his long career he produced 15 books and
monographs, one of which, "Elements of Cartography," went through six
editions and became the preeminent textbook in cartography.

However, the contribution for which he is probably best known to the public
was the creation of the Robinson Projection, a map projection that he
referred to as "a portrait of the earth." In 1988 the National Geographic
Society adopted that projection as its standard for producing world maps.
The Robinson Projection was adopted by agencies of the U.S. government and
many other users. Robinson's work was internationally recognized, and among
his many honors were two honorary degrees (from Miami University (Ohio) and
from Ohio State University), the Distinguished Service Award and the Helen
Culver Gold Medal from the Geographic Society of Chicago, the Carl
Mannerfelt Medal of the International Cartographic Association, the Silver
Medal of the British Cartographic Society, and the John Oliver LaGorce Medal
of the National Geographic Society. He served as president of the
International Cartographic Association, and as vice president and president
of the Association of American Geographers.



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Sad days indeed .. .


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