Ernst Georg Ravenstein - Encyclopedia


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"ERNST GEORG RAVENSTEIN (1834-1913), British geographer, of German origin, was born at Frankfort-on-Main on Dec. 30 1834, and was educated there. In 1852 he became a pupil of August Petermann, and came to England, where he served in the topographical department of the War Office from 1855 to 1872. As a geographer he was less of a traveller than a research student, and his studies led mainly in the direction of the practice and history of cartography. He compiled many original maps and atlases, bringing a fine critical faculty to bear upon the data where these were not of the first order of scientific accuracy, as in his series of eastern equatorial Africa, scale 1:i,000,000 (1881-3), and of British East Africa, 1:50O,Ooo (1889). One of his earliest writings was The Russians on the Amur (1861), but he was concerned mainly with the history of geography, as exemplified in his Vasco da Gama's First Voyage (1898) and Martin Behai y n, his Life and his Globe (1908), as also in his history of cartography in the E.B. (see 17.633). He was an active member of the Royal Geographical Society and of the British Association, over the geographical section of which he presided in 1890, and in which he served as chairman of a committee which made a valuable enquiry into the climatology of Africa. He had also a particular interest in gymnastics, and published a handbook on them in 1867. He died at Hofheim in the Taunus, Germany, March 13 1913.

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