car·​tog·​ra·​pher | \ kär-ˈtä-grə-fər How to pronounce cartographer (audio) \

Definition of cartographer

: one that makes maps

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Did You Know?

Up until the 18th century, maps were often decorated with fanciful beasts and monsters, at the expense of accurate details about places. French mapmakers of the 1700s and 1800s encouraged the use of more scientific methods in the art they called "cartographie." The French word cartographie (the science of making maps), from which we get our English word "cartography," was created from "carte," meaning "map," and "-graphie," meaning "representation by." Around the same time we adopted "cartography" in the mid-19th century, we also created our word for a mapmaker, "cartographer."

Examples of cartographer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The first was Abraham Ortelius, the Flemish cartographer credited with inventing the modern Atlas. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "We’ve Been Wrong Before: The Expanding Earth Theory," 3 Aug. 2018 With decisions made by a few Google cartographers, the identity of a city, town or neighborhood can be reshaped, illustrating the outsize influence that Silicon Valley increasingly has in the real world. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Voters snub house members looking to move up," 3 Aug. 2018 The story is about a concubine of Grenada’s royal court, Fatima, and her friend Hassan, the court’s cartographer. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018 Blogger and cartographer Andy Woodruff decided to visualize this with a great series of maps. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Daylight saving time ends Sunday: 8 things to know about “falling back”," 2 Nov. 2018 Budding cartographers will appreciate the simple map at the book’s beginning, and playful die-cuts let kiddos peek into windows and under bridges. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 17 best kids’ books about design and cities," 12 Dec. 2018 The labels are also placed in locations that do not obstruct the features of the map itself, as if written in by a real cartographer. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Bot Creates Beautiful Maps of Fantasy Novel Worlds and Then Tweets Them Every Hour," 17 Aug. 2016 In the 16th century, Flemish cartographer and creator of the first modern world atlas, Abraham Ortelius, theorized that natural phenomena like earthquakes and floods had torn the Americas away from Europe and Africa. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "How GPS Changed the Way We Think About Our Planet," 18 Apr. 2017 Now, experience is here and unavoidable: disease has forced me to become an explorer and a cartographer. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Inward Empire," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cartographer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cartographer

circa 1847, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for cartographer

The first known use of cartographer was circa 1847

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English Language Learners Definition of cartographer

: a person who makes maps

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More from Merriam-Webster on cartographer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cartographer

Spanish Central: Translation of cartographer

Nglish: Translation of cartographer for Spanish Speakers

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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