Tom Patterson

U.S. National Park Service
Division of Publications
Harpers Ferry, WV, USA

This paper was first presented at the ICA Mountain Cartography Workshop, Rudolfshütte, Austria, April 2000. It was published in Cartographic Perspectives (No. 36, Spring 2000), the journal of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS).

Abstract (Deutsch)

The late Heinrich Berann, from Austria, was generally regarded as the most accomplished panoramist of all time. During the decade before his retirement in 1994, Berann painted four panoramas for the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) that demonstrated his genius for landscape visualization. This paper examines the widely admired, but little understood, vocation of panorama making, with emphasis on Berann’s NPS pieces, concepts, and techniques. Explanation is offered about how the panorama for Denali National Park, Alaska, was planned, compiled, sketched, and painted—starting from a blank sheet of paper. Berann’s techniques for landscape manipulation are then analyzed, including his unorthodox habit of rotating mountains and widening valleys and his unique interpretations of vertical exaggeration. His graphical special effects used for portraying realistic environments are reviewed. The paper finishes with illustrations that compare Berann’s panoramas to digitally-generated landscapes.

From Cartographic Perspectives. Includes links to 16 color illustrations.
Berann’s panoramas compared to digital landscapes.
Public domain JPEG images without copyright or use restrictions.

Production overview: Denali

Landscape manipulation



Denali National Park

Mt. McKnley—summit detail

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley detail

Yellowstone National Park

North Cascades National Park
Denali 2,007 x 1,377 (1.2MB)

Yosemite 1,994 x 1,516 (1.2MB)

North Cascades 1,844 x 1,409 (860K)

Yellowstone 2,000 x 1,358 (1.3MB)

Yellowstone 5,284 x 3,587 (8.2MB)


The World of H. C. Berann

ICA Mountain Cartography Workshop 2002