History of the Chair of Higher Geodesy

The Chair of Higher Geodesy at TU Wien is the oldest of its kind and dates back to 1866.

TU Wien was founded in 1815 under the regency of Kaiser Franz I as k.u.k. Polytechnisches Institut with the first Director Johann Joseph Ritter von Prechtl. Geodesy officially started in 1818 as Practical Geometry (Praktische Geometrie). Probably the most famous of the Professors of Practical Geometry was Christian Doppler from 1848 to 1851 when he also gave lectures in Higher Geodesy.

150JahreUnterschrift.jpg Higher Geodesy as a Chair of its own was installed on 23 June 1866 by Kaiser Franz Joseph by signing the appointment of Joseph Herr as the first Professor of Higher Geodesy and Spherical Astronomy. The signature by Franz Joseph is shown in the figure at the right hand side.

Before the current chairholder, there were seven Professors of Higher Geodesy: Joseph Herr, Wilhelm Tinter, Richard Schumann, Friedrich Hopfner, Karl Ledersteger, Kurt Bretterbauer, and Harald Schuh. A detailed chronicle of the history of the Chair of Higher Geodesy was written by Kurt Bretterbauer and is published posthumously in Volume 2/2009 in VGI.

On 23 June 2016, the HG team together with colleagues and friends celebrated 150 years Higher Geodesy (see figure below).