Jacques Bertin was born in 1918 in Maisons-Laffite. He studied geography at La Sorbonne. In 1954 he created the Cartographic Laboratory of the École pratique des hautes etudes (EPHE) and became its director. Later he was director of the Graphics Laboratory of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), before becoming a researcher at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).
Jacques Bertin worked on the efficacy of thematic maps and their design improvements. He analysed visual effects on the transmission of information and the necessity for classification and application of hierarchy to data by means of different processes, including the ordered matrix. Bertin’s ground breaking research brought him international recognition, especially his work on semiotics and the subsequent publication of the famous Sémiologie Graphique. Les diagrammes, les réseaux, les cartes in 1967, with two new editions appearing in 1973 and 1999.
Jacques Bertin was the Chair of the Commission on Terminology of the French Committee of Cartography. He received the prestigeous Carl Mannerfelt Gold Medal at the 1999 ICA Conference in Ottawa, the highest award of the International Cartographic Association awarded to cartographers of outstanding merit who have made significant contributions of an original nature to the field of cartography.
He died in Paris on 3 May 2010.
In honour of Jacques Bertin and to celebrate his work and contribution to cartography, the French Committee of Cartography added two special sessions to the programme of ICC 2011 in Paris. On Monday, 4 July, Gilles Palsky will officially present Jacques Bertin’s life and work. Following this, different cartographers from around the world will present their research either inspired or influenced by Bertin. Last but not least, a special Café Carto dedicated to Jacques Bertin will be arranged.
Anne Ruas, Comité Français de Cartographie
Esri Press has recently republished Semiology of Graphics: Diagrams, Networks, Maps by Jacques Bertin.
This cartographic classic has continuously held its place of significance. Now, with a new epilogue written by the author shortly before his death, this new 2010 edition in English reawakens us to the information design possibilities of modern technology. Bertin was thrilled to know that this book would be coming out and that there was still immense interest in his work and dedication to keeping it alive. For ordering, visit esripress.esri.com/display/index.cfm.