French cartographer and graphic language theorist Jacques Bertin died on May 3, 2010. Bertin was born in 1918. He studied geography and cartography at the Sorbonne and later became founder and director of the Cartographic Laboratory of the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) in 1954. He began a professorship at the Sorbonne in 1967 and in 1972 became head of research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. Bertin published many scientific maps, academic papers and mainstream articles on cartography, semiotics, graphic language, and visual design. In 1967, he published Semiology of Graphics, a groundbreaking book analyzing graphic visualization. His work defined differences between the graphic symbols that appeared on maps and the perceptual properties of the symbols themselves, leading to a new approach in understanding the ways that maps function.
Jacques Bertin (Necrology). 2009. AAG Newsletter 45(6): 18.