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David Woodward, 61; Historian, Professor and Cartography Scholar

September 06, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

David A. Woodward, a noted maps historian and professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has died. He was 61.

Woodward died Aug. 25 from cancer of the bile duct and diabetes.

Woodward was born Aug. 29, 1942, in Royal Leamington Spa, England, and earned degrees from the University of Wales Swansea and the University of Wisconsin.

He initially worked at the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library in Chicago, but later returned to the University of Wisconsin as a geography professor.

With his friend, J. Brian Harley, a renowned map expert, Woodward conceived the idea of editing a comprehensive six-volume reference work on the history of mapmaking. Their focus was on how maps were used as cultural tools and how and why they were produced.

The first volume of "The History of Cartography" on Europe and the Mediterranean was published in 1987.

A subsequent volume, issued in three parts, followed. It focused on traditional Islamic and South Asian societies, traditional East and Southeast Asian societies, and traditional African, American, Arctic, Australian and Pacific societies. A third volume, covering the European Renaissance, is scheduled for publication in 2005.

Subsequent volumes are being edited by a team of scholars that Woodward cultivated. Harley died in 1991.

Woodward is survived by his wife and two children.

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