Best Answer

Charles Darwin described him as "the greatest scientific traveler who ever lived." He is widely respected as one of the founders of modern geography. Alexander von Humboldt's travels, experiments, and knowledge transformed western science in the nineteenth century.

Alexander von Humboldt was born in Berlin, Germany in 1769. Alexander began to study at the Freiberg Academy of Mines. Von Humboldt met George Forester, Humboldt began a job as a government mines inspector in Franconia, Prussia, which help him in the classification of rocks.

When he was 27, Alexander's mother died, leaving him as substantial income from the estate. The following year, he left government service and began to plan travels with Aime Bonpland, a botanist. The pair went to Madrid and obtained special permission and passports from King Charles II to explore South America.

Once they arrived in South America, Alexander von Humboldt and Bonpland studied the flora, fauna, and topography of the continent. Humboldt mapped over 1700 miles of the Orinco River. This was followed by a trip to the Andes and a climb of Mt. Chimborazo (in modern Ecuador), then believed to be the tallest mountain in the world. While on the west coast of South America, von Humboldt measured and discovered the Peruvian Current, which, over the objections of von Humboldt himself, is also known as the Humboldt Current. In 1803 they explored Mexico.

Von Humboldt sailed to Paris in 1804 and wrote thirty volumes about his field studies. During his expeditions in the Americas and Europe, he recorded and reported on magnetic declination.

Von Humboldt's fortunes were ultimately exhausted because of his travels and self- publishing of his reports. In 1827, he returned to Berlin and became the King of Prussia's advisor. Von Humboldt was later invited to Russia and after exploring the nation and describing discoveries such as permafrost, he recommended that Russia establish weather observatories across the country. The stations were established and he was able to use the data to develop the principle of continentality, that the interiors of continents have more extreme climates due to a lack of moderating influence from the ocean. He also developed the first isotherm map, containing lines of equal average temperatures.

Alexander von Humboldt gave public lectures in Berlin. The lectures were so popular that new assembly halls had to be found due to the demand. As von Humboldt got older, he decided to write everything known about the earth. He called his work Kosmosand the first volume was published in 1845, when he was 76 years old. Kosmos was well written and well received. The first volume, a general overview of the universe. Other volumes focused on such topics as human's effort to describe the earth, astronomy, and earth and human interaction. Humboldt died in 1859 and the fifth and final volume was published in 1862, based on his notes for the work.

Once von Humboldt died, "no individual scholar could hope any longer to master the world's knowledge about the earth." (Geoffrey J. Martin, and Preston E. James. All Possible Worlds: A History of Geographical Ideas., page 131).

Von Humboldt was the last true master but one of the first to bring geography to the world.

User Avatar

Wiki User

11y ago
This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: What were the contributions of Alexander von Humboldt geography?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass
Related questions

Who is Alexander Humboldt?

Alexander von Humboldt was a German scientist and explorer who made significant contributions to the fields of botany, geology, and geography during the 19th century. He is known for his extensive travels in the Americas and for his holistic approach to studying nature as an interconnected system. Humboldt's work laid the foundation for modern environmental science.

What was Alexander Von Humboldt's accomplishments?

Alexander von Humboldt was a pioneering naturalist and explorer who made significant contributions to the fields of geography, botany, and ecology. He conducted extensive research in South America and brought attention to the interconnectedness of nature through his concept of the unity of nature. Humboldt's work laid the foundation for modern scientific disciplines such as biogeography and environmental science.

When was Alexander von Humboldt Medal created?

Alexander von Humboldt Medal was created in 2011.

What is Alexander von Humboldt's birthday?

Alexander von Humboldt was born on September 14, 1769.

When was Alexander von Humboldt born?

Alexander von Humboldt was born on September 14, 1769.

When did Alexander von Humboldt die?

Alexander von Humboldt died on May 6, 1859 at the age of 89.

How many brothers did Alexander Von Humboldt have?

One brother: Wilhelm von Humboldt

How old was Alexander von Humboldt at death?

Alexander von Humboldt died on May 6, 1859 at the age of 89.

How old is Alexander von Humboldt?

Alexander von Humboldt was born on September 14, 1769 and died on May 6, 1859. Alexander von Humboldt would have been 89 years old at the time of death or 245 years old today.

Who did Alexander Von Humboldt sail for?


En donde y en que año nacio Alexander Von Humboldt?

Alexander von Humboldt nació en Berlín, Alemania en 1769.

What actors and actresses appeared in Kosmos - Erinnerungen an Alexander von Humboldt - 1960?

The cast of Kosmos - Erinnerungen an Alexander von Humboldt - 1960 includes: Wolfgang Langhoff Hilmar Thate