Maps – the language of the geographer – became more sophisticated during the 19th century. Photographic techniques made it possible to produce maps that more accurately described the three-dimensional topography of the Earth. The newly invented camera became an important part of the equipment of the ambitious Swedish polar expeditions.  

Maps were traditionally drawn using a measuring table and surveyer´s level. After the invention of photography in the 1830s a new technique, photogrammetry, was developed in France. This technique saved a great deal of time, making it particularly valuable on expeditions. The first Swede to use photogrammetry was the geologist Gerard De Geer, in Spitsbergen in 1882.