Karl Ledersteger

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Karl Ledersteger (born November 11, 1900 in Vienna , † September 24, 1972 ) was an Austrian geodesist . He was one of the most important geodesists of the 20th century .


From 1919 to 1924 he studied mathematics , physics , astronomy and geodesy at the University of Vienna . In 1924 he received his doctorate with his dissertation The Star System Ursa major, a spiral movement of the Milky Way . After two years of unpaid work at the Vienna University Observatory , he became an assistant at the Chair for Higher Geodesy and Spherical Astronomy at the Vienna University of Technology in 1926 . In 1931 he moved to the Federal Office for Metrology and Surveying (BEV). After Austria's annexation to the German Reich, he worked in the Reichsamt für Landesaufnahme from 1939 to 1941 , and in 1941 as a senior councilor. In 1944 he was appointed full professor at the Technical University of Vienna, but was unable to take up teaching because of his military service from 1941 to 1945. In 1947 he returned to the BEV. From 1956 he headed the earth measurement department there. In 1957 Ledersteger was appointed court advisor and appointed full professor for higher geodesy at the Vienna University of Technology. In 1970 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Technical University of Dresden . He died in a traffic accident between Prague and Vienna.


As a professor at the Vienna University of Technology, Ledersteger was the initiator of numerous research projects and the author of over 200 specialist articles.

To this day, a new standard work on higher geodesy that he has designed is unsurpassed: Volume V of the 10-volume compilation Handbuch der Vermessungskunde (abbreviated JEK / 5) on the methods and theories of astronomical and physical geodesy (871 p., Published in 1969 by the publisher JBMetzler, Stuttgart).

Ledersteger was the first in German-speaking geodesy to publish (as early as 1959) about the methods and the hoped-for future of satellite geodesy . Other much-worked special topics were:

He was also the long-time chairman of the ÖKIE ( Austrian Commission for International Earth Surveying ) and a member of numerous international commissions - u. a. the IUGG , the German Geodetic Commission and the Austrian , Bavarian and Hungarian Academy of Sciences .

Ledersteger received several high awards, honorary doctorates and appointments to other universities. Because of his collaboration in the surveys of Central Europe during the Second World War , he was unable to officially exercise his professorship for several years after 1945 and gave lectures as a lecturer. His frequent contacts with Eastern European and Russian professors - among other things, he translated parts of the " Magnizki " (a standard work of Soviet geothermal measurements) into German - gave him an overview of developments in science there, which almost no one in the West could point out and which were necessary for the oe Collective manual of surveying had great importance. Because he was also in professional exchange with Max Kneissl (Munich), the author of three of these volumes.


  • G. Kirschmer:  Ledersteger, Karl. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 14, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-428-00195-8 , p. 44 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • K. Ledersteger: Astronomical and physical geodesy (earth measurement) . In: JEK , Volume V, Chapter 4 (vertical deviation, geoid determination) and 11 (gravity reductions). JB Metzler-Verlag, Stuttgart 1968
  • K. Ledersteger, various lectures and publ. Reprints (Austrian and German TU libraries), approx. 1940 to 1975
  • M. Kneißl : Karl Ledersteger on his 70th birthday . In: Deutsche Geod. Bayer Commission. Akad. Wiss. , Ser. E, No. 13, p. 20, bibcode : 1970DGKBE..13 ..... K
  • K. Ledersteger: The horizontal isostasy and the isostatic geoid . Posthumously published by K. Bretterbauer. In: Geoscientific Communications , Issue 5, Vienna University of Technology 1975
  • Péter Biró: 100 éve született Karl Ledersteger (K. Ledersteger on the 100th birthday). In: Geodézia és Kartográfia , Vol. 52/12, Budapest 2000, p. 32 ff.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Honorary doctoral students of the TH / TU Dresden. Technical University of Dresden, accessed on February 4, 2015 .