Great Trigonometrical Survey of India, from Börner’s Atlas of Science
As commented on at the original poster, deconcrete:
Drawing the first cartographic representation of an uncharted land was very much linked in colonial times to claiming rights of sovereignty over the place. The stunning and meticulous Great Trigonometrical Survey (GTS) of India from the 18th century developed by Col. Lambton and Sir George Everest among others proofed a very efficient tool of control. In Mapping an Empire: the geographical construction of British India 1765-1843, Matthew H. Edney relates how imperial Britain employed modern scientific survey techniques not only to create and define the spatial image of its Indian empire but also to legitimate its colonialist activities as triumphs of liberal, rational science bringing ‘civilization’ to irrational, mystical, and despotic Indians. The reshaping of cartographic technologies in Europe into their modern form, including the adoption of the technique of triangulation (known at the time as ‘trigonometrical survey’) at the beginning of the nineteenth century, played a key role in the use of the GTS as an instrument of British cartographic control over India.