The IDRISI Legacy

A Muslim scholar of international reputation in the Mediterranean world of his day, Abu Abd Allah Muhammed al-Idrisi (1100-1166 A.D.) was born in a town on the North African coast, probably contemporary Ceuta, at that time, like much of Andalucia (southern Spain) and western North Africa, part of the Almoravid state.

Educated in Cordoba, and widely traveled in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, al-Idrisi was a cartographer and geographer of major significance during the medieval period.

Commissioned by the Norman King Roger of Sicily to prepare a geographical survey of the world, al-Idrisi led a fifteen-year collaborative effort by scholars and technicians based at the Norman Court at Palermo. Based on direct field studies as well as archival sources, the maps and texts that resulted from that collaborative effort served as primary reference material for over 500 years.

It is to this spirit of collaboration in geographic inquiry that the IDRISI software system is dedicated.

More About Al-Idrisi

Al-Idrisi World Map

Tabula Rogeriana
Circa 1154 A.D.
Made for Norman King Roger II
Guiscard of Sicily, al-Idrisi’s patron.

Clark University