Richthofen, Baron Ferdinand von (1833–1905), a German geographer. Trained as a geologist, Richthofen studied the geology of the Tyrol and Transylvania before accompanying a German diplomatic mission to the Far East, 1859–62. He then prepared for the immense task of describing and mapping the Chinese Empire, in which he traveled from 1868 to 1872. He issued his findings in three volumes and an atlas (1877–85), covering everything from the geology to the economy of the country. Richthofen was professor of geography at the University of Berlin from 1886 to his death.