In response to the needs of the ocean traders and military shipping during the nineteenth century, Matthew Maury (1806–73) and Wladimir Köppen (1846–1940) worked in tandem to create wind charts for the World Ocean. In the early part of the century, Maury organized and supervised the production of the Wind and Current Charts for all navigable seas. In the latter part of the century, Köppen simplified these charts by use of a synoptically innovative stratification of the data, and these analyses became centerpieces of the Segelhandbiicher (Sail Handbooks) produced by the German Marine Observatory (Seewarte).
The charts produced by each of these men are examined in an effort to clarify their separate but unique contributions. Maury and Köppen were complementary in their approach to marine meteorology: Maury possessed organizational skills and an empirical approach to science, while Köppen was more academic and interested in the basic sciences. Köppen's exceptional background in both physics and biology was instrumental to his success in simplifying Maury's charts. These appealing synoptic charts served Bergeron in his quest for a global understanding of air masses and ultimately gave Köppen a viewpoint on climatology that embraced the entire world.