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1219523392 The Silent Cartographer building

The Installation 04 Cartographer's exterior.

The Silent Cartographer,[1] as referred to by the Covenant, is the map room for the Halo installations. It can pinpoint and access every room or location on or beneath Halo's surface.[2]


Installation 00Edit

TLJ Cartographer

One of Installation 00's Cartographers.

Unlike other installations, Installation 00 actually has multiple Cartographers. These Cartographers update in real time as Refugia change and as the Halo Ring in the centre is built.[3] One Cartographer was located on top of a massive spire structure, the map room itself lying in a wide open area giving a panoramic view over a massive waterfall. The map room is somewhat larger than Alpha Halo's Cartographer structure and also much more open to the outside.[4]

The Cartographers on the Ark have a powerful security system, which includes more aggressive Sentinels to anything other ones on the Ark.[3] This proved to be most detrimental to the Covenant Loyalists, who had difficulty penetrating the Cartographer's defenses.[4] A different one was accessed by the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire during the Battle of Installation 00. There, they saw impressive waves of Sentinels destroy anything in their path.[5]

Installation 04Edit

On Installation 04, the Cartographer was located in the middle of a large island. The security system was located in a tunnel, atop a large Forerunner structure in about the center of the island. After disabling the security system, the main passageway to the map room was opened. For additional security measures, the Cartographer's chamber and activation panel were located on the other side of the island, and buried at least half a dozen floors below ground. The path down to the Cartographer is a labyrinth of twists and turns, making it easy to get lost. This could also be part of the security system, to make the map room harder to find. It seems that on the map, the Control Room is illustrated as a shrine.[2]

In 2552, John-117 and two squads of Marines were ordered by Captain Keyes to attack the Cartographer so that they could locate Halo's control room. The soldiers landed on a Covenant-controlled beach which was quickly captured. While taking shelter under an enormous structure, John and his Marines received a Warthog from Echo 419. John and two Marines used the Warthog to get to the entrance of the facility. John captured the entrance but was locked out of the lower areas. They then went back to the Warthog and found the island's security center, guarded by many Covenant forces and an ambush by two Hunters orchestrated by Zuka 'Zamamee. After unlocking the map room, the Spartan headed back to the Cartographer and fought his way down to the map. Once on the surface again, John went to the newly located Control Room with the help of Echo 419.[2]

The Installation 04 Cartographer was protected by an elaborate security system. This system can only be activated and deactivated by manual physical contact. In order to access the Silent Cartographer one must enter a first building to disable the security system, and then enter a separate structure which contains the map room. This gives the map room double protection making access difficult and defense much easier. The weaponry wielded by the crew of the Pillar of Autumn was not powerful enough to penetrate the doors inside the facility where the Silent Cartographer was located, indicating the doors were of extremely durable material. Other than near impenetrable doors, both physically and in protection against AI, the nature of the Silent Cartographer's security system is not touched upon.[2]


Onyx also featured a map room, deep below the Forerunner city in what the Office of Naval Intelligence referred to as Zone 67. Dr. Halsey used this Cartographer structure during the Battle of Onyx, when she was trying to find the way to the portal that led to the Shield World in the core of the artificial planet.


Main article: First Battle of Requiem
H4 Requiem RequiemCartographer

John-117 observing Requiem's Cartographer.

In 2557, when John-117 entered the shield world of Requiem. He found a site cartographer on the surface of the planet, it showed a hologram of the planet. It could be accessed from the surface, and the core of the planet. It was used to locate the UNSC Infinity, but was manipulated by the Ur-Didact's Cryptum.[6] It was destroyed along with the rest of the planet in 2558, when Requiem collided with the local star.


  • On the Halo 3 level The Ark, 343 Guilty Spark refers to the map on the Ark as "The Cartographer," but it is stated in The Silent Cartographer that it is the name that the Covenant uses for the map. Either the Covenant used the proper name for the map, or Guilty Spark said it as a courtesy to John-117.
  • The interior details and layout of the Cartographer on Installation 04 is almost completely identical to that of the Ark's Cartographer complex, though it is almost impossible to notice, due to the differences in textures, scenery, and atmosphere that were made to the structures to make them appear unique. In addition, practically the entire length from the first staircase to the main chamber of the Ark's Cartographer complex is a complete remake of Installation 04's Cartographer (with the exception of the added room for the Terminal)
  • The exterior appearance of the Installation 04's Cartographer was used for the design of the Ark's Cartographer. But, to differentiate the location of the Cartographer on the Ark with the one of Installation 04, the design of the main chamber in the one on Installation 04 is located almost directly underneath the ground of the deck entrance outside of the structure. However, the design of the Installation 04's Cartographer entrance was reused for the design of the Ark's Cartographer chamber. In addition, to make the similarities obscured, the platform holding the main chamber is surrounded by waterfalls.
  • The rock formation where the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn lands in the end of Halo 3 greatly resembles the Cartographer Island. However, this is likely just an homage, since the Control Room is very close to this hill.
  • The Silent Cartographer is oddly named because a cartographer is someone who makes maps, not a map itself. This may imply that the Silent Cartographer is more than just a building; possibly an old Forerunner computer. This could be supported by 343 Guilty Spark stating upon arrival at its controls that "it awaits your approval," possibly meaning it was aware of the nearby Reclaimers and was expecting activation.
  • It is unknown if all Forerunner structures have a Cartographer, though it is likely all Installations possess one.
  • The Cartographers always seem to appear over a chasm.
  • Monitors only have built-in map systems for their own Installations, (e.g. 343 Guilty Spark only has a map of Installation 04) which is why you have to visit a Cartographer on the Ark in Halo 3.
  • The multiplayer level Construct takes place on the Cartographer building of Installation 00.
  • The waterfall in Installation 00's Cartographer could be leading to the cooling systems, or could just be a decoration.


  1. Halo: Combat Evolved - Level: The Silent Cartographer - Cutscene: "The Covenant believe that what they call the Silent Cartographer is somewhere under this island. The Cartographer is a map room that will lead us to Halo's control center."
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Halo: Combat Evolved - Level: The Silent Cartographer
  3. 3.0 3.1 Halo Wars 2 - Collectible: Phoenix Logs - The Ark - The Cartographer
  4. 4.0 4.1 Halo 3 - Level: The Ark (level)
  5. Halo Wars 2 - Level: The Cartographer
  6. Halo 4 - Level: Requiem