Karen Wynn Fonstad was a geographer and cartographer know for designing the atlases of a number of fictional settings, including Tolkien's Middle-earth and D&D's Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms setting.
Fonstad earned her B.S. in Physical Therapy from the University of Oklahoma, but then changed fields and continued on to receive her Masters degree in cartography from the same university.
Fonstad was the Director of Cartographic Services for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and also served on the City Planning Commission for Oshkosh.
She created many fictional atlases, notably The Forgotten Realms Atlas, which was published in 1990.