WORLD: c1587


Mercator World Map: 1587


Mercator's World Map

Gerardus Mercator was born in 1512 and he pioneered global map-making and developed the Mercator projection for showing the curved globe on a flat, two-dimensional page. Mercator's projection is still in use in modern maps to show the surfaces distant planets. The version above was actually drawn by his son Rumold, who had worked with his father Gerard. The version above was based on Gerard's map of 1567.


Maps are not a new invention and have been created for millenia in stone, wood, cloth, or paper. Gerard Mercator's development of a method to adapt a two-dimensional paper map to a curved globe was critical to modern cartography.[2]


1          See Gerardus Mercator at,; and History of cartography at,

2          Adapted from John Rennie Short, The World Through Maps, and Andrew Taylor, The World of Gerard Mercator.

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