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Home  > Cartography  > Medieval  > Gerardus Mercator
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Gerardus Mercator

Gerardus Mercator, the Flemish cartographer was born on March 5, 1512 in Rupelmonde at East Flanders. He died on December 2, 1594 at Duisburg. The famous Mercator Chart has been named after him.

Gerardus Mercator the cartographer came back to Leuven before 1535 and started working as an associate cartographer. Gerardus Mercator the map maker worked from 1535 to 1536 in Leuven along with Gemma Frisius and Gaspar Myrica in order to construct a terrestrial globe. Mercator's first independent work as a cartographer was the map of Palestine in 1537, which was followed by the map of the world (1538) and a map of Flanders (1540).

In 1552, Gerardus Mercator relocated to Duisburg and started a cartographic workshop, where he finished one of his major works, the six-panel map of Europe in 1554. Cartographer Gerardus Mercator was one of the first people to use longitudinal lines (parallel to each other) in order to assist sailors. He also named the cluster of maps as Atlas.

Gerardus Mercator created his atlas in numerous parts, the first part of his atlas was released in 1578, which comprised rectification of the maps of Ptolemy. It was followed by the Maps of Germany, Netherlands and France in 1585 and maps of the Greece and Balkans in 1588. His son Rumold Mercator published most of his maps after his death.

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