John Ogilby was one of the renowned cartographers of the world. He was also a well known Scottish translator. John Ogilby is famous for his Britannia Atlas, the first British road atlas. Britannia Atlas is considered to be a milestone in the history of cartography.
John Ogilby, born in Edinburgh, was the son of a prisoner under the jurisdiction of the King's Bench. John Ogilby's father bore the charge of bankruptcy or debt. In order to obtain the release of his father, Ogilby worked as an apprentice to a dance master. He is also said to have accompanied the first Earl of Strafford to Ireland as Lord Deputy.
In 1666, John Ogilby and William Morgan were instructed by Lord Mayo to prepare a map of London. While surveying London city to prepare the map, John Ogilby came in touch with several important personalities like John Evelyn, Robert Hooke and Sir Christopher Wren. At the age of seventy, John Ogilby started with his dream project of outlining the road map of Wales and England. John Ogilby was financially and morally supported by many people. King Charles and Queen Catherine of Braganza expressed special interest in his project. The maps created by John Ogilby measured 1,760 yards.
John Ogilby started a printing press from where he published a number of books. Some of the renowned books of John Ogilby include atlases and maps.