Gerardus Mercator. Coloured engraving of the Dutch cartographer and geographer Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594). He was educated at the University of Louvain in Belgium. In 1552, due to religious persecution, he moved to Duisberg, Germany. Here, in 1569, he developed a map of the world using a new kind of projection which now bears his name, the Mercator projection. In the projection, meridians of longitude were made parallel instead of converging at the poles. This removed the distortions to bearings present in other projections, aiding navigation. Mercator is considered the founder of modern geography and cartography.
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