Mercator Projection

   The famous Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594) was given at birth the name Gerhard, the family name being Kremer (meaning shopkeeper or merchant), but he preferred the Latinized version of his full name. Mercator set up a geographical center at Louvain, was employed by Charles V, and then devoted the rest of his days to map making. His works included several accurate maps and globes, which freed geographers from "the tyranny of Ptolemy." That distinguished Greco-Egyptian mathematician and astronomer had underestimated the earth's size.
   Mercator became the father of modern cartography. He revolutionized map making, adjusting for the difference between a flat surface (used for all maps) and the earth's curves, scaling and projecting each point on the map. He then devised the world as a globe rather than a cone, setting up on his cylindrical charts meridians as straight lines perpendicular to the equator and latiitudes as straight lines parallel to the equator. This innovation made navigating simpler and safer and came to be known as Mercator projection.
   Mercator was accused of heresy, and fled to Duisberg, Germany in 1559. He accepted the Chair of Cosmography at the Louvian University and performed most of his important work there. His charts, first used by him in 1568, have been in use ever since.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mercator projection — of the world between 82°S and 82°N. Mercator world …   Wikipedia

  • Mercator projection — n. a method of making maps in which the earth s surface is shown with the meridians as parallel straight lines spaced at equal intervals and the parallels of latitude as parallel straight lines intersecting the meridians at right angles but… …   English World dictionary

  • Mercator projection — Cartography. a conformal projection on which any rhumb line is represented as a straight line, used chiefly in navigation, though the scale varies with latitude and areal size and the shapes of large areas are greatly distorted. Also, Mercator s… …   Universalium

  • Mercator projection — n. (also Mercator s projection) a projection of a map of the world on to a cylinder so that all the parallels of latitude have the same length as the equator, first published in 1569 and used esp. for marine charts and certain climatological maps …   Useful english dictionary

  • Mercator projection — noun Etymology: Gerardus Mercator Date: circa 1881 a conformal map projection of which the meridians are usually drawn parallel to each other and the parallels of latitude are straight lines whose distance from each other increases with their… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Mercator projection — Mer|ca|tor pro|jec|tion [məˌkeıtə prəˈdʒekʃən US mərˌkeıtər ] n also Mercator s projection [singular] the usual way a map of the world is drawn …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Mercator projection — noun a world map projection made on to a cylinder in such a way that all parallels of latitude have the same length as the equator. Origin from Mercator, Latinized name of the 16th cent. Flemish geographer Gerhard Kremer …   English new terms dictionary

  • Mercator projection — also Mercator s projection noun (U) a way of drawing a map of the world so that it can be divided into regular squares, instead of getting thinner at the northern or southern edges …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • Mercator projection — Merca′tor (or Merca′tor s) projec tion n. geo a conformal map projection on which any rhumb line is represented as a straight line, used chiefly in navigation, though the scale varies with latitude and areal size and the shapes of large areas are …   From formal English to slang

  • Mercator projection — n. method of making a map of planet Earth in which areas appear greater the farther they are away from the equator …   English contemporary dictionary

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