Gerardus Mercator was undoubtedly the scientist who best mastered the production of printed globes in his day, contributing numerous innovations and improvements to the process.
Mercator did not invent everything. Like all scientists he drew on the discoveries of his predecessors, here and there making corrections or contributing innovations of his own […]
Knowledge of geography had been dominated by the Ptolemaic view since Antiquity. Yet this conception was gradually discredited by new observations […]
Mercator’s printed globes were the first to display a system of wind roses that served as starting points for rhumb lines […]
Mercator sought to improve his terrestrial globe by showing stars, as Gemma Frisius had done, which travellers could use as reference points […]
Mercator’s interest in terrestrial magnetism made him a forerunner in this area. He tried to explain why the magnetic north pole did not correspond to the geographic one […]
A magnetised needle was set into the stand of each of the two globes. Such needles were meant to help determine longitude […]
The prime (or zero) meridian serves as a reference for longitudes. Mercator placed his prime meridian on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands […]