On December 2, 1594, German geographer Gerardus Mercator died. Mercator enjoyed a long life as a pioneer in the field of cartography, the art and science of reading and making maps. Cartographers like Mercator had to be experts in geography, engraving, writing, and mathematics. Maps took months or years to make, and were very valuable to political, spiritual, and scientific leaders.Mercator was responsible for many improvements for mapping. He is best-known for developing one of the most common map projections—the Mercator projection. A projection is a way to represent a curved shape on a flat surface. All map projections distort the curved surface of Earth—islands bend out of shape, directions get skewed, and objects of the same size are stretched differently.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry asset Noun
property or another valuable item that is possessed by someone.
art and science of making maps.
instrument used to tell direction.
Encyclopedic Entry: compass distort Verb
to deform or misrepresent.
image produced by cutting into the surface of an object.
person who studies unknown areas.
person who studies places and the relationships between people and their environments.
symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface.
Encyclopedic Entry: map map projection Noun
method by which shapes on a globe are transferred to a flat surface.
study of the relationships between numbers, quantities, shapes, and spaces.
art and science of determining an object's position, course, and distance traveled.
Encyclopedic Entry: navigation political Adjective
having to do with public policy, government, administration, or elected office.
having accountability, authority, or liability in a situation.
having to do with religion or faith.