Today’s Birthday: Gerardus Mercator

It's March 5, and Gerardus Mercator was born on this date in 1512.  He was a mathematician and philosopher but is far better-known for his contributions to cartography, or the study of mapmaking.  Approximately 500 years ago, mapmaking was much more less sophisticated than it is now.  Obviously there was no GPS or satellite tracking, and there weren't cars or planes either, so maps of the globe were designed to help sailors safely travel from one country or continent to another.  Mercator's map of the world, which we all know is round, is a flat projection.  In fact, any time you see a map of the world that is not on a globe but rather one that fills the entire rectangle of the poster, you're looking at a Mercator projection.  If all that wasn't enough, Mercator was also the first man to coin the term "atlas" for a book of maps.  An atlas is included in our paper-based Geography course or you can take an online Geography course if you so choose.  Either of them will help guide you to your accredited high school diploma!

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