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Mercator Atlas


Gerardus Mercator was a Flemish cartographer famous for creating what became known as the “Mercator Projection”.

The novelty of this map projection was that the lines of longitude were parallel, assisting navigation by sea by making it possible to mark the directions of the compasses with straight lines.

He was one of the first to use the word “Atlas” to signify a set of maps and he encouraged Abraham Ortelius to make the first modern atlas.

Later, Mercator began to create his own atlas which consisted of a corrected version of Ptolemy’s maps.

Unfortunately, Mercator died in 1594 without having finished his atlas. It was his son who finished the work, publishing all the maps they had created together.


  • Title: “Atlas sive Cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mundi et fabricati figura”
  • Place and date: Amsterdam, 1607
  • Engraver: Jodocus Hondius
  • Language: Latin
  • Measurements: 43 x 30 cm
  • Content: 680 pages with 146 double page maps, coloured by hand.
  • Catalogue number: BG / 52041 of the Historical Library at Salamanca University
  • ISBN: 978-84-942508-8-0

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