At Butler and Hill we love all things maps, so we would like to wish Gerardus Mercator a very happy birthday, 2012 marks the 500th anniversary of his birth. Those of you who are familiar with your projections will know the Flemish cartographer introduced his Mercator projection to the world, on his map published in 1569.
This ground-breaking world map was titled Nova et Aucta Orbis Terrae Descriptio ad Usum Navigantium Emendata (quite a mouthful). This map stretches in the north-south directions, which then stretches the continents in proportion to the curve of the earth. Before its introduction maps were merely just imaginative representations featuring the heavens and some mythical beasts.
To mark this historic milestone, the New York Public Library is hosting the exhibit Mercator 500 during September 2012. If you are either lucky enough to be in NY or rich enough to hop on a plane and fly over, then it’s a must for map enthusiasts.