By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (March 5, 2021) – In Issue 2021-43 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, we learn more about navigation through projection.

Mercator’s 1587 double hemisphere world map (Credit Steve Kovacs)


Today is the birthday of Gerardus Mercator, one of the key figures in the history of cartography.  He was born in 1512 in modern day Belgium.

His name bears the projection he invented and first published in 1569 that utilizes constant bearing rhumb lines which are super helpful for navigating ships.  This projection gained slow acceptance but the newer world maps (19th century onward) tend to use this projection, as do nautical charts.  The criticism of Mercator Projection is that artificially enlarges features closer to the poles.  So, for example, it makes Greenland look much bigger than it really is.

World map on Mercator Projection – 1831(Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.