Monday, August 25, 2008


An interview with the famous mapmaker.


Q: You are Gerardus Mercator and live in Duisburg?

Mercator: My name was Gheert Cremer and I was from the Netherlands.

Q: You were charged with heresy?

Mercator: I was distrusted because I traveled so much.

Q: You came to Duisburg for religious reasons?

Mercator: I may also have come to open a cartography business and teach mathematics.

Q: You have always been a mapmaker?

Mercator: No, I was originally an engraver of brass plates.

Q: Is your method of projecting the sphere onto a two dimensional map useful?

Mercator: It is easier to roll up a map than a sphere. But it is a distortion. Africa looks the same size as Greenland but Africa is actually fourteen times the size of Greenland.



Mercator’s life was was not quite as it seemed. His maps were not quite as the world is. Maps are…. picturesque deceptions. Yes.


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