Mercator: The Man Who Mapped the Planet by Nicholas Crane

“Crane’s book is quite probably destined to become the standard text.”—Simon Winchester, The New York Times

Gerhard Mercator lived in an era of formidable intellectual and scientific advances. At the center of the exploratory vortex were the cartographers who were painstakingly piecing together the evidence to create ever more accurate pictures of the planet. Mercator was the greatest of all of them. His inspiration—the map—solved the dimensional riddle that had vexed cosmographers for so long: How could the three-dimensional globe be converted into a two-dimensional map while retaining true compass bearings? His resulting projection revolutionized navigation and has become the most common worldview. For the first time, people were able to see the world on paper and their place in it.

Nicholas Crane, a geographer himself, has combined a keen eye for historical detail with a gift for vivid storytelling to produce this masterly and highly acclaimed biography of the man who mapped the planet.

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