Gerardus Mercator (5 March 1512 – 2 December 1594) was a cartographer renowned for creating a world map based on a new projection which represented sailing courses of constant bearing as straight lines—an innovation that simplified navigation. In his own day he was the world’s most famous geographer but in addition he had interests in theology, philosophy, history, mathematics and magnetism as well as being an accomplished engraver, calligrapher and maker of globes and scientific instruments.
The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection presented by the Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. It became the standard map projection for nautical purposes because of its ability to represent lines of constant course, known as rhumb lines or loxodromes, as straight segments that conserve the angles with the meridians. Although the linear scale is equal in all directions around any point, thus preserving the angles and the shapes of small objects (which makes the projection conformal), the Mercator projection distorts the size of objects as the latitude increases from the Equator to the poles, where the scale becomes infinite. So, for example, landmasses such as Greenland and Antarctica appear much larger than they actually are relative to land masses near the equator, such as Central Africa.
Jodocus Hondius (Latinized version of his Dutch name: Joost de Hondt) (14 October 1563 – 12 February 1612), sometimes called Jodocus Hondius the Elder to distinguish him from his son Jodocus Hondius II, was a Flemish / Dutch engraver, and cartographer. He is best known for his early maps of the New World and Europe, for re-establishing the reputation of the work of Gerard Mercator, and for his portraits of Francis Drake. He helped establish Amsterdam as the center of cartography in Europe in the 17th century.