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Mercator projection map, Tyco Brahe, Mercator, The backstaff

Essay #20 History Of Inventions

Mercator projection map

Maps usually depict the world on a flat surface, this means all projections cause some distortions, think of it as trying to flatten a tennis ball. The Mercator projection map tried to fix all of these things, meaning, to try and limit the distortions. It was made in 1569, by Mercator, yes his name was Mercator. He combined geographic details and practical sailing charts, but his map omitted some practical sailing tools. It became the standard by the mid 1600s, overall it helped reshape global civilization.

Tyco Brahe

Tyco Brahe Was born into a Danish nobility, he went to school and studied Aristotle, but then something changed his life, he watched a solar eclipse when he was only 13 years old, this sparked his interest in astronomy more than ever before. He wanted to improve his accuracy of astronomical predictions, so he returned home and committed to become a full-time scientist. He made two important observations in 1572 and 1578. In 1572 he witnessed a super nova, in 1578 he witnessed a comment in space. He made his own instruments to develop greater and greater measurement accuracy.


Mercator was born in 1512 in Flanders, Flanders was very rich at that time. Mercator went to school to become a priest, at University he experienced a crisis of faith studying Aristotle, so Mercator went to a monk who could help him. France is the monk, that was his name, helped salvage Mercator’s faith. It also introduced him to glob making and provided him a career. He was most known for the Mercator projection map, and the Atlas. He unfortunately experienced religious persecution, and he was almost killed by the Roman Catholic Church. And also unlike others Mercator became famous during his lifetime.

The backstaff

The back staff was invented in 1585, it was a tool used on ships to determine the suns altitude without actually having to look at the sun, pretty cool? I know right. Technically you would turn your back, look into the eyepiece, adjust your, as I like to call it, shadow maker, then you look at the shadow when it aligns with the tip of the backstaff you have your answer. It evolved over time, and after all those evolutions it became the standard tool for sailing. It also helped the English sailors colonize America.

Thank you for reading this article about the Mercator projection map, Tyco Brahe, Mercator, and the backstaff. I hope you enjoyed, what was your favorite subject? Have a good day and bye for now.


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