World 1875



‘Map of the world on the Mercator projection’

This pen-and-ink on cloth world map was originally created in 1875.

Cartographer’s Notes: Maps created prior to Gerardus Mercator’s projection (1569) were drawn on a grid that showed each degree of latitude or longitude the same size. As a result, sailor’s rhumb lines curved and navigators would have to recalculate their bearing as they moved to account for the change. Mercator’s projection kept the rhumb lines straight between the latitude and longitude lines. This projection is still used for navigation charts because every straight line is a line of constant true bearing that enables a navigator to plot a straight-line course. It is less practical for world maps because the scale is distorted; areas farther away from the equator appear disproportionately large. On a Mercator projection, for example, the landmass of Greenland appears to be greater than that of the entire continent of South America; in actual area, Greenland is smaller than India.

Reproduction Size: 36″x 19″ (91.5cm x 48cm)


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