Gerardus Mercator (1512–1594) was a German-Flemish cartographer, geographer, and cosmographer. Mercator is perhaps the best-known geographer in history, not least because he invented or at least promoted the generally accepted best (or least wrong) way of projecting a spherical globe on a two-dimensional sheet. In 1569 he published a world map using this projection.
Mercator’s approach to cartography was more scientific than that of many others and he was not as taken with decorations as many of his contemporaries. He is also known for his globes, many of which still exist.