Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571–1638) was one of the main figures of the Dutch Golden Age of cartography, in the late-sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. To avoid being mixed up with cartographers with similar names, he took up the last name Blaeu. His first name was sometimes written in the French version as Guillaume. Blaeu didn’t want to take over his father’s herring business and instead studied with Tycho Brahe, the Danish astronomer, and learned to make instruments and globes. Upon returning to Amsterdam, he started making maps as well, in his own name and for others. His talent as a cartographer was only surpassed by his business acumen. He long held the title of Hydrographer to the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC), securing a good income of both money and information. His son Joan would take over both this post and the business.