Abraham Ortelius (1527 – 1598) was a Flemish/Dutch mapmaker.He started out as a map colorist and map dealer, but that activity evolved into mapmaking under his own name. Along with Mercator, he can be said to be the founder of the Dutch school of cartography, which dominated mapmaking in Europe for a century. Ortelius was neither an explorer nor an engraver, and most of the maps he published were drawn by someone else. However, he was a brilliant businessman and it was his idea to abandon the Ptolemaic tradition when he published the first atlas of modern maps in 1570, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. It has been said that there were technically better mapmakers at the time, such as Gerard de Jode and Mercator, but they did not have the business skills of Ortelius.