type of map projection, 1660s, invented by Flemish geographer Gerhard Kremer (1512-1594), who Latinized his surname, which means "dealer, tradesman," as Mercator (see merchant). He first used this type of map projection in 1568.
Flemish cartographer who in 1568 developed the Mercator projection. In 1585 he began work on a book of maps of Europe, a project that was later completed by his son and published in 1595. As a result of the drawing of the Greek titan Atlas carrying the globe on his shoulders on the book's cover, the term "atlas" was subsequently applied to any book of maps.