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Rhumb Lines and Map WarsA Social History of the Mercator Projection$
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Mark Monmonier

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226534312

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226534329.001.0001

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The Wright Approach

The Wright Approach

(p.63) 5 The Wright Approach
Rhumb Lines and Map Wars
University of Chicago Press

Edward Wright undertook a mathematical critique of contemporary navigation. His search for new solutions to old problems included a sea chart with straight-line loxodromes, the map Mercator had demonstrated but never explained. The Christian–Knight map was not the only premature publication of Wright's results. His table of meridional parts appeared in print in 1594, in mathematician-navigator Thomas Blundeville's Exercises for Young Gentlemen, and again, three years later, in Sir William Barlow's The Navigator's Supply. Lambert's contributions to cartography include seven different map projections as well as an illuminating mathematical analysis of conformality. Lambert's insight stimulated further work on map projection by three of the era's greatest mathematicians: Euler, Lagrange, and Gauss.

Keywords:   Edward Wright, contemporary navigation, loxodromes, Christian–Knight map, Lambert

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