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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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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 October 2020

Travelers' Aide

Travelers' Aide

(p.79) 6 Travelers' Aide
Rhumb Lines and Map Wars
University of Chicago Press

Appreciation of the Mercator projection called for computational savvy, and its effective use required reliable methods for taking bearings and determining position. Haselden described the use of the Mercator chart for fourteen typical navigation tasks. The only concession to his opponents' “many groundless Objections” was an admission that accurately measuring and laying off distances with dividers could be troublesome. Before electronic navigation, sailing was highly interactive. Because of winds, currents, and intervening obstacles, a ship rarely traveled a perfectly straight course. Although weather maps are even more complex and varied than aeronautical charts, meteorologists resolved their search for appropriate map projections more quickly and decisively, through a single international group: the International Meteorological Organization's Commission on Map Projections.

Keywords:   Mercator projection, computational savvy, Haselden, electronic navigation, weather maps

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