2012 is the quincentenary of the birth of Gerard Mercator. Although best known for the map projection named after him, he was also known for the Mercator atlas, indeed even the introduction of the word “atlas” and for his work in cartography but maybe not so much for his basic work as a land surveyor. This article is a short introduction to his life and work to highlight the exceptional place he has in the history of our profession… (more)