by Sairah Yassir
In light of today’s Google doodle in honour of Geradus Mercator, it’d be worth drawing your attention to the 11th century, in which four centuries prior to Gerardus Mercator allegedly “created a flat map”, scientist Al-Idrisi from modern day Morocco is said to have “used in a creative way the system of cylindrical projection of the Earth’s surface, which was to be claimed some centuries later, in 1569, by the Flemish Gerard Mercator.
Mahmud of Kashgar, also from the 11th century, Xianjiang, modern day China drew maps which pertained to the world being round.
Not to mention, Piri Reis from the Ottoman Empire who in the 16th century is said to have drawn maps highlighting projection centres.
There are other cartographers such as Al-Muqaddasi from Jerusalem, Palestine and the author behind the “Book of Curiosities” in the 11th Century.
For more information, see the Muslim Heritage website.
Sairah Yassir works for The Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) is a British not-for-profit, non-political, and non-religious organisation founded in 1999 by a group of philanthropic historians, scientists, engineers and social scientists.