A 16th century surge in trade and travel kindled early European cartography, particularly within the county of Flanders. Prominent mathematicians and scientists such as Gerardus Mercator challenged classical ideas about the physical world, presenting alternatives based on leading theories of topography and cosmology. Mercator’s vast travels endowed him with experience to create increasingly precise maps, such as his world map Orbis Terrae Compendiosa Descriptio, notable for its relatively successful depictions of continental coastlines. Mercator’s maps, widely used during the 16th and 17th century, provided a reference for his cartographic successors, from Abraham Ortelius to Joan Blaeu. The intellectual Dutch climate within which Mercator worked fostered a network of collaboration that promoted discovery, change, and scientific accuracy.

Afbeeldinge van de vermaerde Seehaven ende Stadt van Duynkercken
Blaeu, Joan
1662
Brabantia Ducatus
Blaeu, Joan
1662
Celeberrimi Fluvii Albis nova delineatio
Blaeu, Joan
1662
Flandriæ Partes duæ, quarum altera Proprietaria, altera Imperialis, vulgo dicitur.
Blaeu, Joan
1662
Comitatuum Hannoniæ et Namurci Descriptio
Blaeu, Joan
1662
Flandriæ Teutonicæ pars Orientalior
Blaeu, Joan
1662
Tabula Castelli ad Sandflitam
Blaeu, Joan
1662
Secunda Pars Brabantiæ cuius urbs primaria Bruxellæ
Blaeu, Joan
1662