Petrus Plancius

Dutch astronomer and cartographer

Petrus Plancius (1552 – May 15, 1622) was a Flemish astronomer, cartographer and clergyman. He was born as Pieter Platevoet in Dranouter, now in Heuvelland, West Flanders. He studied theology in Germany and England. At the age of 24 he became a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church.

Petrus Plancius. J. Buys/Rein. Vinkeles (1791).


Petrus Plancius Instructing Students in the Science of Navigation

In 1592 he published his best known world map named "Nova et exacta Terrarum Tabula geographica et hydrographica".[1] He wrote journals and shipping maps. He made a new way for finding longitude. He was the first to use the Mercator projection for navigational maps.

He was one of the founders of the Dutch East India Company. He drew over 100 maps.

Plancius knew Henry Hudson. Hudson was an explorer of the New World.

Plancius made the map, Exacta & accurata delinatio… regionibus China, Cauchinchina, Camboja, sive Champa, Syao, Malacca, Arracan & Pegu, that was in Jan Huygen van Linschoten’s popular book, Itinerario (1596).[2]



  1. "New and exact geographic and hydrographic map of the world".
  2. Leo Bagrow, History of Cartography, revised and enlarged by R. A. Skelton, London, Watts, 1964, p.265. Exacta & accurata delinatio cum orarum maritimarum tum etiam locorum terrestrium quæ in regionibus China, Cauchinchina, Camboja, sive Champa, Syao, Malacca, Arracan & Pegu ; Cornelis Koeman, Jan Huygen Van Linschoten, Coimbra, Universidade de Coimbra Biblioteca Geral 1, 1984, Centro de Estudos de Historia e Cartografia, Vol.153, pp.39-41. Also in Revista da Universidade de Coimbra, vol.32, 1985, pp.27-47.

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