Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) founded one of history's greatest cartographic
publishing firms in 1599. Using skills learned from the celebrated Danish astronomer
Tycho Brahe, Blaeu set up shop in Amsterdam as a globe and scientific instrument
maker. He soon expanded the business to include map, chart and book publishing.
By 1608, he had already published a fine world map and a popular marine atlas. He then
began planning a major atlas intended to include the most up-to-date maps of the
entire world. Progress was extremely slow and although he spent the rest of his
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