Guillaume Delisle
Guillaume Delisle was a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.The fundamental problems of traditional cartography are to:*Set the map's...

 who lived in Paris.

His father, Claude Delisle (1644–1720) studied law and then later settled in Paris as private teacher in geography and history, and afterwards filled the office of royal censor. He was also a cartographer.

Guillaume Delisle's first works were "The Map of the World" and "The Map of the Continents", both published in 1700. These and the terrestrial maps produced subsequently, which surpassed all similar publications, established the son's fame. In 1702 he became élève, in 1716 adjoint, and in 1718 associé of the Académie des Sciences
French Academy of Sciences
The French Academy of Sciences is a learned society, founded in 1666 by Louis XIV at the suggestion of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to encourage and protect the spirit of French scientific research...

; and, as the young king's instructor in geography, received the title of First Royal Geographer with a fixed salary, an office which was then created for the first time.

His 1718 map, Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississippi was the first detailed map of the interior of what is now the United States.

Guillaume Delisle adopted entirely new principles in cartography and set about making a thorough reform in that subject. The map-publishers of the time did not know how to utilize the material supplied mainly by the French astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

s of the latter half of the seventeenth century, and Delisle recognized that the new methods of measuring by scale and of marking the places were very valuable for cartography; with this help he therefore produced a new and more accurate picture of the world.

When his astronomical information fell short he carefully examined and sifted all the books of travel and all the maps he could find, and the products of this reading were dovetailed neatly into the facts which he had already at hand. According to a fixed method he worked up the several continents and countries one by one, France in particular. In disputed points he named his source on the map or wrote additional notes, the majority of which were published in the writings of the Academy. One particular recommendation of his charts is that he employed a fixed scale of measurement for regions closely connected with one another. No less famous than his astronomical corrections are the completeness of his topography
Topography is the study of Earth's surface shape and features or those ofplanets, moons, and asteroids...

 and the care displayed in the orthography
The orthography of a language specifies a standardized way of using a specific writing system to write the language. Where more than one writing system is used for a language, for example Kurdish, Uyghur, Serbian or Inuktitut, there can be more than one orthography...

 of the names.

Delisle was in frequent contact via letters with Czech cartographer in China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 Karel Slavíček
Karel Slavíček
Karel Slavíček, , was a Jesuit missionary and scientist, the first Czech sinologist and author of the first precise map of Beijing.-Early life and studies in the Czech lands:...


Gallery of maps extracted from Delisle's Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississippi, 1718

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