Navigation gained in importance with the period of the great voyages of discovery and circumnavigations around the world. Geographical and astronomical knowledge grew, as did the demand for land and sea maps. In addition to these, terrestrial and celestial globes were now being produced in series using copperplate engraving. The centres of production apart from Nuremberg were mainly the Netherlands and Italy later on.
The geographer and cartographer Gerard de Kremer (1512-1594), Latinised Gerardus Mercator, was born in Fleming in 1512, and studied at the University of Leuven. Later he moved to Duisburg, where he finally died in 1594. His first terrestrial globe appeared in 1541. As the largest printed globe to date with a diameter of 41 centimetres, more information could be stored on it. Mercator's great merit was to equip the globe with loxodromes, lines that intersect all the meridians at the same angle and that sailors can use to navigate to their destination.
Gerhard Mercator names himself as the author of the author of the globes he designed. A corresponding inscription can be found in the southern Pacific Ocean. East of 180 degrees of longitude is the cartouche with the coat of arms dedicated to Nicolas Perrenot de Granvelle, at the time Chancellor of the Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation, Charles V (reigned 1530-1558).The globe is provided with a brass meridian ring, stitches are glued on the round horizon. The frame dates back to the Baroque era.