Guillaume Delisle

Parisian Guillaume Delisle (1675 - 1726) was the son of the famed cartographer, Clause Delisle.  Guillaume, whose reputation as a mapmaker would not only surpass that of his father, it would change the known world, as he was the man responsible for laying down boundaries across vast tracts of unknown territories in the New World.  By 1718, Guillaume was the personal instructor in geography to the young King Louis XIV.  The map he published in 1718 would be used nearly a century later to define the area known as Louisiana during the treaty with the United States in 1803.

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    Delisle was among the first mapmakers in Europe to figure out how to use astronomical observations to reduce vast distances to very accurate scale.  His map of the world is an extraordinary achievement for a map maker with only rudimenatry tools and the second hand information passed along from explorers.