Edward Wright (1561–1615) was an English mathematician and cartographer
noted for his book Certaine Errors in Navigation, which for the first
time explained the mathematical basis of the Mercator projection, and
set out a reference table giving the linear scale multiplication factor
as a function of latitude, calculated for each minute of arc up to a
latitude of 75°. This was the essential step needed to make practical
both the making and the navigational use of Mercator charts. In 1589
Elizabeth I requested that he carry out navigational studies with a
raiding expedition organised by the Earl of Cumberland to the Azores to
capture Spanish galleons. The expedition's route was the subject of the
first map to be prepared according to Wright's projection, which was
published in Certaine Errors in 1599. The same year, Wright created and
published the first world map produced in England and the first to use
the Mercator projection since Gerardus Mercator's original 1569 map.
Apart from a number of other books and pamphlets, Wright translated
John Napier's pioneering 1614 work which introduced the idea of
logarithms from Latin into English. This was published after Wright's
death as A Description of the Admirable Table of Logarithmes. Wright's
work influenced, among other persons, Dutch astronomer and
mathematician Willebrord Snellius; Adriaan Metius, the geometer and
astronomer from Holland; and the English mathematician Richard Norwood.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
The volcano Mount Vesuvius (artist's depiction) erupted, burying the
towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae in Italy.
War of 1812: British forces invaded Washington, D.C., setting fire to
the White House and other U.S. government buildings.
The Treaty of Córdoba was signed in Córdoba, Veracruz, ratifying the
Plan of Iguala and concluding Mexico's War of Independence from Spain.
World War II: The United States aircraft carrier Saratoga sank the
Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons
near Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands, helping to lead to an Allied powers
The International Astronomical Union redefined the term "planet",
reclassifying Pluto as a dwarf planet.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. To examine something with great care.
2. To audit accounts in order to verify them
Wikiquote quote of the day:
A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that
whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been
given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely.
All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes,
our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so
that we may shape our art.
--Jorge Luis Borges
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