Willem (Guillaume) Blaeu was born in Uitgeest, the Netherlands. He studied under Danish astronomer and maths teacher Tych Brahe, before founding a company of globe and instrument makers in 1596, which he later expanded to publish maps, topographical prints and sea charts. By 1604 he was producing atlas size maps and, by 1608, had published a world map and a marine atlas. In 1633 he was appointed chartmaker to the East India Company. He planned to publish a major atlas of the most up-to-date maps of the entire world. However, progress was slow and the work was not completed until after his death. When he died in 1638 the business flourished under his sons, Joan and Cornelis, until a fire of 1672 destroyed the premises and equipment.
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