a method of making maps in which the earth's surface is shown with the meridians as parallel straight lines spaced at equal intervals and the parallels of latitude as parallel straight lines intersecting the meridians at right angles but spaced farther apart as their distance from the equator increases: on such maps the area of a country, sea, etc. is more distorted as the distance from the equator increases
A cylindrical map projection in which the meridians and parallels appear as lines crossing at right angles and in which areas appear greater farther from the equator. Straight line segments represent true bearings, thus making this projection useful for navigation.
Origin of Mercator projectionAfterGerhardus Mercator
A cylindrical projection of the Earth's surface developed by Gerhardus Mercator. As in other such projections, the areas farther from the equator appear larger, making the polar regions greatly distorted. However, the faithful representation of direction in a Mercator projection makes it ideal for navigation.
See more at cylindrical projection