Reformer of cartography, born 28 February, 1675, in Paris ; died there 25 January, 1726. His father, Claude Delisle (1644-1720), having completed his law studies, settled in Paris as private teacher in geography and history, and afterwards filled the office of royal censor ; He was also a cartographer, and in 1696 drew up a map in manuscript and also took part in his son's first works, "The Map of the World" and "The Map of the Continents", both published in 1700. These and the terrestrial maps produced subsequently, which surpassed all similar publications, established the son's fame. In 1702 he became élève , in 1716 adjoint , and in 1718 associé of the Académie des Sciences; and, as the young king's instructor in geography, received the title of First Royal Geographer with a fixed salary, an office which was then created for the first time.
Guillaume Delisle adopted entirely new principles in cartography and set about making a thorough reform in that subject. The map-publishers of the time did not know how to utilize the material supplied mainly by the French astronomers of the latter half of the seventeenth century, and Delisle recognized that the new methods of measuring by scale and of marking the places were very valuable for cartography; with this help he therefore produced a new and perfect picture of the world. When his astronomical information fell short he carefully examined and sifted all the books of travel and all the maps he could find, and the products of this reading were dovetailed neatly into the facts which he had already at hand. According to a fixed method he worked up the several continents and countries one by one, France in particular. In disputed points he named his source on the map or wrote additional notes, the majority of which were published in the writings of the Academy; One particular recommendation of his charts is that he employed a fixed scale of measurement for regions closely connected with one another. No less famous than his astronomical corrections are the completeness of his topography and the care displayed in the orthography of the names.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online