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Mathematical Treasure: Sems’ Practijck des Landmetens

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Johannes Sems (1572–1635) was a Dutch cartographer, surveyor and engineer. In his Practijck des Landmetens (Practice of Land Measurement, 1620), he provided the reader with detailed descriptions and illustrations involving the uses of mathematics in land measurement and recording. Here on the first page of the text, a reader is exposed to the instruments and techniques of land survey and mapping.

On page 66, a complex triangulation situation is illustrated.

These images are supplied through the cooperation of The Treasures of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Library Collection. The individual images were photographed by Mr. Sean Linehan.

Index of Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Sems’ Practijck des Landmetens," Convergence (January 2015)