Petrus Plancius (1552 – May 15, 1622) was a Dutch astronomer, cartographer and clergyman. He was born as Pieter Platevoet in Dranouter, now in Heuvelland, West Flanders. He studied theology in Germany and England. At the age of 24 he became a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church. He was one of the founders of the Dutch East India Company for which he drew over 100 maps. In 1592 he published his best known world map titled "Nova et exacta Terrarum Tabula geographica et hydrographica". Apart from maps he published journals and navigational guides and developed a new method for determining longitude. He also introduced the Mercator projection for navigational maps. Plancius was closely acquainted with Henry Hudson, an explorer of the New World.