The firm Blaeu was the biggest producer of maps in the seventeenth century. Blaeu’s maps were based on earlier maps, traditions passed down through the generations, as well as the latest discoveries. The Blaeu firm’s bookshop was established ‘on the water’, on what is now the Damrak in Amsterdam. This location, so close to the port, was no fluke: this was where new products and information arrived from exotic locations across the globe. Seamen, merchants, scholars and regents were drawn to Blaeu’s firm, fascinated by his knowledge and skills. The firm’s cartographical knowledge influenced the entire world’s view of itself, with many cartographers attempting to imitate or surpass Joan Blaeu.