La Condamine, Charles Marie de

La Condamine, Charles Marie de

(shärl märē` də lä kôNdämēn`), 1701–74, French traveler and mathematical geographer. He was one of a group sent to Peru in 1735 to measure the length of an arc of one degree of the meridian at the equator. While in South America he made the first scientific exploration of the Amazon region. His journal was published in 1751.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

La Condamine, Charles Marie de

 

Born Jan. 28, 1701, in Paris; died there Feb. 4, 1774. French astronomer, geodesist, and traveler. Member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1760).

From 1736 to 1743, La Condamine was a member of an expedition to Peru during which an arc of the meridian of more than 3° was measured in the Andes (from Quito to Cuenca). This measurement, along with the results of the work of the Lapland expedition (1735–44), served as the basis for the first reliable determination of the flattening of the earth. La Condamine compiled the first comparatively precise map of the Amazon. He was also the first to describe in detail methods of preparing rubber goods, thus acquainting Europeans with rubber. He was an honorary member of the St. Petersburg, Berlin, and other academies of sciences.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.