His life spans one of the most important periods in the history of exploration and science, a time of rapid change and revolution, a time that gave birth to our modern notions of geography, mathematics, and science.
He created radical and stunning terrestrial and celestial globes that showed the modern outline of the continents, long before geographers understood their implications. He corresponded with the likes of Nicholas Copernicus (1473–1543), Bernhard Walther (1430–1504), and Phillip Melanchthon (1497–1560), and in his wisdom he saved two of the Renaissance’s greatest masterpieces of cartography from oblivion, the 1507 and 1516 World Maps by Martin Waldseemüller (1470–1520).
Besides all this, he published and edited many critical works of mathematics and astronomy of the fifteenth century by no less an astronomer and mathematician than the famous Regiomontanus (1436–1476), and through his student, Georg Joachim Rheticus (1514–1574), he was partly responsible for the early dissemination and publication of Copernicus’ De revolutionibus, a book that took a medieval stationary earth and set it in motion about the sun. Yet, most historians of science, of geography, and of cartography have never heard his name and know little of the life and writings of Johannes Schöner (1477–1547).