Sanson was a mapmaker whose work earned him the title ‘father of French cartography’. He started by making maps to supplement his study of history, attracting the attention of Cardinal Richelieu, and rose to be “geographe du roi”. He taught both Louis XIII and Louis XIV. Sanson's success was partly due to his partnership with the publisher Pierre Mariette, who helped Sanson financially - including with the first French published atlas of the world. In 1665, Sanson was joined in business by his sons Guillaume and Adrien. After Sanson’s death, the firm was continued by his sons, a grandson, and Hubert Jaillot.