He was a student of Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon. In 1561 he etched and published a map. This etched in copper map was a single sheet cartouche of Silesia, titled "Silesiae Typus" and Heilwig dedicated it to Nicolaus Rhedinger.
The cartouche is bearing this date, although the map at hand was published by Abraham Ortelius in the first edition of his "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" only in 1570 and 1571. In later editions this map was replaced by a slightly modified map by the same author (posthumously). An ornate border was added and some of the geographical and spelling mistakes eliminated. Since this map was published only in the two first editions it is very rare.
This atlas by Abraham Ortelius including the published Heilwig map "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" was the first time undertaking of creating a world atlas.