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Every home needs a good world atlas. While MapQuest, Yahoo Maps, and Google Maps may have outperformed traditional street maps for our directional needs, there will always be a place for a good, full-color hardback atlas. You can read at-a-glance profiles of different countries or cities, get travel tips, reference information, teach kids about other places and cultures, or just explore the world from your couch. But which of the world reigns supreme? This question is hard to answer, but here are some classic picks, as well as some new options for you to discover.
One of the most widely used atlases is Goode’s World Atlas, edited by Edward B. Espenshade, Jr. This pocket book contains several high-quality maps from a group of professional geographers. Another great selection is the National Geographic Road Atlas of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, featuring hands down the best street maps of North America. The Times Tenth Edition World Map features 125 color maps and a quarter of a million place names.
The DK World Atlas is full of fun facts, while also providing geographic information on all the countries in the world. You’ll also want to add the DK Atlas of World History, which includes maps, timelines, photographs, and historical notes, and the DK World Reference Atlas, which is 1-6 pages on each country, dealing with politics, climate, world affairs , economy. , crime, health, media, education and communications.
Sometimes you can find a world map that reveals the current state of our planet. The State of the World Atlas does exactly that, displaying the latest statistics, profiles, and realities on world politics, the economy, food supplies, military power, energy resources, pollution levels, and biodiversity. Simply put, what a printed world atlas offers, which online mapping lacks, is that historical worldview of cartographers and cartographers who take the time and effort to color-code our world and combine data with maps. in a sensible way, thus painting the bigger picture.
If you’re looking for an atlas of American history to inspire kids, then consider “Places in Time: A New Atlas of American History” by Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley (for ages 7-14), which teaches children about the fascinating stories behind 20 little-known American places using oral narratives, ancient maps, drawings and contemporary accounts. Don’t forget to get Lynn Kuntz’s “Celebrate the USA: Hands-On History Activities for Kids” (for ages 8-10), which will have you jamming out musical inventions like Ben Franklin or creating liberty socks out of oatmeal boxes, glues, thread and paper.