Oxford Atlas of the World

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The best way to learn about the world is to sit down with a high quality atlas and travel through the pages.  Some of my favorite memories as a child were those sitting with my father, browsing through an atlas and learning about geography.  Oxford University Press recently issued the fourteenth edition of their celebrated Oxford Atlas of the World.

At the beginning of the tome is a “User Guide” which provides the reader with a basic and necessary overview on using the atlas and interpreting the maps.  The “Images of the World” section contains phenomenal satellite imagery from around the world.  Each image is annotated to describe the region as well as providing a map reference page.   

The maps in the main atlas section are heavily detailed to provide annotation for names of places, waterways and notable sites.  Each page has a helpful thumbnail at the top of the page so you can situate the smaller scale map with its location in the region.  The atlas goes beyond mapping with several segments providing statistics and baseline information about each country.  There is a section entitled “World Geography” which actually goes beyond the Earth to provide information about the universe and our solar system in addition to reviewing a plethora of geography subjects such as climatology, biogeography, demographics and urban geography. 

The Conflict and Cooperation section contains a map of the wars since 1945 with current conflicts symbolized in red.  The socioeconomic sections are equally as impressive with maps showing infant mortality, Gender Development Index and global fund consumption.  With the quantity and quality of information presented in the Oxford World Atlas you could peruse this volume every day for a year and learn something new every time.


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A review copy of this publication was received.


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