This book is so much more than a book of maps! This is a hefty book but absolutely packed full of interesting and essential information. I think this will be well used by my 6th grade daughter, my 3rd grader, my husband and me. It is a geographic resource but also covers social issues that have changed the political geography of the world. As mentioned in the editorial review, the satellite picture section is updated and absolutely spectacular.
My kids and I enjoy Phaidon Press books like "The Art Museum", "The Ocean", etc. and I think this will stand with those as one of the most interesting and referenced tomes in our home. An excellent academic resource, it also provides regional demographics and social information. It is comprehensive and beautiful to look at and use. I like that the scale to which specific cities and regions were mapped were well thought out with regards to usefulness.
I think for a book so well put together, beautifully bound and indexed, full of stunning pictures, images and information- this is a deal, a gem and an essential for anyone who has a student at home. Also good for the armchair traveller, you will not be disappointed.
If you live in a small space(like a dorm room) this is NOT the reference book for you, likely. Oxford also publishes a more compact, concise version that might suit those who do not want to accomodate the 'coffee table book' size that this beauty is.