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Jan-Willem van Aalst

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The Times Atlas of the World (World Atlas)
The Times Atlas of the World (World Atlas)

283 of 287 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for family use, 14 Jun. 2002
With the release of the 2nd edition of the Reference Atlas of the World, Times Books have now completed the re-styling of their entire range of world atlases. This Reference edition takes the middle position of the five volumes, having two smaller siblings and two larger. In fact, this atlas is characterized by compromises on almost all levels. This is not necessarily always bad: you get a fairly detailed coverage of the world, plus 46 city plans and much information on the states and territories of the world. World coverage is more or less based on land mass, which means Asia gets a lot more than Europe, though densely populated European areas such as southern UK and German Ruhr area are mapped at larger scales. France and Spain are a bit disappointing, though U.S., India, China, and SE Australia are very good. The coloring of the maps is highly subtle but not overall consistent with the other Times atlases. The plates are highly legible and what's more, the data is very up-to-date. For example, cities that have recently exceeded 1 million inhabitants are shown as such, and the recent borderline agreement between Yemen and Saudi-Arabia is also incorporated.
The 103 maps together show 47,000 place names which is good for an atlas of this size. The thematic section is not large but it provides very handy concise information on the most important topics. The 46 city maps are a real treat - and these are not included in the largest edition, the Comprehensive edition.
If you want an atlas primarily for answering the question "Where is it located", I suggest you buy one of the two bigger siblings, but if you want a world atlas with a general overview of the world, this one does a good job. There are comparatively-sized atlases at a much cheaper price, but Times has a reputation and the extra cost is not just for the name of Times. This atlas breathes authoritativeness and detail. And a nice companion for day-to-day reference.

The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide
The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide
by Brian Sibley
Edition: Paperback

26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Colourful, but not really in-depth, 7 Dec. 2001
This book is a nice teaser for the upcoming blockbuster "Fellowship of the ring", but to call it a movie guide... that I find somewhat too much to say.
Sure, there a are some great photographs and interesting looks behind the scenes, but the stories about the people behind the movie remain rather superficial. For example, only the main characters are quoted, but their date of birth, for example, isn't even included. And of the hundreds of people behind the scenes, only four or five are really brought into the spotlight.
I suspect that there will be a much more comprehensive movie guide when all three films of the trilogy have been released, say in the spring of 2004.

Collins New World Atlas
Collins New World Atlas
by Atlas
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly innovative and accurate, plus great photos, 6 Dec. 2001
It was certainly quite a surprise to open the Collins [NEW] world atlas - it is not at all "your everyday average world atlas" that are commonly found in bookstores. The HarperCollins Cartographic team has succeeded in constructing a highly innovative new world atlas with many features currently not found in any other printed world atlas. In this regard, this world atlas is absolutely ahead of its time and will serve as an example for many other publishers to come. Especially the degree of integration between thematic, reference and index section is refreshingly unique and makes the book a pleasure for both study and home use. Some of the most readable reference maps to this date are complemented by a large variety of stunning photographs and satellite images of all regions on our planet, both of which are represented in a contemporary, almost futuristic design, which breathes a sense of accuracy and "up-to-date-ness".
The index of 80,000 names is quite good for a world atlas of this size, and I'm convinced that the atlas will appeal to a wide spectrum of audiences. If you are looking for a reference-type of world atlas with many places in highly densely populated areas, you'd be better off with the Times Comprehensive, Times Concise, or National Geographic Atlas, but especially the thematic qualities make this atlas so much more interesting.

Concise Atlas of the World (World Atlas)
Concise Atlas of the World (World Atlas)

4.0 out of 5 stars A well-done debut atlas publication by AND, 5 Jun. 2000
A great effort for a first publication. The big plus of this atlas is their depiction of shaded relief: while many atlases only succeed in ugly shading that make the maps less legible, AND have really done a splendid job. The coastlines are also amazingly accurate. Plus, the index size of 20,000+ is more than outstanding for an atlas of its size. Some negative points are initial "child problems": in a short time I've compiled a fair list of places erroneously located or with wrong spelling. Also, state boundaries are not too accurate, either. Much country population data is outdated by now. The paper margins are too wide, too. Other than flags and statistics, there are no thematic plates. Still, in spite of this, this atlas has the potential of becoming a serious competitor of established names such as Times and Rand McNally. In its size class, it is already now one of the most detailed you'll find.

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