Customer Review

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Coffee Table Book, 30 Nov 2009
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This review is from: The Atlas of the Real World: Mapping the Way we Live (Hardcover)
This book presents country statistics in the form of a map where the size of the country is adjusted to the data. This means the shapes of the countries are distorted to fit the data. Unfortunately this means that sometimes the countries are unrecognisable. E.g if I showed you the map for Exports of Machinery and asked you which country was the biggest exporter I don't think you would have any clue. You'd know it was somewhere in Europe and probably guess Germany. Then you'd check the list below and find the answer was Switzerland.

While the graphics are a novel way of presenting the data sometimes a graph or a list would give better meaning to the data. The graphics are fine for seeing the big players (subject to the limitation mentioned above) but beyond those it is difficult to tell who the small players are. The exception is when a big country is a small player such that the country disappears and you think, say, "where has Australia gone?"

Like a lot of coffee table books it is big and expensive, great for a browse, but ultimately an unsatisfying experience, and one that you wont repeat very often.
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Review Details

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4.3 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)
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Reviewer

R. J. Hole
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 21,094