Top positive review
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Still the greatest Times atlas - but also big and heavy!
on 27 October 2011
As a reference Atlas, this must be the best - even in an age of online maps I keep checking this Atlas in the library. Not instead of online maps, but in addition to. With 125 enormous plates, it is a pleasure to browse and dream away - for the general overview, for planning, for finding connections. There is some lovely satellite imagery as well, 20 pages of 'the world today' with maps on diversity, energy, climate and the like; a few pages on mapping; 10 pages on geographical info (sizes, lenghts, depths, heights, population, flags, capitals...)
But most people come to this Atlas for the maps, and they are many, good and accessible, with pretty clear colour codings and symbols. The Greenland map howler apart (I think they are going to send out replacement maps for those) they are classy!
And this comprehensive one is the biggest, the heaviest, and the most comprehensive - here is a comparison list with all the others called "Times atlas of the world", as I was terminally confused. Until I did a bit of homework, and came up with the following: (all prices quoted from Amazon, October 2011)
The biggest is called COMPREHENSIVE, costs £80, is 47x32 cm, weighs a ton, has 125 map plates (not pages, as most spread over 2 pages) and a 217-page index.
The next is the CONCISE, costs £40, is 37x27 cm, has 105 plates on 198 map pages, and a 140-page index to 130,000 names. And 32 city maps, which is something the biggest lacks (apart from a few titchy ones on the main plates)!
The next is the UNIVERSAL, costs £ 28, is 32x27 cm, has 170 pages of maps (not plates - probably 90 plates), an index to 50,000 names, and 32 city maps.
The next is the REFERENCE, costs £25, has 104 pages of maps (not plates - probably 60 plates), an index to 45,000 names, and 46 city maps.
The next is DESKTOP, costs £ 13, 25x19 cm;
then the COMPACT, costs £ 8, 21x15 cm;
then the MINI, costs £ 5, 15x11 cm.
Are those names logical, or what? I don't think so - but I hope this little guide helps. I got myself the CONCISE (that is, number two) and am well-pleased. Beautiful clear mapping, and it just fits into the bookcase; the COMPREHENSIVE one is very beautiful, but will have to live permanently on some large, weight-bearing surface - you can't even read this like a book, you have to consult it flat!