Any old Atlas will give the reader information about countries in addition to general details such as population densities and trade. Few people, however, would consult one prior to going travelling. For some years now, Columbus Travel Guides have been producing something very different under this general theme which is called "The World Travel Atlas."
Yes, all the traditional information is there, but consider this. Want to know where to go skiing and at what time of year?, the best places for scuba diving in the Pacific?, something about the railways and airports of the USA?, the climate in South America?, or the principle attractions of mainland Italy? I could go on, but there is far too much information for me to provide a complete list here.
I would suggest an up-to date copy of this book (which is revised every year), is essential equipment for any travel agency or person involved with frequent travelling. It is also important for that one-off extra-speacial vacation and for unearthing any offbeat information you might require and which is not likely to be found elsewhere.