What Information Is in a World Atlas?


Quick Answer

An atlas is a collection of maps, whether of Earth, of a region or country within Earth, or even of other planets and their moons. Many atlases also contain images of countries' flags, information on the countries' profiles and statistics regarding the regions' population counts, politics and economy. Other information includes topographical and oceanic maps, travel and social statistics, and descriptions of significant events that happened in the described regions.

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Full Answer

Two of the most common types of atlas are the travel atlas and the desk atlas. The desk atlas, which is similar to a reference book, is usually available in hardback or paperback form. A travel atlas, which is a compact version specially designed for practical use during travel, features maps that are more specific to certain places. Travel atlases are also commonly referred to as road maps.

Due to the rise of technology, electronic and online atlases are also available, such as WorldAtlas.com. These online atlases offer complete collections of different specific atlases and various additional related information.

The first work that some consider to be a modern atlas was "De Summa Totius Orbis," written by Pietro Coppo, a 16th-century Italian cartographer. The official distinction of being the first atlas is awarded to "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum," a collection of maps published by Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius in 1570.

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