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National Geographic Atlas of the World, Seventh Edition Hardcover – August 11, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0792267553 ISBN-10: 0792267559 Edition: 7th

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Hardcover, August 11, 2003
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic; 7 edition (August 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792267559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792267553
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 12.5 x 18.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,685,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When National Geographic published its first Atlas of the World more than 35 years ago, the world was indeed a different place. In order to cover today's world--including its oceans, stars, climate, natural resources, and more--National Geographic has published its seventh edition of the Atlas of the World. With each new edition, National Geographic strives to make its atlas more than just maps. You'll learn that the coldest place in the world is the Plateau Station in Antarctica, where the average daily temperature is minus 56.7 degrees Celsius; the most populated continent is Asia, with more than 3.6 billion people, or 60.8 percent of the world's population; the driest place on earth is the Atacama Desert in Chile; a flight from New Delhi to Rio de Janeiro covers 14,080 kilometers; life expectancy in the Republic of Zambia is 37 years; and the literacy rate in Turkmenistan is 98 percent.

Flip through the pages of this impressive book and you will feel as though the world is literally at your fingertips. Full-page spreads are devoted to more than 75 political and physical maps (political maps show borders; physical maps show mountains, water, valleys, and vegetation). There are many new touches to be found in this edition, including increased usage of satellite images, an especially helpful feature when researching the most remote regions of the earth; more than 50 updated political maps that record the impact of wars, revolutions, treaties, elections, and other events; and the use of the latest research on topics such as tectonics, oceanography, climate, and natural resources. The sheer size of the atlas's index--134 pages--offers insight into just how much information is packed into 260-plus pages. The book is so physically large, in fact, that when it's open, the reader is staring at three square feet of information, a surface area larger than many television screens. The potential uses of this book for a family are vast, from settling a friendly argument to completing a school report. In the end, though, the atlas is still mostly about maps. Pages and pages of maps. Maps that force us to see how wonderful and dynamic our world is. Maps that remind us of where we've been and where we'd still like to go. --John Russell --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

For the new millennium, the National Geographic Society has completely revised its full-size (47-cm.) world atlas, last published in 1992. It reflects all of the most recent geopolitical changes, including the reversion of Zaire to the Democratic Republic of Congo with renamed provinces, the return of both Hong Kong and Macao to China, new provincial boundaries in post-apartheid South Africa, the establishment of the Canadian territory of Nunavut (incorporating Inuit communities in Eastern Arctic Canada), and the demarcation line between the Bosniak-Croat Federation and the Serbian Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The map text refers to the political evolution in East Timor, but it would have been helpful to have actually shown the boundaries of that troubled territory. More than 75 large-format color maps grouped by continent portray the world with detailed, digitally painted terrain modeling. Each continent is introduced by satellite, political, and physical maps and a section with country summaries (with official flags and demographic and economic data for all independent nations arranged alphabetically). Political maps for regions and specific countries follow, and there are also detail maps of 243 major cities. In addition, new thematic maps treating environmental issues, natural resources, and human culture have been added. The index includes more than 140,000 entries for cities and natural features. The atlas will be continually updated via the National Geographic Society's new web resource (nationalgeographic.com/mapmachine), where patches will be available for downloading, printing, and pasting. This outstanding publication is highly recommended for all reference collections.
-Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

This Atlas is great to use if reading about far off places where names are not familiar.
Prauge Traveler
The use of false color images (Most satellite photos are presented this way.) is very well integrated with standard cartographic images.
Amazon Customer
I have both the 7th and 8th editions of this book, as well as recent editions of most of the other major world atlases.
J. Gaines

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Suess on June 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In December 2004, National Geographic (NG) updated the Persian Gulf plate (Plate 75) to accomodate the controversies surrounding the place-names used in the 8th edition.
Here is my understanding of the changes made:
1. The term "Arabian Gulf" in parenthesis has been deleted. Instead, there is a small note that reads: "Historically and commonly known as the Persian Gulf, this body of water is also referred by some as the Arabian Gulf."
2. Persian names of all Iranian islands are used. (Kish instead of Qeys, Lavan alone instead of adding Sheykh Sha'eyb in parenthesis)
3. Deletion of "Occupied by Iran (Claimed by U.A.E.)" in reference to the islands Abu Musa, and Greater and Lesser Tunbs.
These changes already appear on the website ([...]) and will apply to further printings or editions of the NG Atlas. Also, on the password-protected website for NG Atlas owners, there is a "brief summary of the historical origin of the term Persian Gulf". There is also a note on the place-naming policy of NG. (The online update feature is great - you can download and/or print updated plates and put them in your atlas. This not new for NG Atlases, except that they used to send updates by mail.)
Overall, I am impressed with NG's response to this situation. I am also very impressed with the quality of the atlas and its contents, except for the outermost/superficial binding paper. I have had the atlas for about 6 months, and with moderate use, the paper around the bottom of the spine has frayed. The binding itself is intact, though.
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339 of 407 people found the following review helpful By C. Ryan on July 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The National Geographic Society (NGS) Atlas of the World is an "evolutionary" rather than a "revolutionary" publication. Besides updated boundaries, etc., compared to prior editions it makes much better use of shading to indicate topography and has more detailed city maps. I buy an atlas primarily for the maps, and it's the maps that make the NGS Atlas superior to all others.

The traditional NGS "look" sometimes seems dated compared to the flashier colors and trendy graphics employed by some other publishers. However, the more I study the maps, the more information I find in them. A few years ago I did a comparison of this NGS with the most recent edition of the much more expensive Times Atlas of the World for a professional geographer's meeting. I was amazed to find that many of the NGS maps of North America had more than twice as many place names and named physical features as the Times Atlas. I also found the NGS Atlas maps equal or superior to the Times' maps for parts of the Middle East and northeast Asia with which I'm familiar (frankly, I found the 10th Edition Times Atlas inferior to the prior edition in several regards; for example, the elevation colors are far less discernable and detailed city maps have been virtually eliminated). Despite contrary opinions by some other reviewers, I judge the National Geographic Atlas maps to be far and away superior in content and sheer volume of information presented to all the other "high end" atlases published by Oxford, Hammond and DK. In fact, I couldn't justify recommending any of the other atlases (except possibly the Times, which, I admit, does offer fantastic detail for village names in the rural plains of India where I hope to never visit) to a library.

The National Geographic Society Atlas of the World is a great investment for travel planning, tracking current events, studying geography and history or just reading maps for pleasure. I recommend it highly.
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145 of 175 people found the following review helpful By Alan G. Elze on October 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The 8th edition is not as well organized as the 7th. In the previous edition, information about countries and states were in their respective continent section. The 8th edition has grouped them all together at the end of the atlas in alphabetical order. Someone at National Geographic has determined that the new edition no longer needed separate maps for England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland, just an overall map of Britain and Ireland, which was also in the previous edition. What happened to all of the city maps, temperature data and and major cities of the world? Finally 8th edition has a cover that is inferior to the other 7 editions, paper vs cloth. I think I will keep my 7th edition.
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102 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Night Reader on December 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've had the new atlas for 60 days and find myself looking something up every 2-3 days. It's really been fun looking up remote places like Palmyra Atoll, Kerguelen Island, the Fly River and other obscure places I read about.

And now I've found an interesting use for the password protected online atlas as well. The online Atlas gives you high-resolution access to all the Atlas map plates. You can print, copy or email maps or portions of maps. I expect the online Atlas to come in handy for school projects.

If you've read through the reviews you'll know the Iranians are upset about the "renaming" of the Persian Gulf. OK, since I'm at work, I'll log in to the password protected Atlas website, pull up Plate 75 and take a look. The Persian Gulf is labeled "Persian Gulf" but underneath it in parentheses is the label "Arabian Gulf". Apparently "Arabian Gulf", even in parentheses, is an affront to Iranian pride.

I want to be fair on this so I decided to check out some other atlases at my local bookstore to see how they handle the Gulf label. Most of the atlases use the term Persian Gulf by itself, but several prominent, highly-rated Atlases use the label "The Gulf" with no Persian or Arabian modifier, so there is legitimate debate in the cartographic world about how to refer to this body of water. For nationalistic reasons the Iranians want it only to be called the Persian Gulf, but I suspect the other countries bordering the Gulf would disagree. Most people will continue to call it the Persian Gulf, and the NGS Atlas appropriately uses that name as the primary label.
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