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Times Atlas of the World : 10th Comprehensive Edition Hardcover – October 13, 1999

20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0812932652 ISBN-10: 081293265X Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Still the classic after all these years. Superb cartography and attention to detail, the emphasis is on the maps of countries (and some city maps) and on the excellent gazetteer, which includes latitude and longitude center points for each place.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Librarians and atlas aficionados have waited with anticipation for the tenth edition of The Times Atlas of the World. It has finally arrived, advertised as the "first completely revised and redesigned edition" since the first edition of 1967 and the "most comprehensive portrayal of the world available."

Maps and the index are the heart and soul of a good atlas, and Times is impressive in these areas. The 248 pages of maps, produced through digital technology, are beautiful. The colors of the maps have been changed, and the lighter hues show differences in elevation more clearly. The lighter colors combined with a clearer typeface make the place names easier to read.

Starting with Oceania and ending with South America, the book begins each continent section with a political map. There are at least 10 plates for each section, often with more than one map of a region, with the definition increasing with each map. Many atlases are criticized for having less coverage of Asia, but Times has doubled its number of maps on Japan and added five additional pages of maps on China. There is no doubt that the 200,000-plus place-name index is an impressive achievement, far exceeding the index in any competitive atlas. But it seems to have shrunk in certain instances--Morris, New York, and Wahroonga, Australia, were listed in the index and on maps in the ninth edition but are not found in the tenth. The introduction to the index does verify that all listings in the index appear on maps, something not true of all atlases.

The atlas's introductory material is both visually intriguing and interesting to read. The satellite image of the Antarctica is strikingly beautiful. The new millennium is emphasized with double-page spreads of the world in 2000 by subject: earthquakes, oceans, land cover, population, energy, etc. A fact in the climate section (the highest wind velocity in a tornado was recorded in Oklahoma on May 3, 1999) demonstrates the atlas's currency. Statistical information on countries and states precede the maps, while a glossary of geographic terms in languages other than English follows the maps.

The Board noted a few problems with the maps. The city of Constitucion (pop. 40,000) can be found on the detailed map of Chile but not on the general map, although smaller towns in the area appear on both. Using Chile in another example, mistakes are perpetuated from one edition to another. In both the ninth and tenth editions, El Tofo is listed in both the index and on the map as El Toro. But the major criticism of this fine atlas is the lack of city maps. The ninth edition (and other major world atlases) includes inset or full-page maps of cities and their environs. The closest the tenth edition comes is one page each for the area of San Francisco and Los Angeles and a double-page of the U.S. Northeast corridor. Inset maps are reserved for islands: Gibraltar, the Hawaiian Islands, Hong Kong. A minor annoyance is the lack of a symbol for a projected highway on the symbols and abbreviations page.

Despite a few disappointments, this new edition of a classic reference source is a beautiful, comprehensive, and well-done depiction of the world at the beginning of a new millennium. Its closest competitor is the second edition of The Book of the World [RBB Je 1 & 15 99], which is larger and flashier but has an index half the size. Priced at about half the cost of The Book of the World, The Times Atlas of the World should be considered for purchase by all libraries.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books; 1st edition (October 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081293265X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812932652
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.8 x 18.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

193 of 196 people found the following review helpful By Frank Paris on February 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've been collecting atlases for over 30 years, including three different editions of this one. I still have the 8th edition, and now I've lived with the 10 edition for a couple months and am ready to state my opinion, and compare it to previous editions.
First, I'd like to make a general observation about these Times Atlases. They have all carried about 20% of their maps in a vertical orientation. This is all right in atlases that are of a more manageable size, but for a book that weighs 11 pounds, it is burdensome to be flipping it around every few pages. I just had to get that out of the way, because it has always bothered me.
The strength of the Times Atlas of the World has always been the details and accuracy of its physical maps, showing the topographic layout of the land. The colors chosen to do so were more garish in previous editions than in this 10th, and on a first impression, the maps in the 10th edition look strikingly more beautiful. They are works of art. However, I am not convinced that the new colors are more useful. As was pointed out in a review below, what is missing is the sharp contrast from one elevation interval to the next, so it is actually more difficult to figure out the details of the typography, without using a magnifying glass. I think utility was sacrificed to sheer beauty in this case. But let there be no misunderstanding. These maps are probably the most beautiful physical representations of the land that have ever been published at this scale, and due to the digital database upon which the printing was based, without doubt, the most accurate.
Continuing with the theme of this book's utility, I find that I can't see the forest for the trees with this edition.
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125 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Jan-Willem van Aalst on November 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Almost every new major atlas claims to set a new standard in world atlases, but this new atlas is one of the very few that actually do just that. It contains almost 30% more place names than its nearest competitor, the Rand McNally International Atlas. In this respect, it is the largest printed atlas ever published. This tenth edition (dubbed the "millennium" edition) is the first complete redesign since its original publication in 1967, and it shows. The color coding has improved, the number of maps has increased, and, very important, the consistency factor has improved; e.g. the same fonts and same accuracy for all pages. The previous edition has sometimes been accused of being a mere "collection of reference maps". In this new tenth, no less than 72 pages of thematic content have been added, thus making it a really all-round reference atlas. It also contains more large-scale reference maps of more densely populated regions than before, and this noticeably increases the chance of finding just the spot you were looking for. The 217-page gazetteer contains just over 200,000 names. The price is somewhat spend lightly. But to anyone committed to following the world news, planning holiday or business trips, or travellers-in-dreams, you really can't afford NOT to have this atlas - it's certainly worth its price.
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74 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Michael Low ( on October 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Having owned the 1975, 1980 and 1990 editions of this atlas, I have waited for much anticipation for this new edition. It is totally redone with digital cartography.
The front section is completely new and is vastly improved. Many interesting and important thematic maps on climate, population, economics, land cover and the physical earth are up=to=date and very topical. Subjects include global warming and income inequality. One of the best features is the satellite images of each continent.
The maps themselves are an overall improvement from previous editions. One set of fonts is used throughout and the contour coloring is standardized. Previous editions had there own schemes depending on which part of the world being shown.
While coverage of some areas has decreased (esp. Russia) overall the coverage is balanced, with an emphasis on Europe (nearly 1/3 of the map plates). New, larger scale coverage of Poland, parts of China stand out.
Most of the atlas plates are highly detailed, crammed with place names. That's why most will need a magnifying glass since the type is so small on many maps.
The atlas is well-organized with a political map of each continent followed by the detalied map plates. There are no maps of cities or metro areas, unlike in previous editions (which wasted two whole plates on London and Paris). A 200,000+-entry index follows. In the front of the index is an extensive glossary of foreign terms.
I would recommend this atlas as the cartography is superb. If you can live with the tiny print, this is a great atlas.
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Philip Webster on October 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This atlas is the best international atlas for production graphics shops. Its gazetteer of latitude longitude for place names makes answering "Where is it?" questions nearly as fast as a computer search. It has more place names than any other souce I know except the U.S. State Department's online search, but this atlas is so much nicer to use.
My only criticism is the colors have been toned down compared to my old 7th Edition from 1980. The elevation colors went from vivid oranges and browns to light greens. The 10th Edition now has pail greens and light buffs. The contrast from 1000 to 3000 meters is much less. Your eye has to work harder to discern elevations. The very light water blues compared to the light land colors don't seem to offer as much "figure ground" contrast as my old 7th Edition Times Comprehensive atlas did. These lighter colors do help in two ways. They make the black text of feature names stand out. Also, the populated areas' color has been changed from black hatching to a bright solid yellow. It raises the visual importance of urban areas, which is good. Political and administrative boundaries have gone from violet to a dull purple, thus this theme has been pushed back in importance.
I notice that city names seem to have gotten smaller. I guess this means more information can be shown on a page, which is good. Also it will push the `small towns' theme back in importance so as to make clearer trends in physical geography, of valleys, plains, passes, major rivers etc. to be recognized more easily. There has been an editorial update in what is important to show now. My old atlas has one whole plate for Iran with an insert of Tehran. Now, it shares a plate with three other countries.
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