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April 1, 2004

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The World Around Us

Sanyat Sattar

Goode's World Atlas
John C. Hudson
Rand McNally & Co; January 2003

Goode's packs an impressive amount of information into a relatively small, sturdy package. It has many features found only in the best reference atlases: gutter breaks; latitude and longitude in the index; detailed information on projections and scale; combined shaded relief and hypsometric/bathymetric tints and numerous metropolitan and thematic maps. Its main drawback is that the finest details and smallest place names are faint and hard to read. But Goode's has distinguished some of the best explanatory materials on scale, projections, and cartography found in any atlas, regardless of size or cost. In fact, the quality of the thematic maps alone make this title worth considering for any reference collection--even one that includes large reference atlases. Overall, Goode's is one of the best deals available in an atlas today and the first choice for a basic reference atlas for any library or personal collection.


The World Atlas of Wine
Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson
Mitchell Beazley; September 2001

The World Atlas of Wine is something of a dream-team production. The names Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson alone recommend any book on which they appear. The fifth edition (in 30 years) of this astonishingly successful book lives up to, and surpasses, its predecessors. In 350 densely packed but never clotted pages the authors manage the extraordinary feat of characterising wine production throughout the world, from Vancouver Island to Japan--Buddhists first planted vines in that inhospitably precipitous, monsoon-lashed land over a 1,000 years ago. The regional maps that form the core of the book are a triumph of clarity.




The Penguin State of the World Atlas
Dan Smith
Penguin USA; September 2003

Dan Smith has been the director of the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), and chairman of the board for the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, in London. This is his completely up-to-date edition of this invaluable classic reference that allows the reader a global overview of the elements that define the opening of the twenty-first century. Using a mainly visual analysis of data in full-colour maps and graphics, Dan Smith gives shape and meaning to the statistics.





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