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Library Journal Review
In an ever-changing world, staying current can be difficult, but here are two atlases that try. Completely up-to-date, DK's handsome volume reflects the recent reversion of Zaire to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the return of Hong Kong to China. The moderate size (38 cm) is enhanced by the inclusion of eight large-scale fold-out maps of key regions. Full-color maps portray the world, continents, and regions with detailed, computerized terrain modeling. Thematic maps are the principal feature of the "World Today" survey of our planet but are also included at the continent level. Also included in alphabetical order are geographical data entries for all 192 independent nations. The official flags illustrated on the back endpaper are completely current and accurate, though it would have been preferable to include this feature within the volume since library processing could interfere with its use. The index-gazetteer includes 80,000 entries. The Reader's Digest editors commissioned Rand McNally to provide 81 custom full-color maps for their Illustrated Great World Atlas (also 38 cm). Coverage ranges from world maps down to regions and major population centers, with fine topographical details. The introductory "Story of the Earth" uses color illustrations and thematic maps to explain landforms, habitats, weather, and resources. The "Nations of the World" section provides geographical information for 192 independent countries arranged by region, including demographic and economic data, descriptive narrative, and official flags. The map index includes more than 40,000 entries. It should be noted that the flag of the Republic of Georgia is erroneously shown as that of Mali, and the maps and data are not completely current: Hong Kong is included as part of China, but Zaire remains. The similarity of both atlases is evident, and either one would be a useful reference resource for any library. However, the up-to-date DK World Atlas, with its extensive index, clearly has the edge.Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. System, Ft. Pierce, Fla. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.