world atlas
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World Atlas

World Atlas > Scroll to Map

world globe - eastern hemisphere - courtesy of NASA A world atlas contains information about geography in a variety of map formats.  These maps contain information, both on a global scale and on a more local scale.  Charts that depict earth's hemispheres show continents, oceans, currents, latitude & longitude lines, winds, and other data.  Local maps vary in their degree of detail; some only show a country's states and major cities, while others show more detailed information such as highway & road infrastructures, towns, rivers, railroads, airports, and parks.

world globe - western hemisphere - courtesy of NASA Other maps contain natural geographic landmarks such as mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, shorelines, and islands.  Maps of this type can be topographical, or they may incorporate satellite photography.  These maps contain data from a wide variety of sources ranging from government agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey and other international agencies as well as from the private sector.  Some charts may also be included that depict oceanographic data such as depth, currents, and other useful navigational data.  These may be used for expeditions, recreational activities, or for programming GPS receivers.  Some land charts include data on natural resources that may be referenced for a wide variety of business and industry needs.  Special maps for aeronautical, recreational vehicle, and other specialized needs require researching alternative sources such as local and national governmental agencies, business sources, and proprietary software companies.

World atlases usually include statistical and government information such as capitals, flags, populations, climates, economies, and crops.  This data is especially useful for personal, educational, and business studies when presented in an easily understood, graphical format.  Research to plot trends in the areas of population growth, climate, and economics can be accomplished by studying and comparing different year editions.  These comprehensive reference guides have traditionally been available in print format, but user-friendly information about the oceans, continents and countries of planet Earth is also available online.

world map
World Map - Mercator Projection

world map - ocean floor depths
World Map with Ocean Floor Topography

A detailed map of the world, with countries identified by two-letter country codes, can be found on this world map page.

Interactive World Map

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  • Cheers, G., Publisher (2004).  Geographica:  The Complete Illustrated Atlas of the World.  Milsons Point, NSW Australia:  Random House Australia.
  • Collins (2005).  Collins Discovery World Atlas (Smithsonian).  London:  Harper Collins Publishers.
  • Espenshade, E. B., Editor (1990).  Goode's World Atlas.  Chicago, New York, and San Francisco:  Rand McNally.
  • Philip's (2007).  World Atlas and Encyclopedia.  New York:  Random House.

Online World Atlas Sites

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World Atlas - Maps and Geographical Information