This is the best atlas of the world. Period. It is the most accurate, clearest, most-up-to-date, and most comprehensive atlas ever published. Unlike previous atlases, it locates and names those hundreds of thousands of towns where most of the people of the world live. Take any place you want in any other atlas you want–Afghanistan, Botswana, China–and compare that spot to the stunningly crisp and full maps here. You suddenly realize the other atlas is just waving their arms vaguely. Usually places outside of the US and Europe are reduced in size and left blank. Here, they prosper in splendid microscopic detail. In my travels I’ve found even large country-specific maps don’t have the depth of reality of these pages. I now wince with pain if I have to use another atlas; browsing this one is bliss. It’s got all the creeks of the Congo, all the roads of Russia, all the oases in the Gobi. And half this atlas is a divine index of 225,000 place names, with geographical coordinates in degrees and minutes. I’m in heaven! This is the fairest picture of human places on this planet yet.
This is the part of the world that is normally left blank. Known as the Empty Quarter, it isn’t empty here.