National Geographic Family Reference Atlas of the World, Second Edition

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Planet Earth comes with no user's manual, and the times we live in complicate the global picture. The amount of information now available can seem both overwhelming and elusive, yet the need to be familiar with every corner of the globe is more important than ever. In these challenging times, the Second Edition of the "Family Reference Atlas of the World" offers a place to come for an easily accessible, coherent understanding of our fast-changing world. From physical geography to geopolitics, from new weather patterns to the geologic forces that for millennia have shaped and reshaped the continents, this single volume tracks the forces and trends that affect our lives.

Today, satellites can beam back images of every square mile of Earth, but these are like microscopic views of an elephant; there is much more to learn about the bigger picture. The outstanding visual images in this world atlas provide concise and relevant views of that larger canvas. Raw data from space-age technology and from the most preeminent sources have been compiled and compressed to create some 1,400 uncluttered images - maps, diagrams, graphs, tables and more - that track critical global issues, from health and education to population dynamics, energy consumption, religions, and even terrorism. National Geographic's signature color photographs bring these issues to life, as well as providing memorable images to explain such terms as "scrubland," "savanna," or "boreal forest." A series of geologic world maps examines the immense context of the past and what our landforms could look like in the future, while bathymetric maps reveal the nuances and beauty of the ocean floor. And a newly released image from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) explores the past and present of the planetary neighbor with whole we share the most physical properties.

Each section on our planet opens with a map of natural - physical- forms and continues with a political map of the same area at the same scale compiled and designed by National Geographic's renowned cartographers. Accompanying text, regional political and thematic maps, and fact capsules explain the economies, social structures, and geophysical conditions that combine to create the on-the-ground realities of the specific area featured.

In a time when political, health, climatic, and environmental crises seem to erupt without warning, this atlas can be a survival guide for understanding and even navigating the complexities of our 21st-century world. But it also remains an engrossing celebration of the marvels of the planet that is our home. 
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