1 (Greek mythology) a Titan who was forced by Zeus to bear the sky on his shoulders
3 the 1st cervical vertebra [syn: atlas vertebra]
4 a figure of a man used as a supporting column [syn: telamon]
EtymologyFrom the Greek Mythological figure Άτλας (Atlas), meaning "The Bearer (of the Heavens)", from τλῆναι (tlenai), (to suffer, endure, bear).
- A bound collection of maps often including tables, illustrations, or other text.
- A bound collection of tables, illustrations, etc. on any subject.
- A collection of top-dimensional subspaces, called charts, each homeomorphic to Euclidean space, which comprise the entirety of a manifold, such that intersecting charts' respective homeomorphisms are compatible in a certain way.
- The uppermost vertebra of the neck.
- one who supports a heavy burden; mainstay.
- a figure of a man used as a column; telamon.
- In the context of "paper": A sheet of paper 26" x 34"
bound collection of maps
bound collection of tables, illustrations, etc., on any subject
(anatomy) The uppermost vertebra of the neck
one who supports a heavy burden; mainstay
An atlas is a collection of maps, traditionally bound into book form, but also found in multimedia formats. As well as geographic features and political boundaries, many often feature geopolitical, social, religious and economic statistics.
HistoryThe earliest atlases were not called by that name at the time of their publication, as it was introduced in 1595 by Gerardus Mercator.
The first book that in hindsight could be called an atlas was constructed from the calculations of Claudius Ptolemy, a geographer working in Alexandria circa A.D. 150. The first edition was published in Bologna in 1477 and was illustrated with a set of 27 maps, though scholars say that it is not known whether the printed maps were engraved versions of original maps made by Ptolemy, or whether they were constructed by medieval Greek scholars from Ptolemy's text.
From about 1544, many maps were produced, especially in the important trading centers of Rome and Venice. Each publisher worked independently, producing maps based upon their own needs. The maps often varied dramatically in size. Over time, it became common to bind the maps together into composite works. Although the term atlas was not in use in 1544, these works are now called "IATO" atlases - (Italian, Assembled to Order) or more frequently "Lafreri atlases" after one of the leading publishers of the period.
Abraham Ortelius is credited with issuing the first modern atlas on May 20, 1570. His Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, contained 53 map-sheets covering the countries of the World. This work was the first book of its kind to reduce the best available maps to a uniform size. It was an immediate critical and commercial success.
However, use of the word "atlas" for a bound collection of maps was not to come into use until the 1595 publication of Gerardus Mercator's "Atlas, Sive Cosmographicae Meditationes De Fabrica Mundi ..." (Atlas, or Description of the Universe) (Duisburg, 1585-1595).
The origin of the term atlas is a common source of misconception, perhaps because two different mythical figures named 'Atlas' are associated with mapmaking.
- King Atlas, a mythical King of Mauretania, was, according to legend, a wise philosopher, mathematician and astronomer who supposedly made the first celestial globe. It was this Atlas that Mercator was referring to when he first used the name 'Atlas', and he included a depiction of the King on the title-page.
- However, the more widely known Atlas is a figure from Greek mythology. He is the son of the Titan Iapetus and Clymene (or Asia), and brother of Prometheus. Atlas was punished by Zeus and made to bear the weight of the heavens (the idea of Atlas carrying the Earth isn't correct according to the original myth) on his back. One of Heracles's labours was to collect the apples of the Hesperides. Heracles went to Atlas and reasoned with him. Eventually, Atlas agreed to collect the apples, and Heracles was left to carry the weight. Atlas tried to leave Heracles there, but Heracles tricked him and Atlas was left to carry the heavens forever. In his epic Odyssey, Homer refers to this Atlas as "one who knows the depths of the whole sea, and keeps the tall pillars who hold heaven and earth asunder".
In works of art, this Atlas is represented as carrying the heavens or the Celestial Sphere, on his shoulders. The earliest such depiction is the Farnese Atlas, now housed at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli in Naples, Italy. This figure is frequently found on the cover or title-pages of atlases. This is particularly true of atlases published by Dutch publishers during the second half of the seventeenth century. The image became associated with Dutch merchants, and a statue of this figure adorns the front of the World Trade Center in Amsterdam.
The first publisher to associate the Titan Atlas with a group of maps was Lafreri, on the title-page to "Tavole Moderne Di Geografia De La Maggior Parte Del Mondo Di Diversi Autori ...". However, he did not use the word "atlas" in the title of his work.
With the coming of the global market, publishers in different countries can reprint maps from plates made elsewhere. This means that the place names on the maps often use the designations or abbreviations of the language of the country in which the feature is located, to serve the widest market. For example, islands near Russia have the abbreviation "O." for "ostrov", not "I." for "island". This practise differs from what is standard for any given language, and it reaches its extremity concerning transliterations from other languages. Particularly, German mapmakers use the transliterations from Cyrillic developed by the Czechs which are hardly used in English-speaking countries.
Selected general atlases
Some cartographically or commercially important atlases include the following:
- Piri Reis Map (Ottoman Empire, 1570-1612)
- Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Ortelius, Netherlands, 1570-1612)
- Atlas Novus (Blaeu, Netherlands, 1635-1658)
- Dell'Arcano del Mare (England/Italy, 1645-1661)
- Atlas Maior (Blaeu, Netherlands, 1662-1667)
- Cartes générales de toutes les parties du monde (France, 1658-1676)
- Britannia Depicta (London, 1720)
- Atlas Nouveau (Amsterdam, 1742)
- Cary's New and Correct English Atlas (London, 1787)
- Stielers Handatlas (Germany, 1817-1944)
- Andrees Allgemeiner Handatlas (Germany, 1881-1939; in the UK as Times Atlas of the World, 1895)
- Rand McNally Atlas (United States, 1881-present)
- Times Atlas of the World (United Kingdom, 1895-present)
- Atlante Internazionale del Touring Club Italiano (Italy, 1927-1978)
- Atlas Mira (Russia, 1937-present)
- Gran Atlas Aguilar (Spain, 1969/1970)
- Pergamon World Atlas (1962/1968)
- National Geographic Atlas of the World (United States, 1963-present)
- Historical Atlas of China (China)
See External links below for online modern atlases and digitized historical atlases. The collection of digitized world atlases at DavidRumsey.com lists many significant atlases of the 18th-20th centuries.
- Microsoft/Encarta/Expedia World atlas, world atlas, plus atlas for North America and Europe to street level.
- MapChart EarthAtlas, free online atlas with interactive maps about topics like demography, economy, health and environment.
- Multimap World atlas: on UK, US, Canada, Australia and Western Europe more detailed than the rest of the world
- world atlas by country
- Physical Atlas of the World Online world atlas with physical maps
- National Atlas of the United States
- Geospatial One-Stop geodata.gov
- Geography Network
- National Geographic MapMachine
- Tirolatlas An online atlas of North-, South- and Eastern-Tyrol (Austria), requires SVG capabilities in the browser.
History of atlases
Historical atlases online
- Atlases at DavidRumsey.com includes many important atlases from the 18th-20th centuries, primarily from France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. The site also presents maps from several centuries. About 13,600 high resolution images can be viewed and downloaded.
- Ryhiner Collection Composite atlas with maps, plans and views from the 16th to the 18th century, covering the whole globe, with about 16,000 images in total, including title pages of atlases
- 1645 Latin edition of Blaeu's Atlas at UCLA (partial copy)
- Historical map web sites list, Perry-Castañeda Library, University of Texas
- Charting North America, maps and atlases in the New York Public Library Digital Collection
- maphistory.info links
- A historical atlas from 1815 till today, in French
- Historical Atlas of Europe from AD 1 to 2000
- Centennia Historical Atlas
- World History Maps at KMLA
- Historical and Political Maps of the Modern Age
- Live Maps: 2D and 3D interactive maps on live.com.
- Google Earth: a visual 3D interactive atlas.
- Wikimapia a wikiproject designed to describe the entire world.
- World Atlas
- Atlas World: a directory of atlases currently in print.
- NASA's World Wind software
- One Planet, Many People UN Atlas of the Human impact on the Environment
- Malaria Atlas Project
- Soil Atlas of Europe
- InstantAtlas Create your own interactive atlas for any area
atlas in Bulgarian: Атлас (картография)
atlas in Danish: Atlas (kartografi)
atlas in German: Atlas (Kartografie)
atlas in Estonian: Atlas (kartograafia)
atlas in Spanish: Atlas (cartografía)
atlas in French: Atlas géographique
atlas in Scottish Gaelic: Atlas
atlas in Hindi: मानचित्रावली
atlas in Indonesian: Atlas
atlas in Italian: Atlante (libro)
atlas in Hebrew: אטלס (ספר מפות)
atlas in Georgian: ატლასი (კარტოგრაფია)
atlas in Lithuanian: Atlasas
atlas in Dutch: Atlas (naslagwerk)
atlas in Japanese: 地図帳
atlas in Malay (macrolanguage): Atlas
atlas in Norwegian: Atlas (oppslagsverk)
atlas in Norwegian Nynorsk: Atlas
atlas in Occitan (post 1500): Atlàs (geografia)
atlas in Polish: Atlas geograficzny
atlas in Portuguese: Atlas (cartografia)
atlas in Albanian: Atlasi
atlas in Simple English: Atlas
atlas in Slovenian: Atlas (kartografija)
atlas in Turkish: Atlas (harita)
atlas in Ukrainian: Атлас (книга)
atlas in Urdu: اٹلس
Lambert conformal projection, Mercator projection, Miller projection, aeronautical chart, arcade, astronomical chart, azimuthal equidistant projection, azimuthal projection, calendar, cartographer, cartography, caryatid, casebook, catalog, catalogue raisonne, celestial chart, celestial globe, chart, chorographer, chorography, city directory, classified catalog, climatic chart, colonnade, colonnette, column, concordance, conic projection, contour line, contour map, cyclopedia, cylindrical projection, diatesseron, dictionary catalog, directory, encyclopedia, gazetteer, general reference map, globe, gnomonic projection, graphic scale, grid line, hachure, harmony, heliographic chart, hydrographic chart, index, isoline, latitude, layer tint, legend, longitude, map, map maker, map projection, mapper, meridian, parallel, peristyle, phone book, photogrammetrist, photogrammetry, photomap, phototopography, physical map, pier, pilaster, pillar, political map, polyconic projection, polyglot, portico, post, projection, record book, reference book, relief map, representative fraction, road map, scale, sinusoidal projection, source book, special map, studbook, telamon, telephone book, telephone directory, terrain map, terrestrial globe, thematic map, topographer, topographic chart, topography, transportation map, weather chart, weather map, work of referenceAntaeus, Asp, Asroc, Atlas-Agena, Atlas-Centaur, Briareus, Brobdingnagian, Bullpup, Cajun, Charles Atlas, Corporal, Corvus, Crossbow, Cyclops, Dart, Deacon, Delta, Diamant, Dove, Falcon, Firebee, Gargantua, Genie, Goliath, Hawk, Hercules, Holy Moses, Hound Dog, Jupiter, Lacrosse, Lark, Loki, Loon, Mace, Matador, Navaho, Nike, Nike Ajax, Orion, Pershing, Petrel, Polaris, Polyphemus, Poseidon, Quail, Ram, Rascal, Redeye, Redstone, Regulus I, SLAM, Samson, Saturn, Scout, Sentinel, Sergeant, Shillelagh, Sidewinder, Skybolt, Snark, Spaerobee, Sparrow, Subroc, Super Talos, Superman, Talos, Tartar, Tarzan, Telamon, Terrier, Thor, Thor Able Star, Thor-Agena, Thor-Delta, Tiny Tim, Titan, V-2, Viking, WAC-Corporal, Wagtail, Zuni, bully, bullyboy, colossus, giant, gorilla, muscle man, powerhouse, stalwart, strong man, strong-arm man, the mighty, the strong, tough, tough guy, tower of strength