Atlas – a Comprehensive Guide

The word Atlas has a variety of meanings but the word normally refers to a sort of book that enlists a map of the world and in some cases, maps of individual countries as well. The book is normally used for a number of purposes and has a lot of variations available in the world. Even though a normal Atlas only contains a collection of maps of the world and certain areas of the world, there are even a few books that have maps of the entire Solar System and specific planets as well.

History behind the name ‘Atlas’

There are various Atlas stories that do the rounds in our modern day and age. However, the most popular story that eventually led to the name of Atlas for the book that contains a collection of the maps of the entire Earth as well as maps of certain portions and regions of the Earth is related to the Greek story about Hercules. In the story, Atlas keeps the entire globe on his shoulders and even after giving it to Hercules at first, ends up bearing the weight of the globe at the end.

Features of a Modern Atlas

There are a number of features in a modern day Atlas that make it useful even in the world of today. Here are some of the stand-out features of an Atlas.

  • Presence of the entire world map as well as localized map of the country where the Atlas is published and distributed.
  • Information about the culture and tradition of each region present in the map with the use of various symbols that help people understand how traditions vary from one place to another.
  • Climatic characteristics, natural resources, religious preferences and economic statistics of each region are also pointed out in a few of the maps. These maps might only provide an insight about one country or offer an overall view of an entire region like central Asia, South Asia or Western Europe etc.
  • Well-defined political and geographical boundaries are present in the maps of Atlas so that people can easily understand the locations that come under the control of a given country.
  • Modern Atlas is not only present in book form but is also available as multimedia so that people can easily carry it around with them.

Uses of Atlas

Even though online maps are now far more effective in offering you more detailed maps, there are a number of reasons which make Atlases a preferred option for a lot of people yet. Here are the uses that people take from a modern day Atlas.

  • Research

An atlas is the best study guide if you want to know about the geographical, economical, religious, cultural and political history of a country. An atlas contains a detailed account of each and everything about a given country and therefore, it can aid your research on a particular country like none other.


  • Geographical Importance

People who want to know about the geographical importance of a country find Atlas useful as well. With the Atlas mentioning all the resources that the country gets access to because of the location, you can easily get to know a given country’s geographical importance.

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