Rand McNally Worldatlas

Pros: Handy 3-ring-binder format, super-durable paper, very handle-able size

Cons: May increase thoughts of luggage and passports

There’s an old axiom – ‘Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life’. In that case, I should have been Magellan or Ponce de Leon ( okay, I’d have settled for being Mrs. M. or P., as long as he took me with him).

Me thinks the (overall) type of books found in our own personal library, or those we check out of the library most often, are clear indicators of our interests, proclivities, desires,  far-flung wishes, and daydreams. My library is almost totally of North American ( game) animals, travel, and lady-predecessors to whom I feel a ‘sally forth’ kinship – Mary Kingsley, would most certainly be at the top of the list, but that’s another review all together.

Let me say, that while I’ve had a love-affair with maps, charts and globes for years, I have no training or education as a cartographer, therefore, if I have used incorrect vocabulary or patois, please don’t hesitate to correct me.

Rand McNally Worldatlas ( 3-ring-binder edition) is the perfect desk companion ( along with a good dictionary and thesaurus) for writers of just about every persuasion – book, essay, article – even reviews. My most recent search has been to examine more closely the Indian ocean, and the search area for Malaysian Flight 370.  I had no clue the Indian ocean is so vast. Had someone asked me,  I’m sure it would not have come immediately to mind as one of the largest, when in fact, it’s the third largest ( 28, 400 sq. mi.), just behind the Atlantic ( 41,081), and the largest, the Pacific ( 63,784).

Randy McNally Worldatlas includes thirty-two pages of maps, country flags and index. The maps are drawn to various scales so they are consistent in size from page to page – in other words, India, (for example), is drawn 1:16,000,000; 1 cm. to 160 km. Russia, and surrounding countries are drawn 1:20,000,000; 1 cm to 200 km – yet both are the same size and magnification on the page.The maps are indexed by page, number and letter, as a city map might be, including latitude and longitude readings.  It also has interesting geo-political features such as “Area Occupied by Pakistan, and claimed by India”, or, “Area claimed by China, occupied by India”. Fascinating.

Another practical feature includes the contrasting coloring of the countries. For example – Africa, of course, has many different countries, but no two adjoining countries are the same color. It’s very easy to see the boundaries of each.The countries and bodies of water (names) are printed in easy-to-read bold, black, font of varying size.

The volume dimensions are 8.50″ x 11″, not including three staple-type ‘loops’ affixed to the left-side, allowing it to be inserted into a 3-ring binder.

I searched the book thoroughly for a publish date, but did not find one.

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