An atlas is a collection of maps, traditionally bound into book form, but now found in multimedia formats. As well as geographic features and political boundaries, many often feature geopolitical, social, religious and economic statistics.
The first book that could be called an atlas was constructed from the calculations of Claudius Ptolemy, a Greek 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.
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. However, the more widely known Atlas is a figure from Greek mythology.
A compass rose is a figure displaying the orientation of the cardinal directions, north, south, east and west on a map or nautical chart. It is also the term for the graduated markings found on the traditional magnetic compass. Today the use and idea of a compass rose is found on or featured in almost all navigation systems, including nautical charts, NDB and VOR systems, some GPS sets and similar.
The "rose" term arises from the fairly ornate figures used with early compasses. A fleur-de-lis figure, evolved from the initial T in the north wind's name Tramontane, is sometimes used to indicate the north direction.
Early roses were depicted with 12 points at 30° each, as was favored by the Romans. In the Middle Ages map makers moved to the 16-point rose complaining that sailors did not have the education to understand the previous design. The earliest 32-point compass rose was developed by Arab navigators during the Middle Ages.
||Your map of Africa is really quite nice. But my map of Africa lies in Europe. Here is Russia, and here... is France, and we're in the middle — that's my map of Africa.
—Otto von Bismarck, 1888
Here are some Geography
related tasks you can do:
- Requested Articles: Geographical feature, Glossary of geography terms, Demographics of Oceania, Regions of North America, Regions of South America, Regions of Oceania (See Regions of Africa as example) More...
- Wikify/Cleanup: Geography, Philosophy of Geography, History of geography, Holarctic, Geostatistics, Kriging, Geographic Information Systems, Urbanism, Wikipedia:Requested pictures/Places, List of map-changing events by date, Valley More...
- Expand: Cycle of erosion, Outer Continental Shelf More...
- Improve to GA: See Category:B-Class geography articles More...
- Improve to FA: Anahim hotspot, Erg (landform), Great Barrier Reef, Geyser, History of Earth, Mount Garibaldi, Palm Island, Queensland, Topic outline of geography More...
- Projects: Lists of basic country topics (one for each country), List of geography topics (See List of psychology topics as an example), List of geographers