Atlas Mira

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AtlasMira1967 Cover

Atlas Mira, Атлас Мира, Russian for "Atlas of the World"

Although initially Russian cartography could not glory in original work - the Atlas Marxa (1905), for example, is merely a translation of Debes' Neuer Handatlas - the large Atlas Mira (World Atlas, 1954, 2nd ed. 1967, 3rd 1999), with some 200,000 names, also in English translation of the last two editions as The World Atlas, meant a very special achievement. A similar Soviet project Bolshoi Sovietskii Atlas Mira, intended to be the most comprehensive atlas of modern times, remained with two out of three planned volumes (1937/39) incomplete owing to wartime.


Second Edition[edit]

A masterpiece of cartography, this Soviet Atlas was published in Moscow in 1967 by GUGK (Chief Directorate of Geodesy and Cartography under the Council of Ministers of USSR), Russian - ГУГК при СМ СССР (Главное управление геодезии и картографии при Совете министров СССР).

It is the second edition of Atlas Mira, (Atlas of the World), Russian – Атлас Мира, first published in 1954. Although a lot of other atlases were published during the years in the Soviet Union under the name “Atlas Mira” (including pocket atlases), this one is the biggest and most detailed and should be probably denoted as “Great Atlas of the World” to distinguish it from all the other smaller editions. Still on the cover it simply reads Atlas Mira below the coat of arms of the Soviet Union in relief. It is published simultaneously in Russian and English in 25,000 copies and is priced at 42 soviet rubles. It is printed on special cartographic paper with special cartographic offset ink and is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. The Atlas has a full 250 pages of color maps, majority of them physical, the index being a separate book, comprising some 200 000 entries. The size of the Atlas is 55 cm x 32 cm.

The maps in the Atlas are arranged in groups starting with general world maps, maps of the Soviet Union and maps of the continents. The world maps are in 1: 50 000 000. The Soviet Union is treated basically as a separate continent with its own physical, political, transportation and time zone maps. It is mentioned in the preface that the number of the maps of the Soviet Union is decreased compared to the previous edition, because of the interim publishing of a separate atlas specifically dedicated to the Soviet Union. For each continent there is a general physical map as an introduction (1 : 10 000 000 to 1: 25 000 000), followed by political and communications maps. This is followed by a number of general regional maps ( 1: 1 500 000 to 1: 750 000) and supplemented for important areas by large scale maps (1: 250 000 to 1: 750 000). 18 different colors are used from deep blue for the ocean deeps to dark brown and white for the highest mountains and glaciers. Relief shading is used for delineating relief along with contour lines. All scales are metric. Tint for elevation is predominately used in larger scale maps – 1: 1 500 000 and higher. The shadows and colors combined give an almost stereo impression, the relief popping up out of the pages. All major cities in the world are shown on separate maps or insets, typically in 1: 250 000 scale as well as important areas like the Panama canal or Palestine, along with detailed maps of small islands in the world oceans.

Link to scans in full of the English edition on David Rumsey Map Collection:;q:Atlas%2Bof%2BThe%2BWorld%2BSoviet;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=0&trs=262

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