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Portal:Atlas

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The Atlas Portal

Political and physical world map from the end of 2005

An atlas is a collection of maps; it is typically a bundle of maps of Earth or a region of Earth.

Atlases have traditionally been bound into book form, but today many atlases are in multimedia formats. In addition to presenting geographic features and political boundaries, many atlases often feature geopolitical, social, religious and economic statistics. They also have information about the map and places in it.

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Yellowstone National Park, 1871
Credit: F.V. Hayden, Library of Congress
Map of Yellowstone National Park, 1871. Created one year before the park was formed.

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Global view of visible satellite imagery and topography

A geographic information system (GIS) is a system for capturing, storing, analyzing and managing data and associated attributes which are spatially referenced to the earth. In the strictest sense, it is a computer system capable of integrating, storing, editing, analyzing, sharing, and displaying geographically-referenced information. In a more generic sense, GIS is a tool that allows users to create interactive queries, analyze the spatial information, edit data, maps, and present the results of all these operations. Geographic information science is the science underlying the geographic concepts, applications and systems.

Geographic information system technology can be used for scientific investigations, resource management, asset management, Environmental Impact Assessment, Urban planning, cartography, criminology, history, sales, marketing, and logistics.

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Gerardus Mercator

Gerardus Mercator (March 5, 1512 – December 2, 1594) was a Flemish cartographer. He was born in Rupelmonde in East Flanders to parents from Gangelt in the Duchy of Jülich. Born Gheert Cremer, "Mercator" is the Latinized form of his name meaning "merchant". He is remembered for the Mercator chart named after him.

Despite his fame as a cartographer, Mercator's main source of income came through his craftmanship of mathematical instruments. Mercator's own independent map-making only began when he produced a map of Palestine in 1537. Mercator devised a technique to produce globes, celestial as well as terrestrial, by techniques of relative mass production. Twenty-two such pairs of Mercator globes have survived.

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