Redlands, California—The 12th edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, published by Times Books, part of HarperCollins Publishers, was released in September 2007 with the help of ESRI geographic information system (GIS) software for data maintenance, quality assurance, and map creation. The atlas is fully up to date, stylish, and contemporary and continues to be a leading authority with its selection of detailed maps and index of more than 200,000 places and features. The data gathered for the atlas reveals interesting information on climatic extremes' effects on the earth, the urbanization of world population, and the dramatic growth of China.
Four years in the making, The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World was painstakingly researched by a dedicated team of more than 50 cartographers, with changes to the database made every 3.5 minutes using a 24-hour-a-day news feed. Data was validated from approximately 500 organizations and experts.
“ESRI’s GIS software has increased throughput and lowered the cost of map production,” says Sheena Barclay, executive director, Collins Geo, HarperCollins. “Equally important, we now have a more creative and flexible range of products. We use GIS to target our specific needs, opening up new opportunities and managing information in new ways.”
HarperCollins relies on ESRI’s ArcGIS database-driven GIS software and Maplex, a high-end cartographic design software for atlas production. This solution allows HarperCollins to automate, store, edit, and manage all of its geographic data. Maplex alone has given the publisher a powerful solution to a time-consuming and laborious process that plagues all atlas and map publishers—text placement. Using Maplex, HarperCollins has automated this process and finds it is now 90 percent faster than before.
Thousands of changes have occurred since the previous edition of the atlas, including approximately 20,000 mapping updates and more than 3,000 changes to place and feature names. A new 1:5,000,000 map of Alaska and Northwest Canada has been added as well as dramatic new continental satellite images.