Explore Planet Earth and Beyond in National Geographic’s ‘Visual Atlas of the World’ [REVIEW]

Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area in China (Photo courtesy National Geographic)

Are you as fascinated by our planet as we are? Every time we travel, we love exploring new terrain, taking drives along breathtaking vistas or hikes to reach secluded views, marveling at the miraculous balance of nature in all its stunning beauty. But sometimes it isn’t easy to know exactly where to go. That’s where National Geographic’s Visual Atlas of the World, Second Edition comes in handy. This oversized, photo-packed volume is everything we love in a reference book and more, and here’s why you need a copy for your own personal library. 

As you can tell from the above photograph of China’s verdant Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Area, the photography featured in this book is the most exquisite camera work you’re likely to find anywhere, bar none. But we’d expect nothing less from National Geographic. Over the years, they have always delivered jaw-dropping, canvas-worthy photographs that entice just as well as they educate. Best of all, this atlas is jam packed with pictures like these. As Nat Geo did with our previously reviewed Journeys of a Lifetime, this is the kind of book that delivers an epic vision of the world’s most captivating landscapes, and is guaranteed to fuel your wanderlust too. 

Sedimentary Rock
Sedimentary rocks are formed from preexisting rocks or pieces of once living organisms. They form deposits that accumulate on Earth’s surface, generally with distinctive layering or bedding. (Photo courtesy National Geographic)

In addition to providing loads of maps, including everything from satellite images to physical and political maps, this volume also digs deep into the structure of the planet and showcases how aspects of the Earth were formed, how oceans and lakes flow and sustain life, and what climates are like all over the globe. But the book takes us deeper than just surface information. It also maps out the ocean floor, showcases Earth’s place in the solar system and even provides insights into our moon and nearby planetary neighbors like Mars. Now how is that for being comprehensive?

While we’re talking about the climate, let’s take a gander at those rising temperatures, shall we? Nat Geo takes a good hard look at what climate change is doing to our planet, from melting ice caps to increased carbon dioxide concentrations. (Just check out how little snow there is these days in Nepal, as pictured below.) These are clear, vivid reminders that our planet, as lovely as it still may be, is in crisis, and all the details are laid out for us to examine in concise, easy-to-understand language that will raise your awareness and concerns, despite what politicians may be saying about the topic.

Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal (Photo courtesy National Geographic)

Not only are temperature on the rise, but as a result, so are oceans and storm activity the world over. The atlas charts sea-level changes, explains what influences the weather, exposes environmental stresses on the planet, and demonstrates how a growing population and urbanization are taking a toll as well. Other maps examine which languages and religions are most prevalent in different locales, and how human influences are polluting the air, depleting water supplies, and degrading the land. 

Everything is not doom and gloom, however. The atlas also shines a light on protected areas and heritage sites, acknowledges how biodiversity is helping the planet, and illustrates country by country what each nation can be proudest of and celebrates individual cultures. As such, this makes for a very engaging and informative read that is as well rounded as it is educational, and thus makes for another must-have volume that will easily become an heirloom part of your family library. 

Flood on Piazzo San Marco in Venice, Italy (Photo courtesy National Geographic)

When building a home collection of reference works for yourself and your children, a great atlas is just as important as a comprehensive encyclopedia set and a current dictionary. But National Geographic doesn’t stop at just providing a collection of dry facts and boring maps. Instead, they dig deep, as they always do, and provide a book that is both reliably researched and carefully photographed, thus making for one of the must dazzling books you will ever own. Make sure your family has the best. Buy National Geographic’s second edition of their Visual Atlas of the World

National Geographic's Visual Atlas of the World, Second Edition
National Geographic
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One of the world’s leading nonfiction publishers, National Geographic Books has published more than 1,700 titles, featuring such categories as history, travel, nature, photography, space, science, health, biography, and memoir. A portion of its proceeds is used to fund exploration, conservation, and education through ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society.

National Geographic cartographers bring a century of mapmaking experience and cutting-edge technology to bear on every atlas product. Over the last decade, techniques used in digital mapping have undergone remarkable changes.

Today, satellite and digital imaging technologies provide cartographers with new tools to map and animate Earth and our solar system. Leveraging these emerging technologies to build smart, well-designed, funtional, informative atlasesis one of the great strengths of National Geographic.

By National Geographic
416 pgs. National Geographic. $115.

TLC Book Tours Tour Host

Purchase Visual Atlas of the World at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, and National Geographic.

Visual Atlas of the World is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

3 Responses to Explore Planet Earth and Beyond in National Geographic’s ‘Visual Atlas of the World’ [REVIEW]

  1. trish says:

    What an amazing book!

    Thank you for being on the tour!

  2. NatGeo has come out with some really gorgeous books recently! I’m excited to check this one out myself.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  3. Pingback: National Geographic's Visual Atlas of the World, on tour October/November 2018 | TLC Book Tours

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