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The Atlas Portal

Political and physical world map from the end of 2005

An atlas is a collection of maps, traditionally bound into book form, but now most often found in multimedia formats. As well as geographic features and political boundaries, many often feature geopolitical, social, religious and economic statistics.

The first known 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.

Atlas of Greek mythology

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.

An atlas is a collection of maps; it is typically a map of Earth or a region of Earth, but there are atlases of the other planets (and their satellites) in the Solar System. Furthermore, atlases of anatomy exist, mapping out the human body or other organisms.[1] 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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Geology of North America
Credit: United States Geological Survey
Cartographic relief depiction showing the varying age of bedrock underlying North America. This image combines a geologic map and a shaded relief image. This combination reveals the geologic history of North America through the interrelation of rock type, topography and time. Regional surface processes as well as continent-scale tectonic events are exposed in the three dimensions of space and the fourth dimension, geologic time. From most recent to oldest, age is indicated by color: yellow, green, blue, red.

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NOAA continental US weather forecast map

A weather map is used to display an overview of one or more atmospheric variables at a specific time in the free atmosphere. They are used for the analysis and display of observations and computer analyses, including forecast fields derived by computer models. Maps using isotherms show temperature gradients, which can help locate weather fronts. Isotach maps, analyzing lines of equal wind speed, on a constant pressure surface of 300 mb or 250 mb show where the jet stream is located. Two-dimensional streamlines based on wind speeds at various levels show areas of convergence and divergence in the wind field, which are helpful in determining the location of features within the wind pattern. A popular type of surface weather map is the surface weather analysis, which plots isobars to depict areas of high pressure and low pressure. Special weather maps in aviation show areas of icing and turbulence.

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Captain George Comer

Captain George Comer (April 1858 – 1937) was considered the most famous American whaling captain of Hudson Bay, and the world's foremost authority on Hudson Bay Inuit in the early 20th century.

Comer was a polar explorer, whaler/sealer, ethnologist, cartographer, author, and photographer. He made 14 Arctic and three Antarctic voyages in his lifetime. These expeditions (ca. 1875-1919) commonly began in New London, Connecticut or New Bedford, Massachusetts. Comer's circle of friends and colleagues included other notable explorers of the time, such as Robert Peary and Capt. Frederick Cook, and his mentor, Franz Boas, the "Father of American Anthropology".

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