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Oxford's Ever-Changing 'Atlas of the World'

With the Polar Ice Cap melting and geopolitical boundaries still shifting, cartography is a painfully ephemeral undertaking. Undeterred, the mapmakers at the Oxford Press have produced a vivid new edition of the Atlas of the World.

At least from afar, the mapmakers' world is a beautiful place. Their 560-plus-page Atlas includes all the typical maps of continents, countries, states and cities. But it also includes expansive photographs from space, including richly detailed images of the world's great deserts, metropolitan areas and vast expanses of water.

In the age of the World Wide Web, atlas-making is a dying art, and the Oxford Atlas is the only print version still updated annually. Ben Keene, the editor of the newest edition, discusses mapmaking in the computer age with John Ydstie.

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