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Oxford Satellite Atlas of the World

NPA Satellite Mapping
Publisher:  Oxford University Press, New York, USA
Year Published:  2005  
Pages:  295pp   Price:  $50   ISBN:  0-19-522204-0

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Here are 200 plus snapshots from outside the earth's atmosphere, as stunningly clear and colourful images. Countries, seas, mountains, and lakes are covered, as well as urban areas: for all six continents. At the start of each continent, there are long shots of each region, narrowing in to countries and then landmarks (Victoria Falls, Mount Everest, Taj Mahal, and Mecca's Kaaba) and cities (London, Paris, Rome, Venice, etc.). The text describes the imaging techniques and the mapping scales; the captions provide historical and statistical data. The majority of the images were captured by Landsat Polar satellites orbiting 705 km above the earth, and traveling at 27,000 kph. They record 16 million measurements a second, and can survey 33,670 square km in less than 27 seconds. This survey usually occurs only between 9 and 11 AM everywhere. Canada, despite its land mass, doesn't get much display space: only Vancouver, the St.Lawrence River, and our northland are given. The book concludes with a place index.

* Audience or interest level: the curious, photographers, geographers, news libraries, reference libraries.
* Some interesting facts: Antarctica contains 87% of the world's ice.
* What I don't like about this resource (its shortcomings): the writers are not named, except for a pithy foreword by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Some pictures are spread over the inner margin gutters, making them less appealing. This is a heavy and oversized book, but I guess that this is unavoidable. One carp: there are too many American spots in proportion to the landmass and global population
* What I do like about this resource (its positives): the detail is spectacular.

Quality-to-Price Ratio: 90

[Review by Dean Tudor]

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