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Matthews, Geoffrey J. and Robert Morrow, Jr.

Scarborough (Qnt.), Prentice-Hall Canada. c1985. 20lpp, paper bound boards, $19.95. ISBN 0-13-113986-X (school edition) 0-13-1138464 (trade edition). CIP

Grades 9 and up
Reviewed by Fred May

Volume 13 Number 4
1985 July

This volume is another example of the trend in recent years to move away from the concept of an atlas as simply a collection of maps. The major thematic and regional sections present a host of information on each topic. For example, in addition to a population distribution map of Canada, the user gets population profiles, line graphs of population change, and components of growth. The Canadian oil and gas map spread also provides diagrams on formation and deposition of these fossil fuels.

This is not to say that traditional components of an atlas such as a gazetteer are missing. Rather, in addition, users receive a glossary of common geographic terms, seventeen pages of recent statistics on Canada, and thirty statistical measures for all the world's major nations.

The thrust of the atlas is definitely Canadian, with 108 pages devoted to Canada, as compared with forty-nine for the rest of the world. In fact, about half if these are simply bare outline maps. In contrast, Canada is dealt with extensively and thoroughly, with thematic maps on topics such as geology, energy, and social indicators, combined with regional studies, including areas such as the far North and near North.

The cartography and graphics are of very high quality, and the volume is well-organized, with handy helpers such as the end paper maps showing the pages where specific regions are presented. One has to look hard for minor errors such as referring to Etobicoke as a borough, or matching the northern hemisphere world location map of Canada with a space photo centred on Africa. Given the very reasonable cost for atlases these days, this volume would be a worthwhile addition to the Canadian atlas section of most libraries.

Fred May, North Albion C.I., Etobicoke. Ont.
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