Goldmanns Grosser Weltatlas is a German version of the famous World Geo-Graphic Atlas, designed by Herbert Bayer in the Bauhaus style and published by Container Corporation in USA in 1953. Roughly 80 % of the maps in this atlas are based on the maps from World Geo-Graphic Atlas, the rest is an original work of German cartographers under the leadership of professor L. Visintin and Wilhelm Goldmann. The translated maps taken from World Geo-Graphic Atlas present the best of the U.S. cartography and with its bright, carefully defined colour scheme and brown terrain hachuring are subjectively one of the best atlas maps made in the second half of 20th century. The main maps are accompanied by many thematic maps, small inset maps, various bits of illustrations and originally crafted charts all put elegantly together into beautiful compositions, making almost all pages of this atlas uniquely and thoughtfully designed.
The "original" maps from the German cartographers, which were created specifically for this atlas, have less detail than those taken from the World Geo-Graphic Atlas, use different techniques for terrain depiction and slightly different colour scheme and therefore appear a little bit visually inconsistent with the majority of this atlas. Most of the new maps were used for European maps and physical maps of continents.
The atlas begins with several astronomy sheets, followed by maps of Atlantic and Pacific ocean, physical and thematic world maps. Europe has a special political maps, section of historical maps, folding map of Mediterranian and many statistical charts. Maps of Germany are accompanied with extra bits of statistical maps and charts.
Politically wise, some maps are outdated by almost two decades, f. e. the map of Germany, showing the pre-WW2 borders in main thicker outlines and the present 1963 borders in thinner outlines for some reason. We can only guess what was the reasons behind not updating this map even though it was one of the most important maps of the atlas.
Each of the countries in the world has its own dedicated section of this atlas, comprising of basic statistical information about population, map of landscape, industry and transport, and other thematic maps relevant to the specific region, like f.e. map of typhoon trajectories in the China and Japan section, the map of Sowiet influence in Eastern and Middle Europe, or the map of South America colonisation. Several small-scale maps throughout this atlas show relative sizes of countries or continents by placing their outlines on top of each other, giving its audience a sense of comparison of sizes without any distortion. Maps and information about polar regions are present on 4 pages, accompanied with a brief timeline of geographical discoveries. The atlas ends with an index of roughly 100.000 names of places.
The design of this atlas is similar to Atlas Swiata (a large world atlas originally published in Poland in 1962 and later in an english edition as Pergamon World Atlas). The Pergamon World Atlas may be as much as twice as large and detailed, but the overall execution of the maps and charts feels much more generic and less creative when compared to this atlas.
Dust cover in good condition with only minor part on the back missing, small fraying on the spine edges. Internally very good. Maps are clean with no marks. One map sheet moderately wrinkled due to damp, all other sheets in very good condition.
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