THE MACMILLAN SCHOOL ATLAS
Ronald C. Daly.
Volume 10 Number 4.
This atlas is a recent revision following the same general organization as its predecessor but with metric scales and updated place names. The reading level of the introductory section and the layout of the maps make it possible to use this atlas with senior elementary or junior high students.
The book begins with a twenty-six page discussion of some basic geography, such as latitude and longitude, map legends, time, and seasons. This well-illustrated section would be excellent for teaching the material. Most of the atlas is devoted to Canada, with smaller sections on North America, the world, and explorations since the fifteenth century.
Overall, the colour selection used for the maps is very good. None of them contain the number of places names seen in atlases such as the Canadian Oxford Atlas, but this is probably an advantage with beginning geography students. The volume is strongly bound with glossy board covers that should stand up well.
Unfortunately, the value of the atlas is compromised by three problems. The latitude and longitude reference numbers in the margins of the maps have no indication of direction, something found in all good atlases. The gazeteer has only page references and letter number coordinates for places, such as "C3." Students cannot practise locating places by latitude and longitude references. In common with many recent metric revisions, the choice of scales is poor. All maps give only linear scales, and most are in very clumsy ratios. For example, the Canada maps have a scale of 1.6cm to 400km, the Africa maps .9cm to 400km. Beginning students would find it difficult to work in these scales. The metric system can provide advantages in scale, but not if publishers print maps at 1.44 444 444 such as the Africa maps in this atlas.
Fred May, North Albion C. I., Etobicoke, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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