Maps of World
Current, Credible, Consistent
World Map / World Atlas
World Atlas
Description:World Atlas depicting World Countries, Capitals and International boundaries.
Click to view even  large World Atlas  

The origin of the word World Atlas in itself is no less interesting than the traditional meaning which has come to denote a collection of maps providing an encyclopedic wealth of information on land, people and cultures in different parts of the world. According to legends, Mauritania was once ruled by King Atlas, a great philosopher, mathematician and an astronomer who created the first celestial globe. In 1595, the great cartographer Gerardus Mercator first called his collection of maps as an "Atlas" in the honor of this legendary king Atlas.

According to an even more popular legend, Atlas – the son of Titan Iapetus and Oceanid Asia – was condemned to bear the burden of celestial sphere on his shoulders by the Greek God of Zeus. It is believed that Heracles had approached Atlas, who was holding the world, and tempted him into collecting the apples of Hesperides by offering a temporary reprieve from the burden of heavens. Atlas readily agreed to the same but on returning with the apples he wished to escape his condemned fate. However, understanding his intent well, Heracles used a little tact to leave Atlas holding up the world once again.

Atlas of the World

The world atlas, even though seen as nothing but a well - designed and bulky tome sitting on library shelves, has had a very vivid history. Here are some of the interesting bits:
  • The term 'atlas' comes from the King Atlas of Mauretania, who is credited with the development of the first globe.
  • The first printed atlas was produced in AD 150 by Claudius Ptolemy. It had 27 hand-drawn maps.
  • Cartography, the art of making maps, is far more ancient than the atlas. Some crudely-made maps were available as early as 7000 BCE!

Interesting, but . . . I can't carry an atlas around!
We agree, and this is precisely what we realized some time back. But for us, maps were more than a profession, more than even passion – they were a way of life! So, we sat down and applied ourselves.

The result was World Atlas, our free iPad app!

What is so special about World Atlas app?
It's essentially a world atlas, BUT:
  • Comes free!
  • Works offline.
  • Has individual maps for each country.
  • Provides information on flags, capitals, religions, legislatures.
  • Enables a custom search for more specific information.
Go now to the iTunes store and give it a try!
It is believed that Antonia Lafreri was the first person to associate a collection of maps with the Greek legend Atlas. From 16th century onwards, any cartographic collection came to be known as Atlas. Commonly, the globe depicted in the caricatures of Atlas holding up the world is mistaken as earth in what is actually supposed to be the celestial sphere.

Atlas of the World

The first printed Atlas of the world was discovered from the texts of legendary geographer Claudius Ptolemy around 150 A.D. It includes a set of 27 maps drawn by Ptolemy himself.

The first edition of this Atlas of world was published in 1477 in bologna and some people believe that world maps in this compendium might have been engraved by Taddeo Crivelli. In any case, however, this antiquarian world maps Atlas was completely out of date with the later Portuguese and Spanish discoveries. Other major shortcomings of this antique world map included traditional misconceptions related to the world geography, a striking example of which can be found in the depiction of west-east orientation of Scotland in the maps of British Isles.

Gradually, cartographers started introducing corrections in the further reproductions of any classical atlas, world globe, map, etc. An apt example of this can be found in an edition of 'Geographia' a celebrated work of Ptolemy, published in 1513, where Martin Waldseemuller had included 20 additional maps of a relatively modern origin.

The process of integrating updated information into older maps continued unabated to make a large World Atlas. However, some peculiar problems arose for the students due to the apparent lack of uniformity of sizes of various maps. This made the rolling and unrolling of large maps very difficult. Handling maps became a troublesome affair. It was the Flemish map maker Abraham Ortelius who came up with a solution by publishing his historical work 'Theatrum Orbis Terrarum' with 53 uniform map sheets.

The World Atlas

A world Atlas with uniform maps was a major breakthrough for cartographers and geographers alike. It was only much later that an exact world atlas with latitude and longitude was drawn up, although world atlas with north, south, east, and west degrees were being drawn up earlier but with far less accuracy. For all, the world Atlas was a major creative achievement in the progress of human civilization which symbolizes the undying spirit of adventure, exploration and intellectual growth.

World Atlas Map

In Map of World Atlas, geographical, political and cultural information is available. It serves a number of purposes. It also includes a large number of other maps which focus on a specific region. These maps provide detailed information on the subject.

Nowadays, free atlases are easily available on the internet. With a careful study of Atlas, anyone can easily comprehend world geography. offers World traveler map, Geographic world map, World political map, world travel map and large world map, in addition to maps on countries and cities. We also customize maps and provide framed world map in standard sizes and dimensions.

Last Updated on: February 22, 2020

"By clicking OK or by using this Website, you consent to the use of cookies. Your personal data will be governed by Mapsofworld Privacy Policy and Terms."

For further info please get in touch with us at