World Changes Spell Change in NGS Atlas
What a difference two years make!
In 1990 the National Geographic Society published the sixth edition of its Atlas of the World, expecting it to last years. But events—notably the breakup of the Soviet Union and of Yugoslavia—forced a change of plans. Beginning this month, new atlas purchasers will receive a far different revised sixth edition.” We couldn’t just go back and print more of the original,” says John F. Shupe, the Society’s Chief Cartographer. “We want to offer the most current atlas possible.”
The revision covers 20 new nations: 15 former Soviet republics, whose flags appear below, as well as the reborn Yugoslavia and the nations that split from it—Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Macedonia. “In terms of impact, we’ve never seen anything like this in our lifetime,” says Peter Miller, atlas text editor. That’s not all. Every map naming any part of either Yugoslavia or the U.S.S.R. —even a map of Alaska, which shares the Bering Strait with Russia—changed. So too did many of the 150,000 place-names in the index. More than 95 % of Ukraine’s place-names reverted to what they were before it fell under Soviet rule.
National Geographic Magazine
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