The Times Atlas of Britain was officially launched at an evening talk held in The National Library of Scotland (NLS) on 28th September.
Chris Fleet, Senior Map Curator at the NLS welcomed the guests, introduced the two main speakers and the evening’s program.
Mick Ashworth outlined the criteria considered for debate over what constitutes a national atlas in terms of scope, purpose and content. He explained the history of national atlases and used a few examples from around the world to illustrate the range. He then considered the new Times Atlas of Britain describing how the content was put together with a distinct local approach to create a stunning national portrait.
Chris Fleet, Mick Ashworth, Mike Parker
Mike Parker gave an overview of the atlas and how he liked it from a user’s perspective. He also highlighted a few fascinating details based on places and people mentioned in the facts section, these included:
Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, one of the classic novels of 20th century Scotland was actually written in Welwyn Garden City.
The highest point in Kingston upon Hull is shared between East Mount and Bransholme at 11 m.
“Hamilton is notoriously a dull place; if a joke finds its way into our neighbourhood, it is looked upon with as much surprise as a comet would be.” The Hamilton Hedgehog (October 1856).
Then Mike questioned Mick about the atlas to reveal more insights into the selection of mapping, text and presentation. This was followed by an open question time from the audience to the speakers - topics such as cartographic selection, name forms, digital mapping and introducing maps to young people were discussed.
Sheena Barclay, Managing Director of Collins Geo thanked all those involved in the launch event, then the evening continued with refreshments and the opportunity to chat with the makers of the atlas.
The first national Atlas of Britain for over 40 years, The Times Atlas of Britain is a brand new atlas in the authoritative and prestigious Times atlas range. It gives an exceptionally detailed view of Britain with fully up-to-date reference maps, statistics, images and historical mapping.
Hardback with slipcase, 360 x 264 mm, 448 pages
For further details and sample pages see The Times Atlas of Britain.
Mick Ashworth is Consultant Editor to Times Atlases, he is a current Council member and Past-President of the British Cartographic Society and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Mike Parker presents travel and map programmes for radio and television, his books include Map Addict and the Rough Guide to Wales and he writes freelance travel pieces for most of the UK papers.