The new Swiss World Atlas has been adapted to the language-region-specific curricula for secondary schools and the framework curriculum of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) for secondary schools. The skills-oriented perspective required for these curricula is apparent even in the new introduction chapter (pages 22–23). The atlas promotes interdisciplinary, joined-up thinking, supports problem-oriented teaching, and makes a vital contribution to education for sustainable development.
New introductory chapter
The completely revised introductory chapter of the Swiss World Atlas sets out the principles of spatial geoinformation and cartography, explains the different types of maps, and encourages a skills-oriented approach to map work.
New economic maps
For the economic maps, the economic power of global urban centres has been calculated and illustrated using a proportionally-sized circle symbol. The most important raw material extraction sites and the intensity of agricultural use (arable land, pastures, etc.) are also shown. Finally, the new economic map of Switzerland includes a more detailed breakdown by economic sector.
New design and navigation aids
The Swiss World Atlas has been updated with a new, contemporary design. Map formats have been standardised and the layout has been made more appealing. The atlas has been supplemented with a clear contents page and topic list, as well as a comprehensive name and subject index. The 256-page book is rounded out with an attractively designed country overview, complete with national flags. The Swiss World Atlas has also been updated with handy navigation aids like side tabs and a fold-out general key, providing a clear overview of the atlas’ content while making it easy to use.
Many maps deal with topical issues such as the environment, energy, natural hazards and conflicts. The atlas’ traditional relief maps have been supplemented with high-resolution satellite images of typical landscapes. New, descriptive infographics, profiles and points of view have also been included on certain complex geographical issues.
Featuring over 400 maps and images, the Swiss World Atlas offers a global picture of our Earth. Uniform overview maps on the topography, political structure and economic status of countries, major regions and continents allow users to compare different geographical areas with ease. The atlas also allows readers to create mental connections between different aspects of various topics. Finally, this comprehensive overall view of the world is rounded out by themed maps on climate, geology and population density.
Using large-scale, detailed maps of specific regions and cities, the atlas adopts an exemplary approach in highlighting specific geographical situations, phenomena and processes.
The maps – and especially the city maps and various themed maps – have all been updated with a more uniform content and design, allowing for easy map comparisons.
Interactive tools and additional materials
The newly designed website contains a catalogue of all of the maps in the Swiss World Atlas, plus additional materials, map commentaries and didactic notes. The website also includes new integrated tools offering an interactive insight into special topics like the shape of the Earth.
Facts and figures
There are six uniformed map formats which are used for 90% of the Atlas’ maps. The rest of the maps uses special formats. The most used format is the half-page format which is used for 114 maps.
If you were to cut out all of the pages of the Swiss World Atlas and lay them side-by-side, they would cover the area of an average parking space (approx. 10 sqm).
In the German edition of the atlas, the names index contains 19,166 entries. In the French edition of the atlas, the index contains 19,200 entries, while the Italian edition contains 19,213. 15,600 entries are identical in all three languages.