The Times Atlas
of the World is an excellent, if not the canonical
, single-volume reference for geography
, much as the OED
is for the English language.
Large-format (12" x 18"), with eight-color maps covering:topography climate vegetation populationpolitical boundaries
210,000 place names. Boondock, Egypt is not represented, but there's a Bompoka in Nicobar and a Bamfumungu in Zaire...
I find the alternative projections very cool; we all know about Mercator, but there's also:orthographicequidistantLambert azimuthalgnomonicMollweideGall's stereographicBartholomew'sthe ever-popular Sanson-Flamsteed
Costs about US$80 and well worth it; however look for older editions (it's at eight now) on remainder, or even as a bonus with Book-of-the-Month Club membership.