The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, 14th Edition


The Times Atlas of the World rebranded The Times Atlas of the World: Comprehensive Edition in its 11th Edition. The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World from its 12th Edition is a world atlas published by HarperCollins Publisher L.L.C. Its most recent version, the fifteenth, was released on 6 September 2018.



The first version of The Times Atlas of the World appeared as The Times Atlas in 1895; more printings followed up to 1900. The Atlas was a reprint of Cassell & Co.’s Universal Atlas, published in 1893. It was published at the office of The Times newspaper in London and contained 117 pages of maps with an alphabetical index of 130,000 names. Cassell’s Atlas, in turn, used maps in English printed in Leipzig, which were drawn from the second Edition (1887, with some maps of the third Edition (1893)) of the German Andrees Allgemeiner Handatlas from the publisher Velhagen & Klasing.

Second generation

The second generation of the Atlas was issued in 1920 as The Times Survey Atlas of the World. It was prepared at the Edinburgh Geographical Institute under the direction of John George Bartholomew. It contained 112 double-page maps with 200,000 names and measured 47 cm × 33 cm.

Third generation

Based on the second, the third generation was Bartholomew’s famous five-volume set of 19 “×12” elephant folio atlases with 120 plates in eight colours, most double-page maps, and over 200,000 names. The collection was issued from 1955–59 as The Times Atlas of the World. Mid-Century Edition by The Times Publishing Company Ltd. in London, (Volume One: The World, Australasia & East Asia. Volume Two: South-West, Asia & Russia. Volume Three: Northern Europe. Volume Four: Southern Europe & Africa. Volume Five: The Americas; however, volumes III-V were published first.) A July 1957 advertisement for The Americas volume suggested that the maps included the latest places of note: “the St. Lawrence Seaway, the newest Federal and Interstate highway systems, … rocket-launching sites and Atomic Energy installations.”

In 1967, an edition in one volume (in which the maps were printed back-to-back – some on a fractionally smaller scale) was published as The Times Atlas of the World. This Edition also appeared in German, Dutch, and French translations. A Comprehensive Edition was published in 1992 with 123 leaves in the 9th Edition. Its introduction reads: “The successor to [the Mid-Century Edition] in one volume, nevertheless, this work contains greater detail, as well as much additional material, with no loss of scale, this being achieved by printing on both sides of the paper, using narrower margins, and including a single index. Some revisions and improvements were made; endpaper keys show which parts of the world are covered by which plates; an international glossary gives the English equivalents of common name words. Some discoveries by satellite surveys were included.”

Fourth generation

The 10th or “Millennium” edition (1999) of the 1967 Comprehensive Edition is, in effect, the first representative of the fourth generation. In contrast to its predecessors, it is entirely produced utilizing computer cartography: The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, published by Times Books in London (124 leaves of maps). Contents are slightly different in scale or arrangement.

10th Edition (1999)

11th Edition (2003)

The Folio Society also offered this Edition, bound in half-leather.

12th Edition (2007)

Changes to previous editions include “an estimated 20,000 mapping updates including 3,500 changes to names, a brand new map of Alaska and NW Canada, abandoned settlements featured for the first time, new satellite images of the continents, revision of all national and socio-economic statistics and new coverage on Biodiversity and the Environment—the division of Serbia and Montenegro into separate countries. The new national capital of Myanmar is Nay Pyi Taw, a joint capital with Yangon (Rangoon). The secession of St-Barthelemy and St-Martin from Guadeloupe. New World Heritage Sites. Opening the 1118 km Golmud to Lhasa railway in China, the highest railway in the world. The 32.5 km cross-sea Donghai bridge in China is opening, linking Shanghai to the deepwater port on Xiaoyang Shan island.”

A Luxury Edition was also offered in 2008, bound by Book Works Studio in London.

13th Edition (2011)

The map of Greenland depicted 15% less ice cover than in the 1999 edition. Several glaciologists and climate scientists contested the claim. Researchers from the Scott Polar Research Institute wrote: “A sizable portion of the area mapped as ice-free in the Atlas is still ice-covered. There is, to our knowledge, no support for this claim in the published scientific literature. It’s a terrible mapping error.” The publishers accepted that “the map did not meet the usual high standards of accuracy and reliability that The Times Atlas of the World strives to uphold” and designed a new map that is now included as an insert in the Atlas; it is also available for free download.

14th Edition (2014) – Our Edition

The new Edition includes “5000 place name changes, ” notably in Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, and Spain. Updated national parks and conserved areas, including the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA), the largest conservation zone in the world. Addition of over 50 major waterfalls around the world.” Geopolitical changes include the “Realignment of a section of the international boundary between Burkina Faso and Niger resulting from the International Court of Justice decision. New administrative structures in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Madagascar, along with the long-proposed new Indian state of Telangana. The updated population of Brazilian towns from new census information. The disputed boundary around Crimea.”

The Power of Maps – this new section illustrates the influence maps have had on all our lives.” new features include “New maps of the sub-ice features in the Antarctic and the Arctic Ocean. Physical maps of all the continents show land features that offer a valuable counterpoint to political mapping—illustrated articles on Biodiversity and Climate Change.

Publisher’s Summary

“The world’s most authoritative Atlas, beautifully redesigned and fully updated in a new 15th edition—a unique and timeless gift for all occasions.

Our world is as it is today in one beautiful volume—fully updated mapping with over 200,000 place names. New world topics include migration, health, and resources.

The 14th Edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World has been beautifully redesigned. At 45 cm high, this impressive large-scale Atlas will become a treasured possession.

It is a benchmark of cartographic excellence, trusted by governments, media, and international organizations and a trusted reference source for households across the country.”

Our Thoughts

This Atlas is the Atlas to own. It is not only one of the most accurate collections of maps on the market, but it is also authoritative, trustworthy, and stunning. We will let the images speak for themselves.