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The new world order

September 14, 2004|Christopher Reynolds

NEVER mind that old line about the rich getting richer and the poor poorer: These last few years, Mt. Everest grew while the Dead Sea sank.

So says the new National Geographic Atlas of the World, all 416 pages and seven pounds. The first update of the influential volume in five years hits stores soon.

New measuring technologies, changing political fortunes and land modifications result in about 15,000 changes in the new edition. Buyers also receive one year's access to a website to make maps or catch up with geography news.

Not quite ready to pony up the $165 purchase price? Here are a few highlights:

Everest is 29,035 feet tall (8,850 meters), 7 feet higher than previously thought, thanks to new measuring methods. The Dead Sea is 1,365 feet (416 meters) below sea level, 26 feet lower due to water consumption.

Also, the former Calcutta, India, is now spelled Kolkata. The former Yugoslavian territories of Serbia and Montenegro appear as separate nations, while Yugoslavia disappears. East Timor -- first new nation of this century -- is depicted in detail. The Brazil map shows new Tumucumaque National Park, believed to be the largest tropical forest park on Earth.


Christopher Reynolds

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